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Used since ancient times, antique wood planes have been found in the ruins of the city of Pompeii that was buried by the eruption Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Archeologists in Italy discovered the first known woodworking planes used by the Romans as they explored the excavations of Pompeii and its sister city Herculaneum.
Although there have been some examples found of Roman planes that have iron sole plates riveted to the wooden bodies, most Roman planes were constructed of an iron cutter with a wooden body, push bar and wedge.
Unlike the earlier antique hand tools used by the Egyptians to shape wood, the Roman woodworking planes are very similar in concept to those manufactured today. As the centuries passes, wood planes remained one of the most important woodworking tools throughout the world.
The HMS Mary Rose along with the contents of the ship, including the wooden wood planes, are on display in Portsmouth, England, at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

During the next several centuries, most of the wood planes continued to be made by the town blacksmith or by the craftsman himself. As the demand for furniture grew, companies began to manufacture wood planes in large numbers. In high demand by tool collectors are wood planes made by companies during the later years of the1800s and the first half of the 1900s.
The Stanley company purchased patent rights to many wood planes, as well as acquiring most of the competitive tool manufacturing companies. By the early 1900s, the Stanley Company dominated the wood plane market producing a vast array of wood planes for different jobs.
Highly desired by collectors around the globe, many antique wood planes are often used by craftspeople of today who enjoy using the well constructed planes of the past.

The tool used by the carpenters of ancient Egypt to cut the wood into exact size was an adze. Nicholson of Wrentham, Massachusetts, was the first known planemaker in America making wood planes from 1728-1753.
The wood planes were found when the ship HMS Mary Rose, one of King Henry's warships, was discovered in the 1970s.
This ancient woodworking tool, which measures 21.3 centimeters long, is exhibited in the Naples Museum in Italy.

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