Wooden Tongue And Groove Planes

wooden tongue and groove planes
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Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Various

Tool Type: Wooden Planes

Plane Type: Tongue And Groove

The old British wooden tongue and groove planes were sold as a matching pair and are sometimes referred to as matching planes.

The two planes complement each other with the tonguing plane producing a tongue and the grooving plane producing a corresponding groove which matches and marries with the tongue produced to create what is known as a tongue and groove joint.

The grooving plane has the steel skate on the sole. The tonguing plane is the plane with a rectangular hollow running down the centre of the sole.

Tongue and groove joints are often seen on the edges of flooring / floorboards.

A pair of tongue and groove planes is suitable for work on one sized board. If tongue and grooves are needed on different sized boards, different sized pairs of tongue and groove planes are needed. Generally tongue and groove planes are produced in sizes: 13mm (1/2 inch), 16mm (5/8 inch), 19mm (3/4 inch), 22mm (7/8 inch) and 25mm (1 inch).

As a general rule, the thickness of the grooving plane cutter is about one third of the size of the board’s thickness.

The grooving plane was also regularly bought individually, please see the grooving plane review for more information.

Old Tongue And Groove Plane Manufacturers

There are many, many manufacturers of tongue and groove planes, below is a list of some of the makers:

Marples (William)
Preston (Edward)

The manufacturer's mark (if present) can virtually always be found on the front nose of the plane. If the plane is quite mucky or you hadn’t realised, this is the place to look to identify who made it and if you wish to delve deeper there are a few books out there to help identify the age of the plane.

The authority of these books has to be W L Goodman’s ‘British Planemakers fom 1700 – third edition’ book but be prepared to pay some money for this book as it is no longer available to buy new (at the time of writing this) and secondhand copies of the book are in demand.

Planes were designed which combined the function of the two planes into one plane. These combined tongue and groove planes were produced as a wooden tongue and groove combination plane, as iron versions such as the Stanley 48 tongue and groove plane and recently as the Lie Nielsen tongue and groove plane number 48.


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