Norris Number A17 Improved Gunmetal Smoothing Plane

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Norris No. A17 Improved Gunmetal Smoothing Plane
Norris No. A17 Improved Gunmetal Smoothing Plane
as illustrated in the 1928 Norris Catalogue

No. A17. (Patent Adjustable)
and closed handle.

Extra cutters to fit above planes
2⅛ cutters, 1/8 2¼ cutters, 1/10
Fitted with rosewood and a gunmetal lever.
Heavier than the steel plane of similar pattern.

Cutter Width 2"     2⅛" 2¼"
Price (1908 Price List)
Price (1914 Catalogue) 27/- 27/6
Price (1928 Catalogue) 58/- 59/-

NOTES: Planes in the Norris 1914 catalogue are shown with enclosed toes. That is to say that the front infill is encased in gunmetal on three sides, the back of the bun being the only "open" face. By the 1928 catalogue, however, they number A17 appeared with an open toe and was similar in appearance to the dovetailed smoothers - also with open toes. The 1914 catalogue also lists the plane with a closed handle, as opposed to the open handled version which appeared on the non-adjusted number 17 (though the number 17 could be ordered with a closed handle fitted for an extra 2/-).

Both the No. 17 and the No. A17 came with steel soles which were sweated, or silver soldered. on to the gunmetal casting. This made the plane sole more durable, as the steel is harder than gunmetal.

Rather than hide the construction in the same way as a typical dovetailed plane would be, the A17 made a feature of it as the rivets used to pin and hold the infills were made of steel, which contrasted nicely against the yellow gunmetal.

The A17 was a premium Norris plane and sold for more than it's dovetailed cousins. The only smoother model of a comparable cutter width which was more expensive was the No. A15GS which cost, in the 1914 catalogue, 6d more at 28/- for the 1¼" wide version.

It should be noted that the A17 weighed considerably more than its equivalent all-steel model, as gunmetal is close to 1½ times heavier than steel.