Sometimes I run into pieces that must remain under my care for a wee while… like these Mathieson infill smoothing planes. There was great interest in infill planes at the turn of the millennium and my business partner and I participated with everything we had in the ill-fated Shepherd Tool Company.
There is a reason for woodworkers to have interest in infill smoothers. They are purpose specific. Wrought steel sides and soles were dovetailed together providing a much more durable body that their cast iron counterparts. Heavy planes with thicker irons and fine throats bedded on wood; with a levered line of contact on the “business” end. These beautiful hand-made works of art were typically infilled with Brazilian Rosewood like these two.
They were used by Cabinet Makers and Joiners during the “hay day” of late Victorian times in Britain. Keep in mind that the species for which these planes were employed were typically much denser than we generally have access to these days.
At the time I bought these near-perfect examples, I had been building a Mathieson hoarde of my own and they were so good, they caused me to sell of two others I had. I will post other Mathieson examples, as time permits.