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By Bod
I've just been given a new plane!
The story is this was recovered from the company skip, by a friends son who worked there at the time.
Unfortunatly there are no instructions with it, nor are any easily available on the internet.
So I will go with the normal "Needs sharpening out of the box"
As arrived.

It's complete, covered in oil.


Front of blade.

Back of blade.
Yes, they are milling marks.

Plenty of play in the yoke!
The black line down the handle is the moulding flash.

The oily sole.

It's cheaply made, will need a bit of work to get it working, and comfortable to use.
The lateral adjuster is very stiff.
The depth adjustment is very loose, the two parts of the yoke are not firmly joined together, and there is a great amount of slack in the blade movement.
There is the grinding angle information on the cap iron, the frog adjustment system, and lateral lever style of the later Record planes. But it's not a "Record".
Do I just hone the bevel as is, or flatten the back of the blade to give it a real chance of working properly?
I do not intend at this point to put a square or straight edge over it. Only to see if it will work "out of the box"
This is my first chance to use a new No 4 plane, all my others have been previously owned, the oldest being a Sweetheart stanley, the youngest a mid 1950's Record, via a 1946-52 WS.
Have I missed much by not having new?

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By AndyT
I'll be interested to see how you get on with it. I've never bought a cheap new plane like that.
Some people claim to be able to get good results, others say they are unusable.

If you have a few good planes already, I suggest you put a decent camber on the iron and use it for use on reclaimed wood, getting old paint off etc, where there might be old nails or grit.
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By MikeG.
I'd get it working first before you decide on its future use. It may be an absolute beauty, you never know. I'd count the stiff lateral adjuster as a bonus.

I would definitely be rubbing the back of the iron on a fine diamond plate or paper-on-glass, just to see if the back was flat. If you can sort out the depth setting and get all the mating surfaces of the frog sitting nicely I can't see why this can't be made to work. I hope you don't have to file the mouth, but the only 2 cheap planes I've had to work on, for other people, both needed theirs doing. You will probably also want to check on the flatness of the sole. This doesn't need to be perfect, but you don't want high spots in the middle. If you find those, keep rubbing.
By Just4Fun
I acquired a used one of those in a job lot. It seemed OK but the finish on the iron was a bit rough. I gave it away before using it much; had I kept it I would have looked for a replacement iron as the rest of it was at least usable with no major faults.
By D_W
use PSA sandpaper stuck to a flat surface to remove the mill marks on the back of that iron, then do a little bit of finer work (nothing drastic, just to get it up and running) and hone the bevel. Push the honed iron across a few bits of endgrain and pare some off - not to test sharpness, but to see if the edge rolls. If the edge doesn't roll, the iron will be fine.

Everything else is probably roughly finished and just needs to be broken in. If the iron beds firmly, all of the screws tighten, the bottom is reasonably flat, and the cap iron and iron surfaces mate, you have a plane that will be fine in use.

on a cheaply made plane like this, learn to use the cap iron - it'll keep the plane in the cut and eliminate a lot of a things that may exist due to poor fitting.

WD40 in the lateral adjustment lever should loosen back and forth up, as will use. if you don't bend the adjuster adjusting it otherwise, I would let it come in time.

It's quickly made, but it copies the best metal plane design ever introduced to the working market, so it's got a pretty good head start.

While my favorite plane is not as coarsely made as that one, it is, in fact, a 60s or 70s stanley that is deemed low quality. I've had everything from prelateral to sweetheart, etc, and other than the iron (which I've replaced with one of my own make) I like the plane better than any other stanley that I've used. You never know. Always had similar experience with postwar stanley planes, too - they're more cheaply made but often not
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By Ttrees
Looks like it was based on the later Bailey's with plastic handles and a huge mouth.
A good plane to discourage one from doing silly things like trying to eliminate tearout
by moving the frog forward instead of using the cap iron, as there may not be enough registration on the beds to move it far enough.
Which means you get to learn how important the cap iron is,and realise that it will match any other plane.
Get it working and either keep it for reclaimed or as a loner.
If you do happen to have more Bailey's hat is.

By no idea
I believe I have the same plane albeit with Groz on the lever cap. I bought this from Wickes in the same type of packaging yours is in. I have managed to fettle it enough to get fine, consistent shavings from it and the blade is decent. The general fit and finish is poor but it is a decent plane for the £20 or so that it sells for (even better in your case when it's free lol).

It's neither a silk purse or pigs ear - it's a useable tool that will do what a plane is meant to without offering the satisfaction that a purist would look for in a plane.
By Argus
If the plane doesn't perform to 'best' standards, you may always convert it to a scrub-action where precision is not an absolute requirement..... if you have a use for a scrub-plane, that is.
By Bod
Part 2
The blade has been honed to a 30 degree angle on an Eclipse 36 clone jig. The back has not been flattened, save for rubbing the burr edge off flat on the oil stone.
Cap iron set to approx 0.75mm, no work done on cap iron.
Blade fitted in plane, set to a very fine cut. 5 full turns of the depth adjuster nut to take up the slack from blade moving down to moving up.
Shavings made.
Very benign soft pine.

Surface finish left.
Can be made better by flattening the back of the blade.

Trying for a thicker shaving, the poorly fitting cap iron caused a blockage.

Blockage cleared, reset to fine shavings.

Working nicely on oak.

Initial impression.
If you are working away from home, and need to get out of trouble, and have the sharpening ability, then this will do.
For a complete beginner, huge frustration's.
Next will be a complete strip down, to see if I can make this thing sing!
All that has been done now is just to hone the blade, and it's worked, not to its best, but early days.

By Bod
Part 3, the beast in bits.
SAM_0001b (1).JPG
Stripped out, the heritage is clear to see.
No great surprises.

Now the curious aspect.
SAM_0001b (2).JPG
These threads, look similar to the old Stanley/Record ones.
A 1/4x20 BSW Die nut runs up and down the threads, very loosly, defiantly 20 TPI, and a brass handle nut from a UK made Stanley fits.
A source of spares for older planes?

The frog screws are the same older thread, but the lever cap screw is M6 metric. The adjusting nut screw is left hand threaded.
The back of the blade was flattened on an oil stone, just the first 2-3 mm, the cap iron also tidied up to remove the gap above the blade.
The handles took the most work to smooth out the moulding joints.
The blade end of the lateral adjusting lever needed lifting to fit in the blade slot fully, which cured most of the stiffness, previously felt.
Reassembly as expected, the frog was put in line with the back of the mouth, leaving the mouth fairly open.
Using it.
Worked as expected, better on a fine cut than coarse. Rubbing the sole with candle wax improved the action. Handles....less said the better, felt worse than the heavy lacquer on wooden handles, will make hands sweaty quickly.
Improvements that could be made.
1. Change the handles for wooden ones, without the heavy lacquer.
2. Smooth down the sole, in effect polish the sole to remove the machining marks.
Overall better than expected but not by much. Needs knowledgable experience to get the best from it. Not a happy tool for a beginner, at £26 currently, better for site work than workshop.