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US Patent: 1,914,609
Carpenter's Plane
Blade adjustment mechanism for bench planes
Cornelius J. MacAller - Derby, CT

USPTO Classifications:
30/489, 30/492

Tool Categories:
woodworking tools : planes : plane adjustment mechanisms : plane cutter adjustments

Abraham H. Lavietes - Shelton, CT

Shelton Plane & Tool Manufacturing Co. - Shelton, CT


Patent Dates:
Applied: Feb. 19, 1932
Granted: Jun. 20, 1933

Patent Pictures: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ]
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This is, ostensibly, an improved mechanism for adjusting the cutter blade in which the number of parts has been reduced. The reduction comes at the cost of a frog, and combines all cutter adustments on a long screw built into the levercap - "A single clamp does the whole job!". MacAller later patented a cutter depth indicator for this plane 1929504 which is not known to have been produced. Shelton manufactured different models of this plane, starting in about 1932. The 03 and 04 smooth planes, and the 05 jackplane used crosspin fulcrums to secure the levercaps. This is the type with a lever on the screw which sits on top of the levercap on lugs. The 04 sold for $1.99 and the 05 for $2.44 in the 1944 Spiegel catalog. Planes are sometimes encountered with patent markings in which the initial "1" in 1914609 is missing. In about 1951, they introduced the "improved" models, the 504 smooth plane and 505 jackplane which had the screw enclosed by the levercap, and no lever "with winged gripper section" on the adjusting screw. At about the same time that these newer types were introduced, Shelton began marketing a line of Bailey type planes. The No. 59 smoother and the No. 514 jackplane are direct knockoffs of Stanley planes. They included cutters with the same Indianhead logo as marked on the baskets made by the parent company. The cutters on these planes are the only ones to include the logo. These planes were also available in the No. 9 smoother and No. 14 jackplane which "in addition the top edges of body are polished and planes have special frog adjusting screw and back plate."

Shelton also manufactured a line of unpatented blockplanes, bit braces, and combination screwdrivers.

The Shelton Plane and Tool Manufacturing was a division of a company that had existed as a maker of picnic baskets under one name or another since 1865, and as the Shelton Basket Company since 1911. Cornelius McAller persuaded Abraham Lavietes, president of the basket company, to finance the manufacture of this plane. This version was the commonly encountered thumblever-on-a-long-screw type adjuster normally associated with Shelton. MacAller died in 1940 but Shelton perservered under Lavietes and later came up with the single-piece enclosed levercap design. The Stanley knock-offs with Bailey-type adjustments are considered on par with their Stanley-Bailey counterparts. Shelton sold all their plane stuff to Stanley in 1954, and it was all quietly put out of its misery.

Shelton planes are generally considered a joke as users. The collecting of early Shelton planes is a cheap thrill, as they never command high prices and are somewhat interesting looking on a shelf.

DATAMP has received a report that at least two blockplanes are marked with this patent number. It is hard to justify the use of the patent marking on the blockplanes because they do not have the "journaled screw and nut" that is required by all claims of the patent.

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