Wedged mouth smoothers are
very rare indeed and this is the only one I have seen in the
Of all the antique coffin smoothers I have two
that stand out from all others. First is the larger of the two -
a wedged mouth smoother is by John Birch & Son, 11 Emily St.,
Birmingham, 1855-1868. Wedged mouth smoothers are very rare
indeed and this is the only one I have seen in the flesh.
The smaller of the two is an equally stunning
solid boxwood smoother with glorious flame banding. It will come
as no surprise to hear that this was a gentleman's tool by the
perfectionist maker John Jacob Holtzapffel II, 64 Charing Cross
Road, London, 1821-1901.
Amazingly crafted planes from the very best
So beautiful are these planes that I thought I
would merge their genes and create one plane - the boxwood and
size of the Holtzapffel but with a wedged mouth from the Birch.
I think I will also follow on from my theme of last year and
make the wedges from Gabon ebony.
It is very unusual to see figure like this on
boxwood. One gets the impression
that John Jacob Holtzapffel
himself selected the stock.
Today I flattened one side of an old log, laid
down 20 years ago in 1997. I think this project deserves the
This is one of my very oldest logs of English
The log bends at this point so that is where I
needed to cut.