Bench Plane Maker – Albert Bock (1965)

Bench Plane Maker – Albert Bock (1965)

Albert Bock, who retired in 1966, was the last wooden bench plane maker at William Marples & Son Ltd in Sheffield. Filmed at William Marples’ Hibernia Works, Westfield Terrace, Sheffield the year before he retired.

The film is one of a series filmed in the mid-1960s which Ken Hawley inspired. By then he was acutely aware that he was witnessing the disappearance of a wide range of craft skills on which Sheffield’s reputation had been built over the two previous centuries.

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  1. Workshop Heaven Ltd on May 8, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you so much for preserving these wonderful films, Ken’s vision and foresight in producing this phenomenal legacy of skills and the characters of old Sheffield are both a rich resource and a heartbreaking reminder of how much we have let slip through our fingers.

  2. Mark Brandtman on May 8, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    Extraordinary 🇦🇺👴🏻

  3. mrzombie170 on May 8, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    5:32 I think that’s a wide sash chisel

  4. Guy Edmondson on May 8, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks for this – fabulous insight into what has become an over-engineered, and semi-mythical process. This shows plane-making to be an achievable skill, and not as arduous as I presumed… of course, I recognise and very much appreciate Albert’s huge skill and experience, but this retrieved example points a way forwards that I ,and many others, presumed to be unreachable. Thanks again 👍🙏

  5. Richard Garrow on May 8, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you for bringing these videos back to life. I have been dabbling in woodworking now for about 25 years. I still consider myself a beginner and always learning. This is why I enjoy films like this one as it shows all the hard work that was put into making Real tools. While a lot of craftsman have ventured into making tools again and there are some fantastic tools out there, I know I have feed the beast for the past 25 years with my money. It is a shame that while the manufacturing industry did a lot of good for all of it also killed a lot of the quality that went into the making of hand tools. The only great part about all this is the tools that were made are still around today and it shows the quality and workmanship that went into them. Thank you for all your hard work.

  6. Offshoreorganbuilder on May 8, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    A lifetime of hard, slogging work, lies behind this skill.

  7. Tim Hicks on May 8, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    A wonderful film of a true craftsman at work. It has taken a while to find it but I have today managed to buy a plane exactly like the one that Albert Bock is making in the film and it is in perfect ready to use condition for my next little project. Thanks to Albert, a 60 year old tool will be just as good to use as it was on the day it was made.

  8. c42cly on May 8, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    Amazing skill. A master craftsman thanks for preserving this important history.

  9. binacaman on May 8, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    This is excellent but the narration seems to be out of sync for the visual?

  10. Matt Knights on May 8, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Watching albert work while Ken narrates is a joy, I only wish that we could have a Q & A with them both.

  11. ikust007 on May 8, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you , profoundly.

  12. Jeff Hanna on May 8, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    Anyone know how he is holding the wedge to his bench when planing it at 7:06? Looks like some kind of stop, but he’s edge planing it.