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Thread: British Made Stanley and Record Planes?

  1. #1
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    British Made Stanley and Record Planes?

    I have a British made Record 778 that I have worked over, and also have seen references to British made Stanley planes. I have also seen unfavorable comments about the British made planes.

    My Record is perhaps 1960s or 70s vintage, I think but do not know. It is dark blue and I think the newer ones are light blue.

    My 778 had some surface rust and was missing one of the fence rods. I cleaned it up, came up with a rod to replace the missing rod, sharpened the iron, and then had to work on the lever cap. The lever cap did not fit down against the top of the iron at all well, and had a blunt face instead of one that would lift the curl well. Thus I had to work on it so the lever cap would fit tightly against the iron. I also had to use a file to have a fairly sharp edge, rather than a blunt face, so the lever cap would lift the curl rather than smash into it.

    The question is, what has your experience been with planes, especially Stanley...since that is what I mostly have seen....perhaps those made in the 1960s(?) or later, that are made in England? Are they pretty good, or not so good?

    Thanks and regards,

    Stew

  2. #2
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    Apr 2017
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    My Stanley made in England router plane with black plastic handles ( purchased new around 20 years ago ) was a pain, the blade locking mechanism always slipped. I recently replaced it with a LV router.

  3. #3
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    Some years ago I had a Brit Stanley #4. I would guess 1960's vintage. It was blue, perhaps to ape the Record products, and had black hardwood knob and tote. After much fettling, it worked OK. To be fair, I was still getting the whole sharpening thing figured out so I’m sure it never had an exceptional edge. It was a lightweight casting and the iron was on the thin side. It was a decent utility plane for softwoods. I picked up a Sweetheart era #4 and there was no contest. The US plane was much more robust. Your mileage may vary.
    Last edited by Rob Luter; 06-03-2019 at 5:34 AM.
    It's wood dust. Saw dust would suggest a problem.

  4. #4
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    Yep...I have been USING a made in England No.4c for quite a while...
    .British No. 4.jpg
    Been using it to make raised panels.
    jig.jpg
    two planes.jpg
    Also have a Type 10 Stanley No. 4..both seem to do the same jobs...one is grooved on the sole, one isn't...YMMV

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Hi Stew

    I think that the reason UK-made Stanley planes received a bad reputation was that the ones made in the 60's onward were as poor at the USA-made versions, but there was not the long history of USA planes to balance this. I have had a couple of UK-made Stanleys - a #7 was the finest version I ever used/saw, and I foolishly sold it for a USA Type 11. That was a piece of sh... I had a fabulous #4 1/2, which was heavier than the USA counterpart. This is possibly a feature of the UK-made planes - they seem to have heavier castings. I currently have a UK-made #3, and this one will never leave me. All these UK-made planes had great Rosewood handles.

    I have a Record #778. This is one of the earlier models - the blue pain is a slightly different shade. They are finished better than the more recent versions. It works well.

    I suspect that there is a pre- and post WW2 issue at play, where the quality dropped off around the world.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  6. #6
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    Nothing on those Stanley planes. I might own one of them. But, on the Record planes, I bought a number of them in the early '70's. I'm not sure when they were made, but they became my favorite planes back then, and I'm still using every one of them. I have even sought them out over the years, and found some NOS ones, that all proved to be very useable planes with no fiddling with.

    The one exception is the Record 044C Combination Plane. Avoid those. It was probably the worst designed combination plane ever, with a depth stop that was useless. The irons are really good though.

  7. #7
    I used to have a record 4 1/4 that was the dark blue and it was an excellent plane, but the steel in the blade left a lot to be desired. I think it was made in the 70s. I sold it because it was superfluous for me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Hmmm...
    IMG_2469 (640x480).jpg
    Made in England...
    IMG_2472 (640x480).jpgIMG_2468 (640x480).jpg
    Model Number: 012-004.....#4c...seems to work just fine....YMMV

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