About Us - Old Street Tool
Bill Clark and Larry Williams first became interested in making needed planes for their own professional woodworking efforts. In 1996 they purchased the metal working equipment needed to make plane makers' floats for their own use and also offered the floats for sale on the Internet. Selling floats was intended to help offset the cost of the equipment.
Float sales soon brought requests for planes which led to establishment of Clark & Williams, plane makers. The Clark & Williams smooth plane reintroduced high cutting angles to woodworkers. Our success with York and middle pitch planes soon had others offering planes of similar traditional pitches.
In 2005 Bill and Larry were able to persuade Don McConnell to move from his native Ohio and relocate to Arkansas to join the company. Don brought with him not only plane making experience but a life-long study of tool making history and traditional trade practices.
Clark & Williams is one of only two contemporary plane makers listed in A Guide to the Makers of American Wooden Planes, the single comprehensive text on American wooden plane makers. We are the only one listed producing traditional planes with traditional construction. Given the longevity of early plane making firms listed in the above text, Clark & Williams fourteen years of longevity is significant.
In fourteen years, Clark & Williams produced thousands of planes with over 300 currently in use in the Conservation and Historic Trades Departments of Colonial Williamsburg. During that time we also taught and demonstrated plane making at numerous woodworking events, tool collectors events and schools across the US. They've traveled from Los Angeles to Boston and from Atlanta to Portland Oregon to teach and demonstrate.
In late 2010 the partnership of Clark & Williams was amicably dissolved when Bill moved from Eureka Springs to take care of family obligations. Don and Larry reorganized the business as Old Street Tool, Inc. and continue to make traditional wooden planes in the 18th Century British style.
Old Street Tool has the existing orders from Clark & Williams and will continue to fill those orders in the order they were received. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Don McConnell made his first wooden planes in the late 1970's while hand building furniture in the cabinet shop of the Ohio Village. He has continued his plane making activities over the following years while building custom furniture in traditional styles and executing one-of-a-kind architectural woodwork - including carving elements of geometric handrails. His work has been featured in several magazines and exhibits. Additionally, he has demonstrated plane making at several arts festivals as part of a grant from the Traditional Arts program of the Ohio Arts Council. A former contributing editor for Popular Woodworking, Don is also co-author of Hand-Saw Makers of Britain. Don has also taught plane making workshops at Marc Adams School of Woodworking and North Bennet Street School.
Larry Williams started in architectural woodworking in 1977 and began experimenting with plane making shortly afterward. He's conducted classes in plane making at Marc Adams School of Woodworking, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and North Bennet Street School. His work or articles have been featured in a several woodworking books and magazines. He's demonstrated plane making for a number of organizations and meetings including the Symposium on 18th Century Woodworking at Colonial Williamsburg. In 2006 the Arkansas Department of Cultural Heritage and the Arkansas Arts Council recognized Larry and his work in plane making with their "Arkansas Living Treasure" award.