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Badger Cast Bronze Bullnose Plane


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Charles Badger was a London-based tool maker and dealer who is noted in W. L. Goodman's "British Planemakers From 1700" as being in business from 1852 (as Badger & Galpin) to 1867.

Not much else is really known about him, other than the planes bearing his mark are quite rare. This is a shame because, in the case of this particular bullnose plane, his work is of quite high quality and is aesthetically pleasing to boot. The flowing shape of the curves coupled with the attractive chamfering along most of the top profile is an indication of the fine work done by this maker and makes it one of the nicer bullnose planes I've seen. It's also interesting to note the use of two separate timbers used on this plane - mahogany for the infill and ebony for the wedge. Once again the shape of this plane is in the Scottish style.

As this particular plane is marked "Badger" rather than "Badger & Gilpin" it's reasonable to assume that it was probably made some time between 1856 and 1867, when the business was located at 1 Stangate, Lambeth. Before this time the business was located at 27 Stangate in Lambeth so it appears that the maker either found premises further up the road or that the road had been re-numberered at some time ( a fairly common practice in those days).

It's also interesting to note, and possibly even speculate, that a certain "T. Norris" set up shop in Lambeth at around the same time as Badger's business stopped appearing in the trade pages - give or take a few years. I personally find it fascinating, when such coincidences occur, as it would seem obvious to me that many of these makers would know, or at least have heard of, other makers in the field who were working at roughly the same time. It would likewise seem appropriate that anyone who had demonstrated the skills required for metal plane making - or indeed any plane making for that matter - would be "snapped up" as hot property for an established or growing business such as Spiers was at the time and Norris was threatening to be. It just doesn't sit with me that these businesses could be as influential as they were, and produce the amount of planes that they did, without either a work force of three or four men and at least some form of powered machinery - or both! I realize this is highly speculative of course, but it is perhaps worthy of further research.

But I've now gone down a slippery slope so don't mind me. In the meantime check out the design for yourself.

To download a JPEG or PDF file for this hand plane (or both of them together in a ZIP file), please click one of the links below.

Download Badger Bullnose Infill Plane (JPEG)Download Badger Bullnose Infill Plane (PDF)Download Badger Bullnose Infill Plane (ZIP)

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