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  1. The Vintage Hand Tool  *Extravaganza*

    Saturday the 16th October 2021 was the appointed day for holding the First of what is hoped will become a regular event, to be held in October and April each year!
    Previously postponed from the previous two years, due the the covid problems we have all been restricted by.
    With free entry and free car parking, the location was The Village Hall, Carlton Scroop, midway between Grantham and Lincoln, in the south of Lincolnshire.

    Meet the attendee Tool Dealers -

    David Burman from Norfolk,

    David Burman Norfolk Tool dealer foto a

    Robert Leach from Old Hand Tools,

    Robert Leach of Old Hand Tools foto a

    Brian Jackson the Norris Plane man, 

    Brian Jackson the Norris Plane man

    Adam Ashworth an up and coming wood-carving knife and axe maker,

    Adam Ashworth knife and axe maker foto a

    and of course, the 'other' Robert McPhail, owner of Old Tool Mart.

    Old Tool Mart the other Robert foto a

    As well as being able to look at and buy the tools,  we had the space and opportunity to stage various demonstrations and displays
       * Fanbird carving by Gary Joynt, aka 'The Wobbly Bodger'

    Gary Joynt aka The Wobbly Bodger Fanbird carving
       * Bushcraft and Greenwood expert Martin Rollins demonstrating the use of his collection of tools used in Greenwoodworking, and spoon carving.

    Martin Rollins of Silverback Bushcraft foto a
       * Lincolnshire Woodturners represented by their President John Ingamells ably assisted by Ray, showing the range and scope that can be achieved  on a wood turning lathe.

    John Ingamells of Lincolnshire Woodturners Association
       * Display of many  rare and unusual hand tools, collected over the years by Andy Brown, known famously amongst the 'Rhykenologists' for his set of mother planes, used for making wooden  moulding planes

    Andy Browns rare and unusual tools foto b
      * Richard Arnold with his amazing collection of 18th century British wooden planes and also the wonderful Saws hand-made by Shane Skelton in Yorkshire.

    Richard Arnold 18th century British Planes foto a
      * An outstanding selection of Chariot Planes curated and restored by Tim Smith.

    Tim Smiths Cahriot Plane collection foto a
    For everyone's delectation, whilst browsing the wares, watching the demonstrations or studying the displays, there were delicious slices of  home-made cakes, served with a cuppa! All cheerfully provided by Valerie and Susie.
    Starting at 10.oo am and ran until 3.00 pm, the day was busy from the get-go.

    It presented a great opportunity to meet up with like-minded tool enthusiasts, meeting up with old friends and customers, and making many new ones!

    Photographs were meant to be taken at regular points in the day, but due to the constant influx of visitors, only a few actually got taken! They give a flavour of what was happening.

    Quite a few TATHS membership forms were handed out to prospective new members, many of whom were not aware of the society's existence until today!  If you need more details please go to www.taths.org.uk for more information.

    Now, starting to plan for next April's - as soon as  we know, you will know.
    Looking forward to seeing many new faces there and then!

    Regards, Robert - Old Tool Mart

  2. An English style infill fore plane offered by Footprint Tools around 1990. It wasn't available very long. I understand that approximately only 200 were ever manufactured.

    footprint infill 2 foto a

    Footprint were offered the order for a 'Norris' pattern plane by Law & Gawber, of Canada, but on condition it was exclusive to them, and not offered for sale, to any other company

    footprint infill 2 foto b


    The plane body is cast iron or steel, one piece, and not of dovetailed construction.

    It was offered in two sizes - 18" and 22" lengths.

    The infill appears to be Beech (but from owner feedback to this blog, possibly a type of Mahogany), although the finish is an extremely dark, nearly opaque laquer which obscures most of the surface detail.

    footprint infill c



    The cap is bronze, stamped with 'Footprint', and floats freely on its pivoting securing rod.

    The adjustment mechanism is a Norris-style, double threaded screw rod, which also acts as the lateral lever.

    footprint infill adjuster 2 foto d

    The blade cap iron screw head fits in a cup at the end of the lateral lever.

    Sporting a double iron. The cutting iron is 2 3/8" wide and 5/32" thick.

    This 22" version plane weighs in at  9lb 6ozs -  if I find the eighteen inch version, I can compare the weight of the two planes.

    UPDATE: 26th February 2023. Courtesy of John Winant, the 18" weighs in at 8lbs 13ozs.

    N.B. It is probably the only known attempt by a modern mainstream English tool manufacturer, to try and reproduce the look and feel of an original Norris plane. It could not have been cost-effective to produce, due to high wages and material costs then prevailing. Unless the true cost of its production could be reflected in its retail selling price, it was not viable tool to make!    Hence short run and small production figure.