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Making planes can be a difficult task, but the most difficult part is actually finding good information on planemaking and how to go about it. Handplane Central simplifies the process somewhat by providing a wealth of information and various tips and tricks on making planes, as well as the tools and materials necessary for planemaking (and how to make the plane making tools themselves in some instances).


Edward Preston & Sons 1901 Catalog


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These scans are from the Edward Preston & Sons catalog of 1901. Edward Preston Sr. (1805-1883) was first listed as a plane maker at 77 Lichfield Street in the 1833 Birmingham Directory but it is believed he may have started business there as early as 1825. Around 1850 his son, Edward Preston Jr. (1835-1908) left school to join his father's business. It appears he must have been quite a talented and resourceful young man, as he was later able to start up his own "wood and brass spirit level manufactory" at 97-1/2 Lichfield Street by 1864.

By 1866 Edward Jr. had added planes, routers, joiners, coach, gun, cabinet and carpenters tools to his line, and the following year he moved his shop from his father's address and relocated to 26 Newton Street, before moving again to a much larger premises at 22-24 Whittall Street. This location became known as the Whittall Works and later became the office and factory of Edward Preston and Sons, Ltd.

In 1889 Edward Preston's three sons were brought into the firm and the name was changed to Edward Preston & Sons. As seen in these scanned pages there was a healthy line of malleable and gunmetal planes and patent adjustable iron smoothers, shoulder planes, bullnose and block planes - a range that was expanded upon in later years. This 1901 catalog also shows several styles of planes which were unique to the Preston brand, along with the usual styles which had already been set by other makers such as Spiers and Norris.

Edward Preston & Sons were forced to liquidate in 1934, due mainly to the Great Depression and mismanagement of the company. The plane making concern was sold to the Sheffield firm of C. & J. Hampton, who had subsequently merged in 1932 with Record Ridgeway Ltd. During this time some of the Preston planes were directly added to the Record line by the Hampton firm, while others were modified or discontinued altogether.

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RARE VINTAGE PRESTONS PATENT REEDER No1393 Patent Hand Reeder
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RARE ANTIQUE EPRESTON No1386 FILLESTER CHAMFER CAST IRON SPOKESHAVE
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Hindle Preston Planes Trains Tramcars An UK IMPORT BOOK NEW
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