The Palm, the Ban Qi and “The Young Mechanic”

Several commenters to yesterday’s post about the origin of the  Chinese planning stop, known as the palm, offered some additional information and a Western version.

In the wheelwright’s shop shown in the 12th-century scroll “Qingming shanhe tu” we see a palm at the end of the bench. It is made of two pieces of wood nailed to the bench.

The palm was later known as the Lu Ban qi, or Lu Ban’s wife, because the palm was the brilliant idea of Lu Ban’s wife. (Not to mention she no longer had to act as the planing stop or sustain injury when Lu Ban got a little crazy with the planing). Ban Qi is still used as a term for a planing stop. A modern version of the V-shaped palm is below and is adjustable.

A Western planning stop with similarities to the palm comes from “The Young Mechanic” by James Lukin published in 1872:

Another version using two pieces of wood and wedges to secure the work piece:

My thanks to our readers for joining the discussion and offering more ideas!

-Suzanne Ellison

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3 Responses to The Palm, the Ban Qi and “The Young Mechanic”

  1. And our deep thanks to you as a wonderful facilitator of such esoteric (yet insightful and useful) conversations and information…Much Thanks!


  2. momist says:

    Hmm. I am reminded that I have two curved pieces of European Beech in my firewood pile, about an inch thick. Back to the workshop!


  3. gilgaron says:

    The cam clamp is interesting… it wouldn’t mar the end grain like a toothed stop but might scuff the faces.


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