Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 5
   May 2012
   Featured Patents

Rogers Miter Planer

It is always interesting to compare a woodworking-fabrication problem to the age-old expression about the chicken and the egg. For that particular scenario, there is but one obvious, logical answer. However, sometimes a solution is caught up in the machinations of a process. You see, it becomes impossible to fix the first problem unless an ancillary device is made to enable it to be solved. For a one-off construction, it is rather simple to resolve the issue and move on, but what happens when a part is repetitively required or perhaps supplied parts from other sources are out of truth, so to speak? At this point, we all know the fertile mind of the woodworker or any hobbyist, tradesperson or inventor moves into high gear, thinking, "Let's make a jig, template, fixture or a future 'What Is It' to make the job easier". In the end, it is all the same and the question still remains: did the new device or tool make the job easier or not?
Rogers miter planer
David C. Rogers of Greenfield, Massachusetts, sought improvements in miter planers with his patent #264,766, dated September 10, 1882. The idea was to increase the flexibility of previous like devices by having a quadrant that turned upon a fixed base, allowing for a finer division of angles. This quadrant, with its incorporated stops for repetitive cuts and segmental arms, allowed for curved pieces to be held and trimmed. The whole mechanism exudes "gizmocity" and invites the onlooker to attempt to use it or to at least do some basic fiddling with it. The tool is sometimes painted green (or a darker color) and has a gold-toned lettering scheme along with nickel plating, which contributes to it being extremely attractive and much sought out. It should be noted that by definition, a true miter cut is 45°; anything else is a variation.
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