Revised 26-Jun-2008


As the basis for our guide to Mathieson Planes we have used an original Mathieson Catalogue (click for illustration of cover). It is the 8th. edition, an impressive hard bound volume, with some 160 double pages. There is no date explicitly indicated, however reference is made on the title page to a Gold Medal, received in the 1886 Edinburgh Exhibition. Mathieson also received a Gold Medal in the Melbourne Exhibition of 1880, and Prize Medal at the London Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862. Alexr. Mathieson & Sons Ltd were established in 1792.

In order that the text can be read, and also in order to minimise download times, we have provided separate illustrations for each plane type, or group of types. Mathieson's note that 'the engravings, though generally representative, are not to be held as binding as to details'.

Dovetailing of Metal Planes

It is fortunate that Mathieson considered it useful to illustrate how their wrought steel planes were dovetailed together (click for illustration of the construction of a rabate plane). On an all-steel dovetailed plane it is often difficult to detect the dovetails - indeed some Spiers' Planes are stamped 'DOVETAILED' to ensure that the effort (and extra cost) involved did not go unnoticed.

Types of Mathieson Planes

*In the context of British infill planes, a Panel plane is used for fine smoothing and trueing; Salaman in his Dictionary of Woodworking Tools specifies the following sizes for Smoothing, Panel and Jointing Planes of the infill types:-



Smoothing Planes - Wrought Steel, Dovetailed, Fitted with Rosewood, Gun-Metal Lever

Click for illustration of Nos. 842, 843, 844. These Smoothers were available with 1 3/4", 2", 2 1/8" and 2 1/4" irons; Nos. 843 and 844 had the option of a closed handle. Click for original prices.

Panel Planes

Jointing Planes

Mitre Planes

Both the Improved and the Plain Mitre Plane were available in the following sizes - 8 1/2" x 2" or under, 10 1/2" x 2 1/4", 10 1/2" x 2 3/8", 10 1/2" x 2 1/2" (widths refer to iron width). Optionally any Mitre Plane was available with a skew mouth. Click for original prices.

Rabate Planes

Click for catalogue illustration.

Click for catalogue illustration.

Rabate Planes were available in the following sizes - 6" x 3/8", 6" x 1/2", 7" x 5/8", 8" x 3/4", 9" x 3/4", 9" x 7/8", 9" x 1", 9" x 1 1/8", 9" x 1 1/4", 9" x 1 1/2", 9" x 1 3/4". Click for original prices.

Shoulder, Thumb, Chariot and Bull-Nose Planes

Click for original prices.

Levers and Screws, with Rivets for Wrought Steel, etc. Planes

Available in 2", 2 1/8", 2 1/4", 2 3/8", 2 1/2", 2 5/8", 2 3/4". Click for catalogue illustration, and for original prices