The block planes of superheroes (vi) – Hobbies

The oddities of Hobbies of the U.K. produced three all-steel block planes. Likely these planes were produced due to their low cost.

Hobbies No.1A

The Hobbies No.1A is a very simple thumb-block plane, likely designed for the hobbyist looking to plane balsa wood for model making, or very small work. This is the thinnest, all-stamped steel block plane likely to be found, and is likely perfect for use on balsa wood (and nothing else!).


The plane is constructed of three separate pieces of pressed steel. The body has two steel prongs on the rear, upon which the blade rests. The lever cap is a compression-type fitting made of the upper two pieces of pressed steel, and attached to the plane body by means of a steel pin.



The Hobbies No.6 is a more robust block plane, with no adjustment mechanisms. This simple plane basically has three parts (apart from the blade) – the body, lever cap, and butterfly nut. The lever cap is drop-forged however, so the only pressed steel components are the plane body, and frog.


The frog of this plane has an awkward shape, attached to the plane body by means of two rivets. The base of the plane shows the other side of the rivets.



Hobbies No.8

The Hobbies No.8 is almost a carbon copy of the No.6, however it has adjustment mechanisms for both blade depth, and lateral adjustment. Like the No.6, the lever cap is drop forged, and the lever cap is held down using a butterfly nut.


Both the blade depth and lateral adjustment mechanisms exist as one mechanism, are unique, and attached to the frog by means of a pin. It is made of pressed steel. Both levers moved together allow for lateral adjustment, however the upper lever when moved from side-to-side allows for depth adjustment.


The blade for this plane is held in place by a pin on the adjustment mechanism which fits in an associated hole in the blade.



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