They were actually all in a pretty decent shape after all, but they could use a bit of sharpening.
I decided that it was probably better to wait with the final sharpening til I was back home, I can use the grinding stone from the circular saw sharpening machine to do the contours of the rounded parts of the blade.
I think I bought them a couple of years ago at a flea market, for something like 4$ a piece.
Since I decided not to sharpen the irons, I just started checking if the sole was straight. Two of them were sanded lightly, and the last one just a bit more.
I didn't want to do anything to the actual body of the planes since they weren't damaged. They just showed some nice signs of age.
The irons had a bit of surface rust, but I didn't want to mix up a batch of sulfuric acid since it will be a small job to remove the irons and immerse them in vinegar at home. That is a lot harder if it is a chisel which has been handled.
So I took the easy road and cleaned them a bit with some sandpaper and a steel brush.
At first I couldn't figure out what it said on the iron, but I decided that it didn't matter anyway.
I then suddenly discovered a tool stamp on the top of the plane. It said: Weiss & Sohn in Wien.
My curiosity took the lead, and I headed for the computer to find out what it was.
Like the case was concerning the mortise chisels, I again ended up at the site of the Wolfgang Jordan small tool museum
The description is in German, and gives the story of the "Weiss and son" factory in Vienna.
Judging from the pictures and descriptions of the planes in the collection, I sort of guess that the age of the plane is around 130 years. This is based on the stamp which doesn't contain the clamp that was later used as part of their logo.
The stamp on the plane looks like this
And the iron has a similar looking logo, just saying Weiss& Sohn Wien
The next plane from Weiss Sohn is a bit newer, since it has got the C-clamp as part of the logo.
The iron has got a stamp like this one on the iron: JOH. WEISS SOHN, D.FLIR F.WERTHEIM
From what I could reason, the age of this plane is just around the beginning of the century (the 20th).
The last plane looks like it is a user made plane.
The details are not so crisp, But all in all the plane seems to be well made.
Looking at the ends something is wrong. They have not been cleaned up after sawing. Actually one end is quite a bit out of square too. I think that the ends might have been sawed off by a later owner, maybe so it could fit inside his tool chest or cabinet?
In a way it is the most interesting plane of the bunch because it is rather well thought out and well made (except for the rough ends). I like to see how people earlier on have used what they had to make some working tools,
The iron for this plane is made out of an old smoothing plane iron, that has been sawed through, to give the correct size. I find such an approach admirable.
To overcome the difficulties making a diagonal mortise for the iron and the wedge, the plane is made with an open escape. Brian Eve and Jeremy are currently working on making some of those planes,
But the maker of this plane apparently didn't like the look of an open escapement, so he made a rabbet on the top side of the plane, where he later glued on a piece of wood. This should help to keep the plane body straight even if the wedge is hammered in a bit hard.
I think it is a pretty smart solution. First you saw the sides of the wedged mortise escapement, then a rabbet is made. The waste is chiseled out of the mortise, and finally a piece of wood is glues on.
At least that is how I would have done it.
Johann Weiss & Sohn in Wien
Profiles of the Weiss planes
Weiss & Sohn, Wien logo on old iron.
Reused iron from smoothing plane
Rabbet with glued in piece on the user made plane.
User made plane from the side, length 23 cm (8.5")
Escapement from user made plane.
Iron of user plane.
Here is evidence that the piece was broken off.
There is also a crack all the way across the surface.
User plane from the top.