Match planes, or tongue and groove planes, are made in pairs with one plane cutting the groove and the other the tongue for making the tongue and groove joint. Both planes are fenced and the work pieces, when referenced from the same stock face, will line up flush when when put together. The tongue plane is a standard side escapement plane and employs an iron with a slot in it the width of the finished tongue. The groove plane however is actually a type of fixed plow plane with a metal keel. Because of the narrow profile this is necessary for strength, as wood simply would not have enough strength or ability to hold up under normal use. The iron is located on the leading edge of the rear skate by means of a V groove cut into the back of the iron, and fits into the corresponding inverted V on the skate. It is adjusted the same as any side escapement plane except for the fact the iron is not pressed against the blind side of the mortise, but rather located by the groove.
The match planes shown here are designed to cut the joint in the center of stock that is sized for the plane. All sizes of these planes have the ability to be used on stock up to 1/8″ thicker than advertised size, but of course the tongue will then be offset, which generally is not an issue as long as care is taken to reference off the same face of each work piece. The groove is about .005″ wider than the tongue, allowing the boards to go together easily but without slop. An offset tongue is actually beneficial if profiling the front faces of the boards with a bead or chamfer, as there is more stock between the face and the groove. We are currently offering sizes of 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″ , 5/8″ and 3/4″. Most are made to order, but we do try to stock some. All have a tongue thickness of approximately 1/3 of the stock thickness.
The planes will cut a groove 1/16″ to 1/8″ deeper than the tongue. This ensures stock will butt together on the show faces, and also gives room for glue squeeze out when gluing boards together. The small sizes are ideal for case backs when expansion needs to be accommodated. Simply nail in place and the tongue and groove joints allow for expansion and contraction while holding the boards in alignment.
All planes are quarter sawn beech with tapered O-1 tool steel blades bedded at 50 degrees for heavier cutting. Price for the pair is $495.