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'Rapier' brand tools manufactured e by the Anglo Scottish Tool Company.

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


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.

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  1. jeff bolton

    just purchased a plough plane with some bits missing have you any pictures of one so i can try and restore it Hi Jeff, no problem, will send pics and details tomorrow when in the workshop. Regards, Robert

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  2. Stephen

    I'm looking for a 450 and 700 planes Stephen Stephen, thanks for your contact. Sending you an email, regards, Robert

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  3. Sid Clough

    Hello You, My father, also Sid Clough, worked as a paviour-mason (laying bricks and slabs) on Team Valley Trading Estate maintenance staff through the 1950s and 60s. He?d begun his apprenticeship as a carpenter early in the First War, but never completed as he signed up in 1917 to the Royal Flying Corps where he served as a lorry driver in France. A very practical man, he?d essentially made his own planes, apparently from miscastings in the company?s scrap bins. He had a pretty complete set including smoothing, jack and long jack planes, and a plough plane and several small block planes; also a bevel gauge. I still have most of these - he died in 1967, when I was just 18, and I?ve used them off and on over my lifetime, though I learned basic woodworking at school, and can?t recall his teaching me, though he constructed benches for both him and me and certainly encouraged me to use them. Though the branch largely served for table tennis. But I was keen as a householder, and did a fair amount of DIY out of books, and learned woodcarving, which I did enjoy until the onset of family.

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  4. Kevin Etchells

    Sadly I started to build a collection of lesser known brands and have started to feel that the lock downs had affected my brain. However the time spent in the zone cleaning and tuning has provided me with an escape. Rapier smoothing and Jack plane fettled up well and whistle.

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  5. John Kernahan

    Are you still looking for Rapier Planes

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  6. Denz

    Hi John, I?m just about to complete a collection of Rapier tools and wondered if you would be interesting in purchasing them or know someone who would be before I list them on eBay. Look forward to hearing from you. Blessings Denz

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  7. John

    I have a Rapier No2 spiral ratchet screwdriver made by Anglo Scottish Tool Company. In good condition. What do you think it is worth? Answer : - John, in clean, tidy ,and working condition they usually sell for around the £10 mark in UK.

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  8. Jenny

    just listed the 10" Rapier spokeshave, good paint and decals original box eBay item number:133778596490

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  9. Gary Yarker

    Hi, had a number of odd old planes, moved house and now all I can find to restore is a Rapier (gateshead) 400 with a Sheffield blade. Going to start a retoration collection!

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