Norris Infill Smoothing Plane - No. A5
Norris A5 Review By: I.Ball
Category: Old Infill Planes
Plane Type: Infill
Model No: A5
The Norris A5 plane is a 193mm long infill smoothing plane.
The Norris A5 is fitted with a Norris of London parallel iron plane blade, cap iron, gun metal screw cap and a blade adjuster.
Depending on the age of the plane, the A5 body can either be dovetailed or rolled steel.
A dovetailed plane body is the name given to a body where the sole has been joined to the sides with the use of dovetail joints. The dovetails can usually faintly be seen at the base of the plane sides and sole. If the plane hasn’t got dovetail joints then the plane probably has a rolled steel body.
The plane is stuffed with wooden infills which consist of a front bun
and a closed rear handle. The infills are usually made from either
Rosewood or ebonised Beech. Occasionally other selected hardwoods are
used such as Mahogany or Walnut.
Sometimes an alternative wood can be an indication the infills have been replaced however it is entirely possible an alternative wood was used originally. Norris A5 planes with Rosewood infills indicate the plane was almost certainly made before World War II.
The rear handle has the blade adjuster neatly built into a suitably sized recess allowing the handle to remain as a closed handle. The adjuster is controlled with the use of the knurled nut as seen above the top of the blade and rear handle.
The blade adjuster allows the blade to be accurately adjusted laterally by moving the adjuster sideways and allows the depth of cut to be set by turning the knurled adjuster nut.
This plane usually has quite a deep mouth to cater for the thick Norris cutter.
The ‘A’ in the model ‘A5’ stands for ‘Adjustable’.
The Norris planes were the ‘Rolls Royce’ of their day and are still considered in high esteem today.
Some Norris A5’s have a screw running through the top of the front wooden bun. This screw usually indicates the plane is a late plane made post World War II.
The Norris A5 plane blade was in the region of 53mm (2 1/8”) wide. There does seem to be some differences between certain Norris plane blade sizes/thicknesses.
192mm (7 1/2”)
63mm (2 1/2”)
"Norris London" - found on the face of the brass securing cap.
"Norris London" - found on the face of the brass blade adjuster nut.
"Norris London" - found on the top of the blade.
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