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Richard Hanley
03-11-2006, 05:17 PM
I am restoring an old plow plane [ E W Carpenters ] the cutter has some bench marks - proof marks - on it . a B in a circle - an arrow - what looks like a british flag . it is marked
“ Sheffield W Butcher “ does any one know what you call the marks? I would love to know what they mean , but I have looked for a long time on the internet with out any luck.
I have a photo but can’t figure out how to put it on this forum.
thank you Richard

big-dipper
03-11-2006, 06:36 PM
I too have some plane irons and chisels by W BUTCHER with three markings. The encircled "B" and the broad arrow are the same, but the third mark appears to me to look like an "iron cross". Sorry I can't explain the meaning of the marks, but would also be interested in finding out if they have some meaning other than a sort of logo.

Richard Hanley
03-11-2006, 09:14 PM
Yes you are correct , it dose look like a iron cross. the circled B on mine is turned 90 degrees clockwise and the arrow points to the right. is that how yours is?
a friend told me that similar marks on silver are called “ hall marks “ and they show the year -the grade of silver - the county - and that a tax had been paid on it.
Richard

big-dipper
03-12-2006, 12:09 AM
Richard, here's a couple pics.......

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e154/70CQVHPJ634PYU3H/BUTCHERLogos.jpg

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e154/70CQVHPJ634PYU3H/BUTCHERCASTSTEEL.jpg

TECHSHOP
03-12-2006, 01:40 PM
Blade is stamped (1st line) W. BUTCHER (2nd line) CAST STEEL. Other side of blade stamped near the tang end with symbols (1st)letter B inside a circle, (2nd) an arrow (3rd) a cross similar to a German Iron Cross.

William and Sam Butcher (W.S.) made edge tools from 1828 to 1900. In Sheffield, England. The arrow pointing to a Maltese Cross is their trademark and is handy in identifing pieces where the name is worn off. They marked their early bench plane irons in such a fashion that it is possible to date them based on the ruling English monach (Roy Underhill talks about this in one of his books).

The chisels and gouges are fairly common around Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region.

I have always though they are called "makers marks", sort of early advertising, for people that could not read, but knew the symbols of the different "makers".

Edit: too many "hard returns" in the lines
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Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

[This message has been edited by TECHSHOP (edited 03-12-2006).]

Richard Hanley
03-12-2006, 05:16 PM
thank you for the photo’s as the marking is the same as my planer blade , they must be pretty general.
i will go thru my Roy Underhill books tonight,

richard