I found that rare thing at the weekend, a useful hand tool I'd simply
never heard of before - a "Trapping Plane"
It's a variable diameter rounder plane, used for hand-working tapered
spindles for Windsor (and similar) chairs. Quite easy to use too, I had
a go with one on a hand-turned lathe and was knocking out quite
acceptable spindles with it. It has the great advantage over lathe
turning of really not caring how long or how thin the spindle is. Good
surface finish too.
You can buy them from this place, who are probably the only makers.
Their metal-bodied rounders are nice too, for any chairmakers out there.
As a matter of possible interest, on my web site is my chair made entirely
with a shop-made wooden trap and rounders - Projects - Plans of a Chair of
the High Wycombe School.
The metal versions are the brain child of the late Fred Lambert, an expert
in rural crafts, who used to be a lecturer in a teacher training college. He
tried various makers, and a few were produced by Griffin & George (I have a
set) who I knew principally as suppliers of laboratory equipment. I think
that they found them difficult to produce. Certainly the setting up requires
some care and understanding of the geometry.
He said that the trap was developed from those used by fishing rod makers in
a certain locality whose name I forget. Adjustable rounders used for
tapering handles he called 'stail engines'. His hand turned lathe was
originally based on the bottom bracket bearing of a cycle frame. For any
extenisve work one really needs a motorised headstock. His 'turning engine'
originally employed an electric motor and car gear box, the reverse gear
being useful on occasion.
He ran courses in various in-service teacher training colleges, supplying
drawings and details fo the metal pattern used for casting the rounders.
After attending one of his courses, I made a child's cot in ash,
monopolising the motor and the trap for the numerous spindles, to the
annoyance of some course members.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
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