Number 110 Plane Type Study

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The A110 Block planes all measure 18cm long by 5.1cm wide and weigh 1.1/2 lbs.

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It is not known how soon after WS started the manufacture of planes that the block plane(s) came into production, [see labels section later on] but the only blade marking that I have found is B3, which came in around the time of Bench Planes Type 2a

Blade markings B3and the blade (when new) was around 11.9cm long by 4.15cm  [1.5/8"] wide.

However, given that I have found an A110 housed in a box with an early non-coloured label and having RHT1 on the lever cap, I must assume that the A110 may have been one of the first planes produced by WS.


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The landing area of the mouth is generally painted [see above], except in the very early planes (with RHT1)

The body paint seems to have had no varnish applied or at least, if present, is a very thin application   As with the Bench planes, the A110 went through the later  'porcelain' stage of having a really smooth scratch resistant finish applied.

The front edge was always smooth with no paint whereas the rear edge appears to have been shaped on a rough grinding wheel and painted.


The earlier planes did have  RHT1,  or none at all, but this gave way to RHT2 quite quickly.    The box label shows RHT1 on the lever cap so we know that RHT1 lasted at least until the coloured box end labels where affixed.

17102013 010                    WS transfer 005

               RHT1                                              RHT2


The Brass adjusting wheel that applies pressure to the blade via the Lever Cap is 38mm in diameter...........11082014 029     and has deep cross knurling on the edge.

The Lever Cap generally shows that no attempt was made to grind (fettle) the underneath at the front so as to give a close fit with the blade, except on very early planes......

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The Cap measures 107mm long and 42mm wide and has a light coating of shellack.


The front knob is always from Beech and there seem to be 2 sorts......


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I suspect that the shape on the left, with a wider depression, is the earlier version but it may just be a different manufacturer discrepancy . However the knobs were always attached into a tapped hole in the base via an included steel screwed in rod...........11082014 033  having a wood screw thread on the top and metal thread on the bottom.

Once again, WS did not try to obscure the natural Beech wood grain or try to make it appear to be an exotic wood (Rosewood), they merely applied a coat of varnish.


The working surfaces of the base display fine grinding marks and generally the screwed in unpainted cross bar (4-4.5mm diameter) shows a screwdriver slot on the (RHS) Right hand side, but this may have been ground out as the sides were finished. [The only way that I have seen this cross piece inserted into these small block planes is by having the LHS tapped (LHS being viewed from a user point of view)  and the rod screwed in through the opposite un-tapped RHS.  It is up to the individual manufacturer as to whether he leaves the slot still available for future dis-assembly.]   Most of my A110s show the slot, and some show the definite grinding marks  in a pattern across the end of the cross bar.



The base markings are always the same, around the knob at the front ' No A110 and BLOCK' (as shown below)  and behind the frog support 'WS  BIRMINGHAM  ENGLAND' (as shown below).


Block001 Block002

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The blade support is a solid square column arising from the base.



I have noted 3 small differences in the casting at the top of the column where the blade makes contact with the support.   I shall name them BS1 (Blade Support 1); BS2 and BS3.

BS1 is shown only on planes that have an RHT1 transfer on the Lever Cap, and is therefore the earliest form. It has 2 vertical 3mm high ridges at the top of the column.

BS2 has 2 small 1.5mm ridges running along each side edge on the top of the column, whereas BS3 has the top of the column cast totally flat.

I cannot see any other differences in the base castings between the 3 types  (i.e. letter size or spacing etc).  As far as I can deduce it would appear that the sequence of BS1-3 is in the correct order of occurrence.  The distance from the base to the very top of the casting is the same in all instances. (3cm)



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          BS1                                    BS2                                  BS3



I have discovered that the very first boxes did not have any colour or picture of the plane on the label. [see below]    This may well apply to other planes (see A78 label section).  It may be possible that the A110 and/or the A78 were the very earliest planes manufactured by WS.

Immediately below is a label from an A110 plane having an RHT1  Water transfer  on the Lever cap and is the very first label used.

Original label A110a


This is the best coloured box label that I have (with apologies!).....

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The A110 box lid measures 19.4cm long   x   8.5cm wide  x  5.1cm deep.

But I do have knowledge of two planes that have an A110 box and plane but the label is an overprinted A130 label!


WS obviously must have run out of the correct A110 label and therefore overprinted the A130 with a rubber stamped '110' and a rubber stamped ' 7'  for the length. From my example it can be deduced (because of Base support 2 above ) that this anomaly did not occur at the beginning or the very end of A110 production.  Therefore it has to be a lack of A110 labels that forced the company to utilise the excess of A130 labels on hand (A110 would have been more popular than A130 planes) to label the A110 boxes. How long this went on is unknown.