Norris Number A31 Thumb Plane

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Norris No. A31 Thumb Plane
Norris No. A31 Gunmetal Thumb Plane
as illustrated in a 1930's Norris Catalogue

Gunmetal, saw steel faced.
For Model and Violin Bow Makers.
5" long x 1¼" cutters.

Price (1930's Catalogue): 28/-

NOTES: The No. A31 took over the model designation for the original No. 31 which came with a lever cap rather than a wedge (see Norris No. 32). This continued the practice of re-issueing the model designation of earlier models to some of the later model Norris planes, namely the Number 11 Mitre plane.

Much like a block plane of modern times, only slightly smaller, this plane was used for finer work as well as trimming end grain. Some of the longer chamfered rosewood wedges were stamped with "NORRIS / A31 / LONDON / PATENT ADJUSTER", and one of these appears in the David R. Russell book "Antique Woodworking Tools" (p. 420).

The rear rosewood bed infill extended beyond the metal heel of the plane and housed the cutter adjustment. A rosewood bun was also added to the front of the plane, which differed from the older No. 31's 'bunless' design. To my knowledge it is unknown if the A31 was ever offered in a malleable or annealed iron version, but it is possible. As these planes are quite scarce (and expensive) we don't have the luxury of a lot of examples to look at, unlike some other models.

Likewise, similar to other Norris planes, there have been A31's stamped with dealer's marks instead of the Norris mark, most notably 'Buck' or 'Buck & Ryan'.