Bench plane question

//Bench plane question
Bench plane question 2018-02-05T05:38:40+00:00
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  • #2033271

    Lancastrian
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    I recently purchased an old bench plane to restore.It was the same size as a Record or Stanley No4.
    The 2″ lever cap was a Record make but I do not think that the plane is record for the following reasons.
    1.the frog and base casting are painted red.
    2.The stamps im the casting have no makers marks…just made in England and a CO 457 serial number and a No 4.
    The frog design does not look like a Stanley or Record design either.
    Could it be a plane made by Salmens.I have taken a couple of photos but the forum says they are too big.
    Any help very much appreciated.

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  • Mike in TN
    Participant
    Post count: 272

    Hi Lancastrian,

    I am guessing that you are from the U. K.  I have visited several times and would love to go back. There are several tools in my collection that I brought back as souvenirs. You are luck to live in an area that I have found to be rich with wonderful woodworking tools and traditions.

    I had the same issue with photo file size when I started posting but I found that you can resize them using Windows paint which is commonly found in Windows accessories on most computers. We don’t get to see many Salmens planes in the U.S. so my comments are based on what little I have been able to find online. Salmens did produce planes that were painted red from the factory and that could easily be what you have. However, it might be that that a previous owner just liked the color red and repainted it. I know of one popular online woodworker that has repainted many of his restored tools a unique shade of blue. The “CO 457”  marking would make me believe that it is a later (as in 1960’s or later) issue plane. Older lines of planes had relatively simple designations and modern management has introduced more complicated stock numbers for tracking. Stanley had several different frog/base configurations and it might be that yours was copied from one of the less common designs.

    Don’t get too caught up in the plane identification and whether all of the plane parts are original unless you are concerned about collectability. Many of the Stanley Bailey pattern plane clones have somewhat interchangeable parts and many of them have had parts from different manufacturers. That might sound strange, but consider how many planes have had the blades replaced with aftermarket blades. It would make sense that an owner with several planes with issues would “rob” one for parts that would make another one useable. The big thing for most users is whether the plane functions well.

    A #4 is traditionally used as a smoothing plane but keep in mind that the designation of “smoothing plane” is a function of how the plane is set up, tuned, and used as well the length or manufacturers designation. It isn’t unusual to see planes in the # 3 through #6 being used as smoothers even though the #5 and #6 are less common for that purpose due to length. #1 and #2 planes are generally “smoothing ” planes but not many have them and most that do don’t use them. I would tune it based on need and the best function of the tool. At the absolute worst you will probably have a good scrub plane.

    Have fun.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • Lancastrian
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Thanks Mike for your informative reply.you are correct I do live in the UK.. i restore planes either to collect or to offer for sale on e bay.I really prefer to get the planes as close as possible to how they left the factory and using original replacement parts where needed.. I have studied the frog design and it certainly does not correspond with either the Stanley or Record frogs..One other interesting thing on this plane is that it is a fixed frog with no adjusting screw at the rear of the frog to move it backwards and forwards.i will try and post photos.Thanks again for your help.

  • Lancastrian
    Participant
    Post count: 7
  • Lancastrian
    Participant
    Post count: 7
  • Lancastrian
    Participant
    Post count: 7
  • Lancastrian
    Participant
    Post count: 7
  • Mike in TN
    Participant
    Post count: 272

    Hi again,

    It does appear like the original paint and it also appears that the design was based on the original Stanley Bedrock planes that had the rounded sides. Many of the older Stanley frogs did not have frog adjustment screws but were simply set up using a trail and error method. It took a little more time in the initial set-up but since the frogs are not adjusted that often it was not a major issue.

    Please do post photos of your restorations and try posting some of your offerings in the classified section of the forum.

    Have fun.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

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