Hobbies block planes study

I first stumbled onto Hobbies planes on eBay, and the only information I could find on them was a page in “Murlands Antique Tool Value Guide”. Hobbies is a British model maker supplier, in business since 1895. These planes were made in their own factory, in addition to a No.12 unbreakable smoothing plane, and a No.12C cast iron smoothing plane. Their line of tools included lever frame fret saws, Archimedian drills and saws.

hobbies_1

There are seven block planes in the series:

No. 1A Pressed steel block plane
No. 1 Cast steel block plane
No. 6 Cast steel block plane
No. 7 Cast steel bullnose block plane
No. 8 Pressed steel adjustable block plane
No. 10 Cast steel nickel-plated block plane
No. 11 Cast steel block plane with universal adjustment

Below is an advertisement from a 1953 edition of their Hobbies handbook, illustrating four of these planes.

hobbies_catalog

My collection currently contains five of these planes: 1A, 1, 8, 10 and 11.

Hobbies 1A

Length: 3 3/8″
Blade width: 15/16″
Material: pressed steel (1/16″ thick)
Build: non-removable cam-lock lever cap, knuckle style
Markings: “Hobbies”, “MADE IN ENGLAND”
Patent: UK8970, “Improvements in Hand Planes”, Hobbies Ltd; Herbert Jewson (Jun.18 1908)

NOTES: The patent describes a plane in which the iron can be readily removed and refitted. The body is  pressed from one piece of metal. The plane is light, simple in design and ideal for use by model-makers.

hobbies_1A patent_8970

Hobbies 1

Length: 3 3/8″
Blade width: 15/16″
Material: cast steel, painted
Build: screw-lock lever cap
Markings: n/a

NOTES: Approximately the same size as the 1A, this is a heavier cast plane, with an eye-bolt used to hold the lever cap and blade.

hobbies_1

Hobbies 8

Length: 5 1/2″
Blade width: 1 5/16″
Material: pressed steel body (3/32″ thick), cast steel lever cap
Build: nickel-plated, screw-lock lever cap (knuckle style), lever-type lateral/length adjustment of blade
Markings: “PATENT APPLIED FOR”
Patent: UK208401, “Improvements in Hand Planes”, Hobbies Ltd; Herbert Jewson (Dec.20 1923)

NOTES: The patent describes a method for adjusting the plane blade: A lever for adjusting the cutting iron longitudinally (depth) and a second lever for adjusting it laterally, one of these levers is pivoted on the plane body and the other is pivoted on the first lever. The knuckle-style lever cap is held in place by a butterfly-nut. The No. 6 plane seems like a No.8 without adjustment levers.

hobbies_8 patent_208401

Hobbies 10

Length: 7 1/16″
Blade width: 1 3/4″
Material: cast steel
Build: Nickel-plated portion of lever cap, black-enameled body and inner lever cap; screw-lock lever cap (knuckle style), manual adjustment of blade, both laterally, and blade depth.
Markings: “Hobbies No.10″

NOTES: The knuckle-style lever cap is held in place by a butterfly-nut.

hobbies_10

Hobbies 11

Length: 7 1/16″
Blade width: 1 3/4″
Material: cast steel
Build: nickel-plated, cam-lock lever cap (knuckle style), screw/swivel-type lateral/length adjustment of blade, thumb/finger grips as channels in the side of the plane.
Markings: “Hobbies No.11″, “PATENT” (on lever cap)
Patent: UK14763, “Improvements in Hand Planes”, Hobbies Ltd; Herbert Jewson (Aug.21 1902)

hobbies_11 patent_14763

NOTES: The patent describes a two-part lever: “the plane-iron or cutter is clamped in position by a wedge made in two parts, hinged together”. It also describes a cutter adjustment mechanism made of two levers, such that the blade can be adjusted longitudinally and laterally. This is similar in concept to the mechanism found in the patent for the Hobbies 8 plane, although it seems as though this was modified on this particular plane, which might signify a later variant. A picture of a No.11 with the mechanism described in the patent is shown below.

hobbies11_orig

Here is some information on the remaining two planes:

Hobbies 6

Length: 5 1/2″
Blade width: 1 1/4″
Material: cast steel
Build: nickel-plated, screw-lock lever cap (knuckle style), manual adjustment of blade, both laterally, and blade depth.

NOTES: The knuckle-style lever cap is held in place by a butterfly-nut.

Hobbies 7

Length: ?
Blade width: ?
Material: cast steel
Build:  screw-lock lever cap (knuckle style). No apparent lateral or blade depth adjustment.

NOTES: The knuckle-style lever cap is held in place by a butterfly-nut. This is a double ended plane with capacity to switch the blade around and turn it into a bull-nose plane.

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