• Richard Arnold

A fine ballancing act

I have recently spent quite a bit of time thinking about some of London's first commercial plane makers, and what their businesses may have been like. Quite a few of them were possibly first and foremost joinery establishments and one wonders what percentage of their work was spent on tool making. I would presume that selling items of joinery to the rich merchants, and wealthy clients who were re building London at this period would be far more lucrative than selling planes to less well shod tradesmen as it were. The odd thing is that I now find myself in a similar situation. As a business I can probably make two to three times the amount of money making fine joinery or cabinet work, than making my planes. I still enjoy both activities, so find myself sometimes torn between the two. On the other hand I do get the odd occasion where I get held up on some joinery contracts for whatever reason, and during these slack periods I can then turn to a bit of plane making. One wonders if this was the case 300 years ago?

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