Wooden Jack Planes

wooden jack plane
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The Verdict

Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Various

Tool Type: Wooden Planes

Plane Type: Jack

Please see the wooden smoothing plane review for the core details of the old British wooden jack plane as the core details are the same.

Wooden jack planes were in the region of 14 inch to 17 inch long fitted with plane iron's ranging from 1 3/4 inch to 2 1/2 inch wide depending on the width of the plane.

The smaller sized jack planes were sometimes referred to as 'technical jack planes', certainly this is the case with the wooden jack planes which were made late on.

Other features on the technical jack planes were they had a striking knob on top of the plane towards the front of the plane and a sunken rear handle.

old wooden technical jack plane

The purpose of the lowered sunken rear handle was to reduce the weight of the plane in order that younger users such as students could handle the plane with more ease.

The purpose of the striking knob was to make the removal of the wedge and blade easier; striking the knob with a mallet will release the wedge.

Note: from my experience this doesn’t work when a wedge is jammed i.e. in a plane which has been sitting neglected for a number of years.

The wooden jack planes generally have an open rear handle opposed to closed rear handle which is seen on the wooden trying / jointer planes.

The wooden jack plane was the forerunner to the infill jack planes such as the Norris A1 plane and the iron jack planes such as the Stanley plane number 5 and the Record plane number 05.

All three of these types of jack planes were manufactured and sold by tool shops in competition with each other for a very lengthy period of about 70 years or so.

History shows us the overall winner of the battle of the jack planes was the iron jack plane with wooden jack planes and infill jack planes being more than capable jack planes.

antique wooden jack plane

Old Wooden Jack Plane Manufacturers

There have been many, many manufacturers of old wooden jack planes, the following is a list of some of these makers:

King & Co
Onion & Co
Preston (Edward)
..many others

Finding More Information About Wooden Jack Plane Manufacturers

The manufacturer's mark (if present) can virtually always be found on the front nose of the plane. If the plane is quite mucky or you hadn’t realised, this is the place to look to identify who made it.

wooden jack plane

Most planes also have an owner's name or many owner's names stamped into the front of the plane; these can often be easily spotted as they have been stamped more than once on the plane.

If you wish to delve deeper there are a few books out there to help identify the age of the plane(s).

The authority of these books has to be W L Goodman’s ‘British Planemakers fom 1700 – third edition’ book but be prepared to pay some money for this book as it is no longer available to buy new (at the time of writing this) and secondhand copies of the book are in demand.

New Wooden Jack Plane Manufacturers

There are a few makers in various places around the world who make new versions of this style of wooden jack plane, often with higher-end materials and/or additional features/variations:

Philly Planes (England)

There are also wooden jack planes of different design made by Japanese manufacturers and by European manufacturers such as ECE.


Manufactured Dates

<1700 - 1970>


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