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Marples transitional planes

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M_Chavez

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I've used Acacia nigrescens (nicknamed african lignum) for my 3 krenovs that I have now. Seems to do the job well enough.
Bodies are from purpleheart.
The new krenov will have an ebony sole and a body from satinwood & bubinga.

Used the tranny to shape & joint two neck blanks - a very pleasant plane indeed.
 

JobandKnock

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TBH I'm surprised it works that well on hardwoods. Weren't they mainly sold as training planes to schools and colleges? This would probably mean they were primarily designed to work on softwoods rather than hardwoods. I can certainly remember one school I attended Which used them in the woodwork room - that was in the 1960s.
 
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Jacob

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TBH I'm surprised it works that well on hardwoods. Weren't they mainly sold as training planes to schools and colleges? ......
That would make sense - the advantages of the Stanley/Bailey mechanism but without the risk of breakage if dropped.
But I've never seen one or had my hands on one and have always though they were just a by line which never caught on, as with many items in the back catalogues.
 

M_Chavez

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Tried it on denser curly walnut and got chatter again.
A new frog is on its way to me and I'll hopefully get to try the same idea with a robust No 3 blade that I can pull out of my bedrock.
 

D_W

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TBH I'm surprised it works that well on hardwoods. Weren't they mainly sold as training planes to schools and colleges? This would probably mean they were primarily designed to work on softwoods rather than hardwoods. I can certainly remember one school I attended Which used them in the woodwork room - that was in the 1960s.
I would imagine their selling point was probably cost/price. I'd bet they could whip those out very quickly. Interestingly, they bring more in good shape than a "better" plane in the past.

I have a turn of the century montgomery ward catalogue and the stanley planes are about twice the cost or more vs. the double iron wooden beech planes here. I would imagine the cost of the casting plus the machining time plus the need for a cast iron plane to be flat and close to square as delivered (the user can't easily correct anything) is where much of the cost is. The metal frog probably isn't cheap, but there's not much to do on it compared to a larger casting.

Someone with a catalog of marples stuff could probably tell us the difference between cost of these trans planes and a typical record of the time (if marples wasn't marketing a bench plane under their own name - as in, an all cast bench plane).

In the US, stanley made malleable cast tools as well as some out of steel when it was assumed they could be dropped or easily broken. They never sold that well. The 5 1/4 was apparently the plane size of choice for kids and slight folks here. V&B also made a lot of steel planes, and they're fairly uncommon (probably because they were more expensive).

The market here was very good at keying how well something sold to its quality. For years, I've wondered why woodrough and mcparlin saws didn't sell better because they're always excellent, and the wards catalog solves the mystery. They were considerably more expensive than disston. I can't think of any other make that seems to me a step above disston in tension and crispness of the teeth. The other saws that claimed to be as good as disston generally weren't (lots of the atkins carpenter saws are floppy), and it appears the market decided something better than disston wasn't really needed if it came with extra cost.

The W&McP saws were so expensive that the typical rip or carpenter's crosscut saw cost more than the disston acme saws (which themselves cost a fair markup above and beyond the #12).
 

JobandKnock

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In answer to your question about prices is:

in 1964 the Marples M.4 was 47/- (47 shillings or £2.35 in modern terms) whilst the #2690 (fabricated smoother) was 40/6 (£2.025). The fabricated plane rose to 42/- (£2.10) in 1965 (the M.4 remained at the same price).

In the same period the M.5 was 56/6 (£2.825) whilst the #2691 started at 50/6 (£2.532.5) and rose to 54/- (£2.70) in 1965

So probably not enough of a difference to tempt woodworkers of the period to buy the "wooden wonder" despite an advertising campaign run at the time in The Woodworker and various DIY magazines. I know that production started in 1960, but I'm not certain when it ended - possibly around 1967 to 69(?)
 
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D_W

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i'm surprised the trans plane was that expensive.
 
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