Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 7, Issue 1
   September 2012
 
   Featured Patents
 

Howkins Plane

Howkins plane   Howkins plane

The purpose of these short articles is to expose the diversity of each inventor's thought process and his or her distinctive response to fill a perceived need, be it with a device or an abstract concept. Space limitations constrain any lengthy discourse on a particular patent. The one presented here is perhaps the most complicated one that we have written about during the last five years. Consequently, I shall be short on words (but abundant with pictures) and offer no opinions on usability. I can, however, assure the reader that the plane does work well once all adjustments are in alignment.

John Shirley Howkins of London, England, sought with U.K. patent #15,336, granted July 2, 1914, improvements to grooving planes and analogous woodworking tools for grooving, rebating, beading and the like. Realizing the marketing opportunities in the United States, Howkins filed patent #1,153,790, granted September 14, 1915. In these patents, the descriptions and claims are exactly the same. It should be noted that no plane resembling the patent drawings has been located to date. The most notable difference in existing models is the absence of the handle. It has been postulated that a complete Model C from the Stanley model shop appeared in a tool sale some years ago. Perhaps Stanley Rule & Level Co. was interested in manufacturing the plane, but the U.S. patent protected Howkins' design.


Underside   Underside, bed removed
The underside of the plane   The underside with the bed removed
 
 
                 
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