In 2009, I started out on this task to confirm the manufacture of Woden brand hand planes at Wednesbury, Staffordshire, during the 1950’s. At that time, the general opinion was that Woden was a budget brand of Record, made in Sheffield.
To assist me, I made contact with Mr Ken Hawley MBE of the Hawley Collection Trust in Sheffield. The Trust is a known and respected source of information on hand tool manufacturer and use, particularly with regard to Sheffield made tools. I also made contact with Roger Ball, a like-minded Woden tool collector. Together, we carried out research into Woden tool history and manufacture and I made many visits to Sheffield to access The Hawley Collection and collect data.
I am indebted to Ken and Roger for their immense assistance, without which this site could not have been first published (2013). Since then, Roger has moved on and compiled excellent sites describing W.S Birmingham and William Marples planes.
Ken died in 2014. This was a great loss to Sheffield, The Trust and everybody who knew him. He was greatly respected for his unequalled knowledge of local and other hand tool industries and their people.
Handing over a paper copy of the original site content
to Ken Hawley, June 2013
When my subscription is up on the current platform, I will not be renewing it. However, I hope there should be no loss to Woden and other tool enthusiasts as arrangements are being made to transfer the data and make it available on The Hawley Tool Collection site, from about 1st May. (http://www.hawleytoolcollection.com), I am a volunteer at ‘The Hawley’ and should any new information come to light (as it often does), I will be able to more quickly incorporate it.
The following pages will be retained viz. “W78 Rebate Plane”; “Steel Nut Planes”; “Record Woden Planes”; “Woden Block Planes”; “Dating Woden Planes” and “Other Woden Tools”. I am particularly keen to expand the last section, which should be easier to do from ‘inside’. Over the years, I have responded to numerous enquiries concerning Woden Tools. This contact may continue as I will still be available to be of assistance to you, or to receive any new information. Meantime, you can still contact me through the link.