Number 5 Plane Type Study

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The base measures 35.7cm x 6.1cm


20Feb15 006         20Feb15 007

This study of the WS A5 plane has been very difficult to put together, because based on the results of the seminal Number 4 Type Study, there were so many observations here that just did not conform to that initial study.

As the No.5 plane was probably the 'workhorse' of the woodworkers' workshop,  many examples of any manufacturer of this size plane may have been adulterated for future historians by the extreme use to which this plane size was put.  This makes it difficult to ascertain, with any certainty, the original parts of any such plane, but this is where careful observation may prove fruitful.   For example,...I have one A5 that shows a lever cap type 1  LC1 , but at the same time has a front knob of K3.   These 2 facts do not agree with my Number 4 Study, and it is therefore impossible to accept that these 2 planes were produced in the same factory and within months, could vary by so much.  So I have had to assume that my A5 was an amalgamation of 2 planes, one being an earlier A4.  And this may be  born out by an earlier Type 2 blade and a 'cast in' mark of WS on the cap iron.  I presently assume that A5 planes were never issued with the rounded type brass lever cap LC1-2, but only with the Ogee style cap LC3 and onwards.

So here is the best, presently, that I can do to categorise the WS A5 planes:

They seem to start around Type 2a and onwards.  I have now  3 examples of L1 with an F1S frog, [which disproves my previous thoughts that L1 was only associated with an F1R frog base].   But I have not seen any A4 plane with this configuration!!     Front knobs are seen with K2 and K3, with K3 predominating.

Lever Cap LC3 is the earliest brass lever cap that I have seen  (which is totally different to LC4.....'cast in' as opposed to a raised level casting [see 'Characteristics')

The box label on A5 planes shows an LC4 lever cap and a K3 front knob...did they issue them earlier than this period, or were they just tardy in producing the labels ( in which case...what labels did they assign to these A5 planes)??     I therefore assume that the A5 planes started with LC4 , but that some older K2 knobs and LC3 lever caps were issued early on before the new stock (represented as seen on the label) arrived.


WS5 box label


Most rear handles seem to have a STEEL front securing bolt, but the earlier ones seem to be of BRASS,( see below), but this again may be due to what was available that day . The hollow chamfered washer however was always BRASS.


4 12 stuff 00911082014 01111082014 013

Though the rear handle transfer may be RHT1 (A WS Product) this seems to be rare and suggests that the A5 plane was introduced as a Type 2a plane.  RHT2  is

usually found. ..     WS transfer 005

I have no example of a very coarse brass depth adjuster BDA4, nor have I seen a BDA1 (with the thin leading edge, very early) on A5 planes.

Most blades have the B3 markings and with 'stamped' marks on the pressure cap

Blade markings B3

Most Lever Cap screws are LCS4 or LCS5    (both having the brass head and the steel screw thread as below)

LCS 4 and 5

There seems to have been only ONE base casting used throughout production (below), and the rear edge was always painted.  The Front edge conforms to the Type 4 Plane Study results.  (Earlier painted, Later was smoothed and not painted).


11082014 00311082014 00511082014 00411082014 007

11082014 006

I presently  (5/2015) have no examples that show that the A5 may have received an Ogee shaped frog F2.



The A5 box lid  is 15cm wide  x  37cm long  x  6.3cm deep.


WS5 box label