Towell dovetailed his planes as well, but his productive years (1810-1855) were too early for consideration here. Miller and Slater did not make any mitre planes, and their planes were all cast iron or gunmetal.
This plane is much earlier, dating from the late 1830s to the early 1850s. David Russell wrote in “Antique Woodworking Tools” that Norris stopped making the cupid’s bow bridge by 1875, but I suspect they were made as late as the 1890s.
245 Tottenham was George Buck’s address from 1838 to 1861, but this mitre was made by Robert Towell, who ceased making planes sometime in the 1850s. A brief diversion from planes: Two Buck bow drill stocks, found together, one is rosewood, and the other is dark rosewood with the spool possibly ebony.
It is, however, a rather big rig–14″ if you include the handle attachment–the user made handle is slightly oversized, in order to push the plane more easily. Scott mitre plane, made at 204 Clinton St., Cincinnati, Ohio, with German silver shield or crest inlaid into the rosewood front infill. Scott’s mitre, to my knowledge, was the only production infill mitre plane made in 19th century U. The smaller versions of this plane resemble an oversized Irish chariot plane. Dovetailed George Buck mitre plane, 242 Tottenham Court Road, London.
Apparently, there were at least two sizes of this plane, this one is 9″ long, with a 2″ iron. In the relatively small number of these planes that have surfaced, there is much variation; Scott’s casting designs were constantly tweaked and changed. Most likely made by Norris; bed, iron, and wedge all have the typical matched fitting numbers. Its unusual to see many box mitre planes made after 1860, and more so to see a plane with a cupid’s bow bridge after the 1870s.
They do not appear to be different from Spiers signed planes in any way.
This is to be expected, as it would be unlikely for a plane maker to sell their planes at a lower price, wholesale to the trade, with any special new designs or modifications unless required by the dealer.
Considering that Buck bought in planes from Towell, Spiers, Slater, Holland, Miller, and Norris, which of these makers can be eliminated as the possible maker?
Since the three Buck planes with a convex cupid’s bow bridge were dovetailed, only Spiers, Holland, and Norris dovetailed their mitre planes.
Scottish chariots of this type likely influenced Stewart Spiers when he made his first thumb planes. These size planes were used for such tasks as making guitar fingerboards, stringed instrument bows, and paring down gussets on repaired piano keysticks. Several British planemakers were involved in the piano industry.
At a certain point, the sizes of small piano makers planes and large instrument makers planes begin to overlap. Popping shoulder plane, smallest size 4″ long with 1/2″ iron, and 3″ ovoid instrument plane, French type, 19th century. “Music instrument making, works and tools.” Circa 1767, Picture includes violins, violas, a clamped up bass, harps, organ pipes, a 17th century guitar, a lute, virginal, and hurdy gurdy.
Holland would be the remaining possible maker of these planes, other than Norris, but they do not appear to resemble the few Holland mitres out there.