Old Tool Mart's latest news and information blog

 RSS Feed

  1. I've decided to start building a collection of planes, and other associated hand tools, made by some of the lesser known manufacturers..

    rapierlogo2

    The first of these 'collections' iwill be a range of Rapier branded tools. Very much overlooked by the purist collector, they make very good user planes, with heavy castings.

    Very little information exists as to why they started making these types of tools, and also why they stopped?

    They were produced in Gateshead, England by a firm called Anglo Scottish Tool Company, in the late 1940's and the 1950's.

    Anglo Scottish Tool Co Factory 1940s

    The company's name is peculiar, since its location was a good 60 miles from the Scottish border.  I don't think the name would play well today against the strong sense of Scottish independence.


    During its heyday, the company's tools were distributed in England and Scotland through H. & D. Churchill Ltd. from premises in Birmingham, Manchester, London, Newcastle and Glsgow. (photo of advertisement from 1952).

    Rapier plnes advert1952

    The driving force behind the company seems to have been one William Sidney Powel, to whom a number of British manufacturing patents were issued starting in the 1930's and assigned initially to the Powel & Hill Company, which became the Anglo Scottish Tool Company.

    In about 1946 the company became Adams Powel Equipment Ltd.

    Under that name the company were trading into the early 1970's, culiminating in being awarded with a Queen's Award to Industry, for their export achievement.

    The limited range of planes that they produced are numbered 400, 450, 500, 600 and 700 - equivalent to Stanley no 4, 4 1/2, 5, 6 and 7.Various features of the planes, such as Cap Irons, Knobs and Totes and casting details altered over the period of production

    Plus a no 2 size plane with pressed steel body rather than cast as the rest are!

    A plow plane no 3 - same as the Record no 43 plow.

    They produced 3 block planes a number 11 ( Stanley 110), a number 12 (Stanley 120) and number 14 double ender (Stanley 140).

    Spokeshave number 151 adjustable (same as Stanley) and an all metal/alloy round face spokeshave (which does not appeared numbered?)

    Although they mainly made planes, they also made spiral ratchet screwdrivers, hand bit braces and also try squares, and sliding bevel squares.

    Photo shows beginnings of my meagre collection.

    collection started

    If anyone has any more information about the Rapier branded tools, or any that they want to sell on, please message me.

  2. A slightly unusual wooden plane to find in the UK.

    A handled,twin iron, stick and rebate, sash molding plane by Gleave of Manchester, made with beech body and wedges.

     DSCF3509

    Not often you see these type of planes in the UK, and certainly not in this condition, just as it has appeared from a previous owners toolchest !

    A previous owners stamp shows Wm. Horton, struck in several places. Must have been his pride and joy, he has struck it so many times!

    In the late 1700's, edge-cutting, sash window moulding planes were developed. Although the rebates were still cut using the sash fillister.

    Designed and evolved from the single iron planes, are two, three, or even sometimes four-ironed planes, which cut down from the edge of the bar.

    An alternative, and possibly quicker method, to cut the mould and the rebate in one operation

    The plane used for this method is a stick & rebate plane. A favoured method in America.

    DSCF3513

    Judged by the number of planes surviving it was not as popular in Great Britain.

    But not withstanding, many of the English and Scottish plane maker’s catalogues of the late 19th and early 20th century, such as Edward Preston & Sons of Birmingham, Wm.Marples of Sheffield and Alex. Mathieson of Glasgow, all list stick and rebate planes.