This particular tool was made only to make other tools – in this case, a wooden
plane. Commonly called planemaker’s side and edge floats, they are one of the many permutations
of this type of cutting tool, which in practice is essentially an extremely coarse
filing or shearing device.
Traditionally, a float was used to cut, flatten and smooth the important surfaces.
Cabinetmakers, gunstockers, masons, farriers, metalworkers, foundrymen, and cordwainers
all used their own unique and specialized versions of this tool.