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278545 Richard Wilson <yorkshireman@y...> 2024‑06‑19 Re: Moulding planes......
Love this sort of question.. 

My guess is that they are about the right length for hands, adequate straight
and flatness of the work, and when craftsman made they settled at around what is
now the common length

Then someone started making them to sell, and of course they cut the blanks all
to the same length.  Then folk made tool chests to house them - and we all know
that the bottom floor is taken up with moulders on end, so now if you start a
factory, you have to make them the right length to fit everyone’s chest..

A bit like ‘Why did Stephenson decide on 4’81/2” as the standard railway gauge?”
Answer: Because horse drawn wagons were the width of a horses backside plus the
cart shafts, which had all made the roads into 3 grooves which decided the width
of many things transport related - especially the chauldron coal wagons horse
drawn past Stephensons front windows, which he knew made up the main reason for
iron rails.  It all makes sense at the time.  No matter that a 6’ gauge would
have made a better solution - we’re all now locked in to the existing mass of

Same answer for the No5 plane (Jack, Jeff)  I think it should be wider, so do
others - the 5 ½ was born, but it still needs to fit the toolboxes of yesterday.

That’s my long winded and wistful guesswork anyway.  I’m going for a coffee and
await someone who knows what they’re talking about replying.

Richard Wilson
yorkshireman Galoot in Northumbria

> On 19 Jun 2024, at 04:02, Frank Filippone  wrote:
> It is the early 18th century and everyone making planes makes them the same
length.  Can anyone explain how this could happen? ( ditto 19th century)
> There was no one nor a guild in the USA at least,  to establish a standard,
and yet they are very much the same size......
> How did this happen?  What forces were in play?
> Frank Filippone
> BMWRed735i@G...

Yorkshireman Galoot
in the most northerly county, farther north even than Yorkshire
IT #300

Recent Bios FAQ