Marples Smoothing Plane - 1

marples smoothing plane 1
Our Rating


Reviewed By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Marples

Plane Type: Smoothing

Model No: FMT-1


This is a very early William Marples smoothing plane. The plane doesn't have any markings on it to indicate a model number and so far I haven't come across any literature to indicate a model number for this reason we will reference this number as '1' until a time comes where a model number is discovered.

The plane is fitted with a shaped hardwood rear handle and a bulbous front knob. It may be that one or both of these shown in the photographs are replacements. Once I see another example of this plane I will be able to confirm this further.

The plane lays on a fixed bed instead of the usual adjustable frog which most iron smoothing planes have. This may mean this plane was designed before or very near to the first Stanley iron planes which could give a date of 1850-1890's.

The plane bed is just an indication of the early manufactured date, other indications include the shape of the handle with the long tote (if original), the shape of the plane sides and the elaborate lever cap design with an elaborate brass securing nut.

The plane is finished with a black japanning.

There is a very similar Marples plane which I have labelled as the William Marples smoothing plane 2 The main difference being the lever cap design is different, it says 'Hibernia' with a large shamrock symbol. When I purchased these two planes, the person I bought them from said they were the type 1 and type 2 planes.

early marples plane marples plane

old antique marples plane

Plane Construction

marples plane parts

Body: cast iron

Handle and Knob: hardwood

Plane finish: black

Plane Markings

No markings

Manufactured Dates

? - ?

Your Say..

Neil - My example has the number 34 stamped inside. The number is filled with japanning and difficult to read. Could this be a model number?


FindMyTool - Thanks for the info Neil, it is possible the model number is 34, I will keep a look out for literature on this plane to confirm. It is also possible it didn't have a model number. Numbers hidden away on old planes / tools were sometimes used for other reasons / manufacturing reasons.


Cameron - Hi there. I was just wondering if the cutter was stamped on this one and, if so, can you make out the name at all? Thanks in advance.


FindMyTool - Hi Cameron, I have since sold this plane so am unable to check, it doesn't look like there was a name on this particular blade which given its age, it could well have been a replacement. The other old Marples plane - 2 which I purchased at the same time from the same person had a W.Marples & Sons, Hibernia blade and cap iron.


(i) This review/article may give warning(s) / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines given in good faith, any such information should not be solely relied upon and seen as the exhaustive list of warnings / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines. Refer to good safety practices for the safety of you and others. Refer to good practices for the good health of your tool and property.
(ii) The details here are given in good faith, the details are constantly growing and evolving including corrections, there is scope for error and shouldn't be fully relied upon, please confirm any details for yourself by performing additional research from reliable sources.

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