Before matches became widely available in the 1860s, long, coiled wood shavings known as spills were used to transfer a flame from one location to another, such as from a fireplace to a candle, lantern or stove. Typically made using a special inverted plane, spills burn more slowly and consistently than paper, and also double as a convenient tinder material. We based the design of our spill plane on an 1850s Edward Preston spill plane in our collection.
You simply push a piece of straight-grained softwood 5/8" to 3/4" wide over the blade, guiding it along a channel in the sole, to produce a long, tightly curled shaving. A 1/2" tall, 2-1/2" wide fence projects from the base to register against the edge of a bench, table or hearth; a screw-hole in the fence also allows it to be fastened to a block of wood and clamped in a vise.
Made from ductile cast iron with an O1 tool steel blade, the plane measures 8” long overall and weighs 1 lb 9 oz. For those with fireplaces or woodstoves, using the spills made by this plane will help start a fire and rekindle old traditions.
Made in Canada.