Unusual Kimberley Patent Planes
The problem with wooden planes is that they are always subject
to shrinkage and expansion due to fluctuating humidity levels.
When there is a drastic change in humidity, it is probable
that shrinkage and cracking occur or that the wedge becomes
loose and ineffective. An early English prevention method
was to completely immerse a new plane in boiled linseed oil
(stopping up the mouth) until it could not absorb any more
oil. Of course, this considerably increased the weight of
the plane, and darkened its color. It was thought that the
oil filled the wood's cells and prevented any further dimensional
The marriage of wood and metal in early plane manufacture
resulted in a tool that has today been referred to as transitional.
This material union enabled traditional plane makers to enhance
their product offerings and, in some cases, use new materials
and methods while respecting traditional plane styles and