The A13 smoother is another classic dovetailed infill plane, in the style of Norris. The A13 was originally only made by Norris and was a casting not dovetailed.
It was produced in two variants - the A13 with an adjuster and the No.13 without. Not many of these planes were made and an original Norris A13/No 13 is considered a
rarity by collectors.
All my infill planes have Norris style adjusters. As with all my work, they are made to higher standards of quality and finish. Thread arrangements is a subject
for future entry on my blog.
The front bun on the original Norris was square with some small rounds and the whole plane was a bit dull and uninteresting to look at. This may account for the fact
that it is passed over by many collectors. I saw that with a few modifications the plane had some potential; it lends itself to compound dovetail fabrication.
There are pros and cons for both dovetailing and casting. However, the dovetailing does allow for better finishing.
The original A13 did have some nice contours but in my version I have enhanced them. As with all my Norris style planes I have made various upgrades, and
in respect of these changes I do feel that I should have re-numbered the plane. My version of the A13 is my best selling plane.
The picture above shows an original Norris A13 (reproduced here with permission of David Stanley).
I have seen poor quality copies of my A13 design; any plagiarism borne out of my revisions has missed the original Norris design, and has used my ideas instead.
My advice to those wanting a good quality lower cost plane would be to avoid these copies, save money and consider a Lie Nielsen or Veritas, who are
excellent value for money and whom I have no hesitation in recommending.