Norris A1 Plane Review By: I.Ball
Category: Old Infill Planes
Extra Info: What is a Jack Plane?
Plane Type: Infill
Model No: A1
The Norris panel jack plane model number A1.
There were a range of Norris A1 plane sizes produced ranging from 13 - 28 inches long. The smaller sizes were the jack plane models. The sizes which this review is about are the 13 inch, 14 inch, and 15 inch.
The Norris A1 jack planes were fitted with hardwood infills. These infills included the front bun and the rear closed handle.
The earlier Norris A1's had rosewood infills. The later ones, generally after World War II had other forms of hardwood infills such as beech. The later infills were given an ebonised finish to make the infills resemble the high end ebony wood.
Quite often the ebonised wooden parts on the late Norris A1 planes
have partially worn or completely worn.
The later A1 planes have a screw through the top of the front bun.
The A1 is equipped with a gunmetal securing cap, a dual function blade adjuster and a parallel plane blade.
Depending on the age of the plane, the A1 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 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.
These Norris planes have a lot of weight to them, substantially more weight than a traditional iron smoothing plane.
The 'A' in the model 'A1' stands for 'Adjustable'.
The Norris planes were the 'Rolls Royce' of their day and are still considered in high esteem today.
"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.
Some of the A1's have patent wording on them.
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