Plane Talk was the newsletter of the British-American Rhykenological Society (B-ARS), a group founded in 1976 to promote the collection and preservation of woodworking planes. Over the course of 15 years, Plane Talk published more than 1,220 pages of photos, maker's marks, tracings, planemaker biographies, articles, patent illustrations, drawings, ad reproductions and more.
In its first decade, Plane Talk was edited and distributed by B-ARS. The newsletter was based on contributions from a community of researchers and collectors, primarily focused on wooden planes. Wooden planes would go on to become a major focus of antique tool collecting — with the rarest examples fetching tens of thousands of dollars — due in part to the huge body of research first published in Plane Talk. In 1987, Astragal Press took over the newsletter, with Emil S. Pollak, co-author of A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes (GAWP), as editor. Roger K. Smith continued on as the newsletter's Metallic and Transitional Planes editor. Many of the maker's marks and bios in Plane Talk were eventually collected in GAWP, Smith's Patented Transitional & Metallic Planes in America, and other books, but much of the information found in the newsletter has never been available outside of the remaining copies.
Thank you to Roger K. Smith for generously agreeing to Plane Talk being made available online. This remarkable collection of knowledge is now accessible to a new generation of people interested in these tools.
Plane Talk 1976-1986:
Wooden Planes Editor: Elliot M. Sayward (under the pseudonym "Stanley Wooding Nicholson"); Metallic and Transitional Planes Editor: Roger K. Smith; Contributing Editor: Seth W. Burchard.
B-ARS leadership: Robert. D. Graham, Jr., President; Elliot M. Sayward, Secretary-Treasurer; William L. Goodman, Vice President, UK; David G. Perch, Vice President, Canada; Richard A. Martin, Vice President, US; Ray Smith, Vice President. B-ARS took its name from the ancient Greek word "rhyken," which they translated as "woodworking plane."
Plane Talk 1987-1991:
Wooden Planes Editor: Emil S. Pollak; Metallic and Transitional Planes Editor: Roger K. Smith
For questions regarding Plane Talk and this archive, please contact Abraham Hyatt at 503-501-7513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plane Talk - Indexes
- Index vol. 1-4, 1976-1979
- Index vol. 5-6, 1980-1981
- Index vol. 11-13, 1987-1989
- Index vol. 11-15, 1987-1991 (Big thanks to Graham Stubbs for supplying a copy of the vol. 11-15 index. If you have copies of vol. 15 no. 3 or vol. 14 no. 1, please let me know.)