While recording a few things with Ron Herman (woodworkingwithron.com) who is moving into a new shop space, I was looking over a load of stuff he’d recently purchased when I spied a couple of molding planes. These molding planes differed, and it wasn’t just the cutting profile. The wedges were different.
Admittedly, I’m not up to date on molding planes (really?), so I asked why the two wedge designs were different – as you can see in the opening photo, one of the planes has a wedge with a round end while the other has an oblong or egg-shaped end. Ron was more than happy to tell me the reason.
The round-end wedge indicates an English molding plane and the egg-shaped design is a telltale of an American plane, Ron explained.
The next time you’re at a flea market, garage sale or at a Mid-West Tool Collectors Association event, keep an eye out for English molding planes. They sometimes can be easy to spot if the original wedge is still with the plane and it hasn’t been broken.