Norris Number 31 Thumb Plane


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Norris No. 31 Malleable Iron Thumb Plane
Norris No. 31 Malleable Iron Thumb Plane
as illustrated in the 1914 Norris Catalogue

Norris No. 31 Thumb Plane
Norris No. 31 Gunmetal Thumb Plane
as illustrated in the 1928 Norris Catalogue

Gunmetal lever, 5" long x 1¼ cutter.

Price (1914 Catalogue): 11/-
Price (1928 Catalogue): 26/-

NOTES: Over the years that the Number 31 was offered the plane was available in two castings - Malleable Iron (1914 Catalogue) and Gunmetal (1928 Catalogue). The No. 31 had a traditional curved back, or heel, which is also found on box mitre planes. This has, in the past, been referred to as a 'boat-stern' shape by some collectors. A cheesehead screw, set into the heel and used for tapped adjustment of the cutting iron, was also present.

As can be seen in the catalogue images above, there was no front bun on this plane originally. However, a rosewood bun was introduced sometime between the 1914 catalogue and the 1928 one. In the late 1920's or early 1930's this plane was offered as an adjustable model, the A31.

Similar to mitre planes, the sole of the plane extended slightly past the heel. This was the case for both the malleable iron version and the gunmetal version. It should also be said that the gunmetal version came with a steel faced sole which had been 'sweated on' in the traditional manner. It is not known whether the planed was offered in gunmetal without this option.

The intended use of this plane was for fine work, musical instrument making and for trimming end grain. In this regard it is similar to a modern block plane, only slightly smaller.

The images below are of the malleable iron version.



The images below are of the gunmetal version.