Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 4, Issue 2
   November 2009
   Featured Patents

The Standard Rule Company Plane

  Standard Rule Co. Smoothing Plane
First incorporated in 1872, the Standard Rule Company was based in Unionville, Connecticut. The company initially manufactured rules, levels and other measuring tools, but by 1883 had entered into an agreement with Solon R. and Arthur E. Rust to manufacture a metal plane based on their patent #287,584 of October 30, 1883. This initial patent was only for the carriage mechanism to advance the blade. It was also claimed that the clamping arrangement of the lever cap, with its capture in the side lugs, allowed for pressure to be placed on the lower section of the blade. The advancement of the blade to regulate the cut was enabled by a large knurled rear knob, creating the ability to avoid repositioning the lever cap when making adjustments. This is the basic patent of all Standard Rule type planes. Its date is found stamped on some blades.

  Close-up of blade adjustment mechanism
  Close-up of blade adjustment mechanism.
It is somewhat elegant in appearance, with the finely knurled brass nut on the lever cap complementing a larger similar blade advancement knob. The plane shown is not one of the earliest types manufactured by the Standard Rule Company, as it has a lateral lever. Rather, it appears to be a mix of several later patents. By 1889 the company had been taken over into the Upson Nut Company, also of Unionville. Although the lateral lever is marked with a patent date of September 10, 1889 (George Karrman #410,710), it appears that the actual mechanism is a similar but later patent by Samuel Frisbie, who assigned patent #423,424 to the Upson Nut Company on March 18, 1890.
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