Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 5, Issue 5
   May 2011
   Featured Patents

Fairbanks Jointer Gauge

  Fairbanks Jointer Gauge
  Bevelling an edge
  Gauge shown attached to jointer plane
  Bevelling an edge
  Bevelling an edge
To create a coopered surface from sheet goods or wood, the material used must be pliable or be able to be made pliable. Modern materials such as plastic, plasticized wood or thinly cut, glued and laminated pieces give woodworkers choices when constructing arched pieces. However, to make a curved piece from a solid, thick piece of wood, the builder must use techniques employed in barrel making. Depending on the angle, the regulated cut on the edge of a vertical stave will give a particular curve when several of these pieces are joined together.

When attached to a wooden plane, the purpose of this device is to ensure accuracy when creating a squared or bevelled edge, as outlined by L.O. Fairbanks of Nashua, New Hampshire, in patent #31,707, dated March 19, 1861. This eliminates the use of other gauges and squares and enables quicker repetitive cutting. He designed the device solely for use with a wooden jack or jointer plane and made no provision for its attachment to newer metal planes that were becoming popular at the time. In fact, the title above the patent diagram is "Bench Plane"; there is no mention of the name of the tool, which is "Bevel Attachment for Bench Planes". This title is found on the patent description, which is certainly an exercise in brevity.
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