A New Auction Find

I usually attend auctions to find good tools to restore and resell. Once in a while I find a tool¬† I just have to keep. Besides saws, I also have a “thing” for crisp molding planes, especially British planes. When I found this plane at a local auction I knew right away it was a keeper.

J. Buck Molding Plane
J. Buck Molding Plane

This is a J. Buck, London quirk ogee in a really uncommon small 3/8 in. size. Buck made some of the highest quality molding planes in my opinion. The overall execution and attention to detail on this plane is amazing. It’s also as crisp as the day it was made. Aside for the MAX OTT owner’s mark there is barely a scratch on it. It was clearly used very little, if at all.

MAX OTT Owner's Mark
MAX OTT Owner's Mark

The plane has a boxed quirk,  a wicked tight mouth, and a blade bedded at York pitch- around 52 degrees.

Incredibly tight mouth
Incredibly tight mouth

It cuts a really nice small 3/8 in. ogee profile, something that would be useful for smaller work like a decorative molding for a box.

Plane Profile
Plane Profile

Without doing anything to the blade I put it to some nice straight-grained stock and gave it a whirl. It worked perfectly in “as-found” condition.

Buck Plane in Use
Buck Plane in Use

Now that’s how I like to find them!

4 thoughts on “A New Auction Find”

  1. I believe Max Ott was (or is) a major collector; Lee Richmond at The Best Things has sold some of his tools and may be able to tell you more about him. One of the few who marked his tools like a user, but the tools are generally in top condition.

  2. I have most of a half set of Shepley H&R’s with Max Ott stamps. I bought these form Tool Bazaar in Scotland.

    Let me know if you hear anything back form Lee. I would be interested too.

    Jonathan

  3. Hi Jonathan,

    I have some additional information. I contacted Lee Richmond, proprietor of The Best Things (www.thebestthings.com), and Old Tool celebrity (he’s been on Antiques Roadshow a couple of times) who provided me with this bit:

    “Max Ott died last year and his collection was dispersed at auction in England, hence the proliferation of tools on the market now that he had owned. He was a Swiss trained cabinetmaker who lived in London.”

    Lee’s web site has several other tools Max marked with his owner’s stamp.

    So there you go- it would sure be interesting to learn how far and wide his tools have proliferated. From the looks of it, he had very good taste and took excellent care of this tools.

    Thanks for reading,
    Josh

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