Union Plane Co. a little history:

The Union Manufacturing Company was founded in 1866. Some of their original stock holders included officers of the Stanley Rule and Level Company. Talk about cornering the market! In the beginning Union made "gray iron castings" for many other companies such as Davis Levels so I assume at first it was strictly a foundry. Around 1900, armed with a cash influx from a few well-heeled investors (could they have been those same Stanley people?), Union bought out the Derby Plane Manufacturing Co... which had previously bought the Birmingham Plane Co. (yeah, gets a little confusing..but at the time everyone seemed to be buying out everyone else) Roger Smith in PTAMPIA I, dates Union plane making from 1900 to 1920. They (Derby/Birmingham) made some unique and highly collectible planes but also manufactured bench planes that were copies of the Stanley Bailey bench plane line. Between 1900 and 1903, Union manufactured only the "B" Plane line, closer to Union/Birmingham style and design (with twisted lateral...). After 1903, they started to manufacture Bailey style planes marked Union. In 1904 or so they added the Union “X" style planes to the offerings which had a locking vertical post arrangement for adjusting the depth of cut. They were bought by Stanley in 1920 and Stanley continued to offer planes marked Union for a while, depleting the old stock. The very last listing was in a 1942 Stanley price sheet. The earliest Union planes had Union cast into the bed just behind the frog. The early castings have a “rawer” look and feel that doesn’t appear to be as refined as the later castings. The castings of the later planes are almost identical to the Stanley planes of the same era, but don’t have a frog adjustment screw. The frog bedding is close to the Stanley planes pre Type 10 (1902-1907). The early lever caps were plain; the ones after Stanley bought them out had Union cast into them. The knob and totes are mahogany, like the Sargents’ but the later ones had a heavy reddish/orange shellac finish.

Union Plane Co…not to be confused with Union Tools out of Orange MASS, who made very nice machinists tools or the Union Hardware Co. Torrington CT who offered some very nice chisels. I have more info on Union Hardware and a little more info on Union Tool Co. Orange MASS if anyone’s interested…


Union X-7

Unique to this style of Union is the depth adjustment assembly

pressure style lever cap


PAT 12.8.03

heavy Union blade..

frog is cast directly into the bed

close up of the adjusting mechinism..with both nuts tightened, there is no "slop"

frog frame a bit on the flimsy side but still stable after all these years

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