Image Gallery #1

We shall introduce here a few plane makers in the province of Québec. The first recognized maker is Jean-Baptiste Desforges. Then we will study Sem Dalpe and his successors Arthur Monty and later his brother Adelard; these makers are part of the group of plane makers of Roxton Pond Qc. This group is shown in detail in gallery 7. Next we shall see the plane makers of the city of Québec: V.A. Emond and the two Cantin brothers, Édouard and Léon. In another gallery we will have a look at those makers living in Montreal: Wallace and Dawson.

(Click on Thumbnail Picture for a Larger Version)

The first recognized plane maker in the province of Quebec is Jean-Baptiste Desforges. Robert Westley (great tool collector and researcher) who has done research concerning this maker notes his presence in St. Hilaire as early as 1790. Desforges went bankrupt in 1813. In his shop he had six work benches, a large lot of tools ready to be sold and also wood to make more of tools. He then moved to Montréal where he continued to make woodworking planes until 1830, but this time he was not an official dealer.


The cabinet maker of the past as well as the carpenter had many useful tools including the block plane, the jack plane and the jointer. Among these different kinds of planes a set of hollows and rounds was also very useful. With the help of these, the artisan could make almost any mouldings. Although a pair of hollow and round is frequently found, a complete set is rarely seen. I am happy to be able to present here a complete 24 piece set made around 1880 by Sem Dalpe of Roxton Pond Qc. The number of these tools are 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22 and 24.


These were collected and protected from oblivion by a learned collector, Mr. Arthur Lemay of Montreal. He died on March 23, 1986. Afterwards they were kept by his son who accepted to sell them to me. This series was kept in a very good state. Only a part of the wedge that can be seen at the top of the pile is slightly damaged.

Please see gallery 2 for a nice cornice plane made by Dalpe.


Adélard Monty bought his tool factory from his brother Arthur. He then published a catalogue like the previous ones made by Sem Dalpe and Arthur. Later on, he had a more sophisticated catalogue printed. This catalogue was similar to those made in Europe which advertised the tools of a large French factory belonging to G. Renouard, Paris-Bastille.

Please see gallery 2 for two very nice plough planes made by A. Monty.

In the city of Québec, Vital Alfred Emond was operating a plane factory from about 1870 ‎until the beginning of the 20th century. He was very proud to say that all his tools were ‎made with the aid of a steam engine.‎

Here is a plough-plane made by this artisan. This tool is represented in his 1889 ‎catalogue. The wooden screw arms, required to adjust the longitudinal guide, have a ‎diameter slightly superior to those of the competitors. One may also note that the wooden ‎nuts have a very simple form and the accompanying thinner nuts are simply cylindrical. ‎There are a few nicks here and there on this tool.

In the city of Québec, there were also two more plane makers: Édouard and Léon Cantin. They were brothers and competitors.

E. CANTAIN was the first imprint of Édouard and, according to Robert Westley, this factory operated from around 1850 to 1875. This first imprint, because it has a misspelled name, is quite rare. Therefore a plane with this imprint is a lucky find.


 Later on Édouard Cantin adopted the following imprint: E. CANTIN
Léon Cantin was a plane makers from 1850 to 1890. He was also in Québec City and sometimes lived next to his brother, Edouard. His imprint, L. CANTIN, resembles closely his brother's. Édouard and Léon were renowned for making complex mouldings.
Established in Montréal, John Dawson was making planes from 1851 to 1877. His tools are nice and well made. He learned his trade from Wallace. He used two imprints as shown in the pictures.
Alexander Wallace lived in Montréal. He was operating his workshop from 1843 to 1854, the year he died. His heirs continued the business until 1885.‎

To know more about the Canadians Tool Makers please consult the book written by ‎Robert Westley and published by the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum.‎