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Tools Then and Now: Plane0

There’s something to be said about the elegance of some antique tools.  Take this plane, for instance:

Okay, we all know that a plane is sort of like a trowel used for smoothing clay and brick mold, right?  So something utilized for such a base job shouldn’t look like something I would display behind glass in my living room. . .or should it?

This plane, made by Christopher Laarman, is about 3 inches long.  Its design allows it to fit right into the palm of your hand.  Notice the beautiful waves, the cultured curves of the handle, the organic nature of the whole tool.

Of course, it costs a thousand bucks, but that’s a small price to pay for such a majestic tool used for spreading wet dirt around.

The planes of today are a far cry from the stylishly designed Laarman.

This 7” plane from Stanley  has machined sides, can be adjusted for depth of cut, and has a gray, cast-iron base.

Sounds great.  But would I put it in a display case in my living room?  I think not.  But at $18.99, I suspect it can do the job it’s designed for – and I wouldn’t mind getting it dirty.  Which plane would you rather use? 

by John Barker

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