Historical information

Being smaller than other bench planes, the coffin shaped smoothing plane is better able to work on smaller work pieces and around obstructions. Since the 1700s wooden smoothing planes have predominantly been 'coffin shaped' wider in the middle and slightly rounded making them more manoeuvrable. A vintage tool made by an unknown 18th or early 19th century woodworking tool maker. This item would have been made for individuals or cabinet makers that worked in wood and needed a tool that could produce a flat smooth finish to timber. These tools were used before routers and spindle moulders came into use in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before this time to produce either a decorative moulding or a smooth finish to furniture timber, door trims etc had to be accomplished using hand planing tools and in particular one of these types of planes. Traditionally wood planes were blocks of wear resistant hardwood, often beech or maple, which were worked to the shape of the intended moulding or had a flat blade use for achieving a flat and smooth finish to timber. The blade, or iron was likewise formed to the intended moulding profile or for smoothing and secured in the body of the plane with a wooden wedge. A traditional cabinetmakers shop might have many, perhaps hundreds, of moulding and flat bladed planes for a full range of work to be performed. Large crown mouldings required planes of six or more inches in width, which demanded great strength to push and often had additional peg handles on the sides, allowing the craftsman's apprentice or other worker to pull the plane ahead of the master who guided it.
These vintage planes are well sought after by collectors of antique tools due to their rarity.


A significant tool from the 18th to early 19th century that today is quite rare and sought after by collectors. It gives us a snapshot of how furniture and other decorative finishes were created on timber by the use of hand tools. Tools that were themselves hand made shows the craftsmanship used during this time not only to make a tool such as the subject item but also the craftsmanship needed to produce a decorative finish that was needed to be made for any timber furniture item.

Physical description

Wood smoothing plane known as a coffin plane due to it's shape, wood insert screwed on front of base.

Inscriptions & markings

Stamped "MILLER". Inscribed "X" (probably the size)