Yes, you may have wondered why there was never a #9 3/8, a #16 1/2, a #17 1/2, a #18 1/2, a #18 3/4, or even a #19 1/2. Well, we here at The Superior Works wondered the same thing, and now through the miracle of the web, that wonder is now reality. Now you can take your common block plane, as long as it has a vertical post adjusting mechanism, and add a handle to make your tool one mean planing machine. Hard to believe, I know, but it's true. The Superior Works won't make your plane grow nickel plating, like in the after picture above, but we will let your plane grow a handle all at a price that's appreciably less than the several hundred dollars that it takes to acquire an original handle.
Let's face it, there are times when we all would like to use a plane that's normally gripped with one hand in a two-handed manner, but find that the plane's size just won't permit a comfortable grip, nor a grip that affords any real control of the tool. Yet, there are times when the plane excels while being used with just one hand. With the handle, you can configure your block plane to suit the task at hand quickly and easily, making it function as a small, low angle smoother. Really, now, who needs a #62 or a #164 when your block plane can do what those planes can, and at a much lower cost?
The handle is made of an iron casting onto which a nicely turned cocobolo handle threads. The casting is finished with a surface that's tougher and more durable than your plane's. The casting is slotted so that it slips around the threaded post without hindering the brass adjusting screws range. The casting is held in place with a lugged nut, which you can't buy at your hardware store since it's a custom thread.
The handles are designed to fit onto plane's that originated in New Britain, CT (follow the B&G link below for the models). Due to the variations in the castings and machining over the decades of each plane's production, the handle's casting may need a quick touch-up with a file to make it seat properly, something that was done for each and every block plane and handle combination before it was made available to the public. The cutter's brass adjusting nut is removed from its threaded post so that the handle's locking nut can be threaded onto the post. The adjusting nut is then threaded onto the post, and you're ready to rock n' roll (this operation is only done once just so the locking nut can be added to the plane).
When you want to add the handle to the plane, you simply slip it around the threaded post and tighten the locking nut down onto the casting. The lugs in the locking nut permit it to be tightened either with the tip of a common screwdriver or with a pair of needle nose pliers (my preference).
The tail and its nut are $75.00ppd to America. If ordering from outside the USofA, please contact us directly for payment and shipping information by following the Ordering link below. If you'd like to order a block plane that already has the handle attached, ready to go, click here.
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pal, July 5, 1998