New publication availablePosted On: 20 Jul 2021 by Ian Stanley
British Metal Woodworking Planes 1800-2000 By Jeffrey W. Warner
Review by Michael Swede
Some 30 years ago Jeff Warner who was studying at the London College of Furniture in Whitechapel became interested in the history of metal plane making In Britain. For the last 20 years he has been researching into the amazingly convoluted story of British planemakers and dealers. The result is this mammoth four volume set of books.
The books take us from the beginnings of the British industry around 1800 with names such as Robert Towell and Gabriel right through to the decline of British metal plane making in the the post war era up to the 1960’s
These books are lavishly produced and illustrated with multiple photographs of tools and adverts. It delves into the sometimes convoluted intertwined lives of these pioneers of the industry with much information about their lives and times. Names which will be familiar to woodworkers such as Norris, Buck Stanley and numerous others.
Whilst there is a huge amount of detailed information about the design and manufacture this book is never boring. Jeff takes us into the lives of these pioneers with numerous stories of their sometimes intertwined lives. Interviews with family members such as Tom Ryan a descendent of the famous firm of Buck and Ryan and with ex workers at the Norris factory help us to understand the complexity of this story.
There is much fascinating detail about Scottish makers such as Spiers and Mathieson and large sections devoted to the contributions of Stanley to the industry.
A full resume of the book can be found at www.slatermetalplane.com
This book is not cheap but with over 1600 beautifully illustrated pages spread over four volumes represents great value and is surely a must for anyone interested in the history of plane making.
The cost is £250 approximately $350.. I believe that it can be paid for in instalments.
It should be ordered from firstname.lastname@example.org