Fulton Solid Cast Frog Smoother
In researching for the article about “Pressed Steel frogs” I discovered a different breed of vintage hand plane. This Fulton has been sitting on a shelf in my shop for a while. I just assumed it was one of “those”, never really paying to much attention.
Note that the frog is an integrated cast as part of the sole. The only pressed steel piece is the lateral adjuster and the cutter adjustment mechanism. The handles are hardwood with smaller diameter fittings, smaller cutter adjuster knob, and the dreaded shorter lever cap, giving it the impression of a really cheap plane.
But upon further scrutiny we see the lever cap does have the back spring, and it itself is not pressed. The frog is not movable, which makes it rock solid.
The knob and tote on this plane looks decent enough once refinished. And the rest of the plane was decent as well. Most of use who work on planes regularly will tell you almost any plane can be made to work if fettled enough. The amazing thing about this was it took almost no work at all to get some really nice. The sole was flatter than a lot of Stanleys I work on.
After the number of planes I’ve restored and tested, it’s pretty hard to impress me. This Fulton really impressed me. I’m going to start looking for more of this type. I also need to determine who made them.
My plan was to grab a piece of pine or poplar, figuring this oak and ash would be to tough for it, but it ate the oak and ash up. This is a nice little plane@@
“Further evidence of the cast in place plane to stamped steel frog planes representing an evolution in design by PEXTO is the matching short style cutters go from a late 1920s keyhole up cutter design (Fixed frog) to a 1940s keyhole down design (stamped steel frog).”