Spiers plane dating

I have a few Norris and Spiers planes and find every one a joy to use, highly dependable and solid tools.

Plus they are beautiful, especially so for their patina from years of use.

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Pictured is a cameraman with the box Spiers travelled in What followed was a nightmarish 63-hour journey across three continents in which he was delayed in fog for 24 hours, dropped from a forklift and almost suffered dehydration after being left on a scorching tarmac in Bombay, India.

Spiers' close friend and fellow champion javelin thrower John Mc Sorley (pictured left, before the box journey) posted the box for him.

While there is no maker's mark on this plane, the style is reminiscent of early Stewart Spiers and may very well be one of his.

It's certainly made well enough to be a Spiers and there is a possibility, albeit slight, that a stamp may have worn off with use, or removed through overzealous polishing and cleaning.

Chances are though that it's not a Spiers at all, just a very well made infill plane by a talented and unknown maker.

It's very possible that the maker used a real Spiers duplex plane as a template to make this one.

He plans to use it as a shooting plane, which would be a nice fit for it given the heft of the beech body.

For the past 25 years I have owned and used this Norris jointer.

Once the metal parts were cleaned and the iron tuned up, I reassembled the plane and trued the bottom (it had just a slight twist in it, again attesting to the quality of the piece of beech).

I took a couple of shavings with it, and these pictures of it, and passed it on to my friend who was pleased to get it.

The journalist called a correspondent based in Adelaide, and from there the story was picked up by media all over the world The journalist called a correspondent based in Adelaide, and from there the story was picked up by media all over the world – so much so that the airline Spiers had sneaked onto was pressured into allowing Spiers to fly for free.

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