Favorite Woodworking Planes, Part Honorary 14–Gage #14 Fore Plane

The Original

My collection of Gage planes is now probably complete. I have two Stanley Gage planes, and now one of the original Gage planes, the first two a smoothing and a jack plane, the latter being an 18″ long Fore plane. This one is probably in better condition than the first two.

My plan is the following, and I have a schedule of about a year for it. I have all the windows for a good sized detached workshop, all of which cost between $1.50 and $2.00 each (long story). Each has never been used, and just need a good home. Thanks to the recent tornado, I have enough lumber for said workshop, that only needs to be milled, including pine, white oak, black (a form of red) oak, and assorted other hardwoods. Logical conclusion–new workshop, with Gage planes.

Here are the two different styles side by side:

19th v. 20th Century

The differences between the two manufacturer’s planes are mostly stylistic and cosmetic. The handles are beefie, on the old Gage, while the more stylish handles on the Stanley Gage were prone to breakage, as one of mine has a decent sized chip out of the tote. This handle is not likely to be broken:

Now that’s a Tote

I’ve thought of these as cabinetmaker’s planes, as opposed to the Stanley philosophy of the jack of all trades planes. The Gage could easily stand up to everyday use in a production cabinetmaker’s shop. Apparently that was their main market.

But not this specimen. It may have been used, but the blade had never been sharpened, as it still had the original hollow ground bevel on it. That sharpened quickly, but then the back had never been flattened. Flattening the back of a nineteenth century plane blade is not my favorite pastime.

I said my collection is “probably” complete. If the price is right, and the condition is as good as this one, it quickly becomes an investment instead of a collection. Maybe I should become a plane flipper, instead of just someone who has a bunch of flipping planes.

Author: southernfusionfood

Writer, Woodworker, and Happy Eater

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