Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 1
September 2008
Featured Patents

The Kimberley planes featured here are an example of an innovative approach to the particular problem; they each have a cast-iron section, which allegedly eliminated the ever-present cheek blowout and cracking commonly found on larger wooden planes. Manufactured in three sizes—of which the smoother and trying plane are shown—they have a cast-iron insert in the area where the wedge is placed. This receiver does not go down to the bottom of the plane stock. It appears that only one size of casting was used for all three plane sizes. Wooden screws secured the insert at the front and back.

The try plane is marked with "D. Kimberley & Sons Warranted" and has the company's distinctive trademark stamp on the toe. On the main body by the blade insert is the marking "Patent", which appears under an overenthusiastic previous owner's name marking. The smoother is unmarked. Somewhat scarce and definitely collectable, these planes do show up at auction from time to time.


Founded in 1854 by David Kimberley of Birmingham, England, the company carried on trading as late as 1908, after which Wynn & Timmins & Co. took it over. Prior to 1876, it is thought that D. Kimberley & Sons manufactured only conventional wooden planes. The Kimberley Company produced at least four variants of wood-metal alliances; these planes are one example of their obscure designs and claimed patents. At this time, the specific design papers or patents for these planes could not be found.

D.S. Orr

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