Miniature Router Planes
Smaller versions of certain woodworking tools are often manufactured.
These miniature copies mimic the intended functionality of
the full-sized original and can be the product of an individual
who needs a purpose-built item, or the inventiveness of a
company trying to capture new areas in sales. The true success
of an item is the longevity of its commercial trade and, even
today, the modern electric router has not fully pushed the router plane into extinction. Numerous companies are still manufacturing
small versions of the plane.
A router plane cuts a slot or groove parallel to the surface
of the material on which the tool is being used. It supplements
the singular approach of the versatile plow plane, which was
designed only to cut grooves parallel to an edge of a board
using a moveable fence as a guide. The design of the modern
metal router plane provided a fixed base with a protruding
"tooth" or "beak" that traversed a flat
surface and cut a regulated depth slot or trench in a workpiece.
Sometimes a fence was added to the router plane base to replicate
the plowing action of the bigger plane. The small examples
shown are excellent for clearing out backgrounds while carving,
and by either repositioning or reversing the blade (depending
on the model) they provide the flexibility to clean out areas
right up to a vertical obstruction.