A weird aluminum plane

One of the weirdest block planes about is the UTIL Plane, from Chicago. Weird because the body and lever cap are made of cast aluminum, and there is next to no information about this plane. Stanley manufactured some aluminum planes between the wars, the most prominent block plane being the No.A18, an aluminum version of the No.18 (1925-1934) – and then only the body was aluminum, the remaining parts are nickel-plated as per the No.18. This plane might be from that period, or the early 1950s, with the use of aluminum in design elements.

util_1

Apart from the information on the lever cap, this plane has no information, however it is extremely light. Why was it created? Simplicity? Ease of manufacture? Planing balsa wood? So this is more of a photographic essay than anything else. Consisting of only four components, the body, blade, the lever cap and the lever cap screw – the minimalist design exudes simplicity. The lever cap holds the blade in place by means of wedging itself into protrusions on either side of the plane body. Tightening the lever cap screw holds it in place. The front knob has been replaced by a curved ramp-like protrusion, and the Hand-y finger rests on the sides of the plane have strange, almost rectangular cut-outs.

util_parts

It is kind of an awkward plane to hold, and because it is light, much more exertion must be put into using it – but it does cut. The only block plane I have found that is weirder is “The Boston” No. 2, another aluminum plane. Stay tuned.

P.S. If anyone has any info, or if I dig up any more I will post it.

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