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Phil Pascoe

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I've asked this one once before, but didn't get an answer (someone, somewhere, must have an opinion!) - how do marples planes and irons compare to Record and Stanley? I know they tended to be more expensive, but was that in any way justified?
 

Cheshirechappie

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Not quite sure how to answer this one.

Going way back into the mists of time, there were two Marples companies, William Marples and Joseph Marples. Joseph stuck mainly to making marking tools, squares and the like - and they still do. William was the larger concern, making (among other things) chisels, brace bits, plane irons and wooden planes (which they continued to make into the 1960s). As far as I'm aware (and I stand to be corrected) they didn't make metal-bodied planes. They evetually (late 1970s?) became part of the same group that owned Record, and in the late '80s or early 90's, the brand name Marples was used on metal-bodied planes, probably made in the old Record works. These were as good (or bad) as any made in that era.
 

Vann

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Hi. Marples did market metal bodied planes, from about 1935 to 1969 AFAIK. It is possible they had someone else manufacture the planes for them, but this was well before the Record/Marples merger.

I have two Marples M5s (No.5 size). They're painted red and have the Marples "shamrock" cast in the bed, solid frogs (i.e. not ribbed) with ogee shaped top; three piece lateral; and fabricated (i.e. sheetmetal, not cast) yokes. They appear to be heavy and well made, not quite as fine as Record planes of the period, but better quality than Rapier planes.

As both my planes were bought incomplete, and I have yet to make one good one out of the two, I cannot say how they perform.

HTH. PM me with your e-mail address if you want a copy of the Marples 1938 catalogue - PDF (which I lifted off the internet from somewhere).

Cheers, Vann.
 

jimi43

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I think for planes the order of quality is:

Old Stanley USA...

Old Records

Anchor (Sweden)

Records up to 70s

Stanleys up to 70s

Marples/WS/Acorn

Rapier

New rubbish any brand

This is just my opinion based on the examples that have passed through my hands/ workshop over the years obtained from bootfairs.

The biggest surprise for me was the Anchor...the Swedish one I got recently. I didn't fettle it at all..just sharpened the Swedish steel...used it and haven't put it down as a fast stock removing jack since! It's a wonderful plane!



It's a little darling! If you see one...snap it up!



Jim
 

AndyT

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This rather small picture from the David Stanley auction site confirms what Vann said about red painted metal planes:



(The display case fetched £2000 btw.)

The 1938 Marples catalogue is easily available from Rose Tools (alongside many other goodies) at http://www.roseantiquetools.com/id220.html

It shows metal planes on pp 53-55.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Yes, both of mine are red. The 5 I've not used as the sole has a twist in it that I've not felt inclined to take out - it has heavily laquered darkened beech handles. The 7 is a beautiful plane with rosewood handles - the only fault I can find is that the handle is a bit small for me.
 

woodbrains

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Hello,

Marples also made a smoother with adjustable mouth. The X04. It had some things in common with Veritas smoothers and I'll bet Veritas designers had a look at this model when they developed the design. It had a fixed frog and a plate in front of the mouth that could be move fore and aft and then locked with a couple of screws. The tote was a loop handle that joined the frog at the top, like the aforementioned Veritas. They dated from the '50s and were innovative and different then the usual Bailey style planes. Probably should have caught on, but didn't. Cannot confirm the quality of these as never owned one, but I do know that Robert Ingham uses one.

The Marples after Record took over are much better than Stanleys of the same vintage and the irons are pretty good and a little thicker than the Stanley's. This quality soon dropped off, though. If you can get one of the early Marples/Record, you will find them good enough to fettle and use and will probably be cheap, too. (late '80s early '90s) I have an 04 which I love, with home made replacement handles. They can be identified by having Marples cast in the body around the knob, with Record cast on the lever cap, but not painted red (logo, that is, just left chrome). It will have a cam locking cap, not the later brass screw, when quality was poor and should be avoided. The only thing I do not like about the planes of this vintage, is the lateral adjuster is a stamped out bit of steel, rather than the ones with the roller riveted on, like earlier models. Aside this, the castings are good and heavy and they did come with wooden handles, allbeit the rear one in need of a bit of re-shaping. They were better then the red Marples before amalgamation. Old Records are still the best and I have a slight preference for the early Records over the early USA Stanleys, if I'm honest, though I suspect this is so marginal that my preference for British made, edged the Record.

Mike.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Vann and AndyT - thank you - I stand corrected!

Phil - I think the best way to remove the twist from the plane's sole would be to file it out. Use a smooth cut flat file, say 8" or 10" (note NOT a hand file - a flat file has a slight belly along it's length, which will help in directing pressure right where it's needed), and a good straightedge to check progress. Grip the plane upside down in a vice (engineer's type for preference), check carefully where the high spots are, and apply the file with a little finger pressure over the 'hump'. Work very carefully, just a few strokes at a time, and just on the highest spots, checking constantly. It'll probably go quicker than you'd think - hence the emphasis on working carefully. Once the twist has all but gone, lap the sole in the well-known way with wet-and-dry on plate glass.
 

Togalosh

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jimi43":367new15 said:
I think for planes the order of quality is:

Old Stanley USA...

Old Records

Anchor (Sweden)

Records up to 70s

Stanleys up to 70s

Marples/WS/Acorn

Rapier

New rubbish any brand
Hi Jimi, does this mean you do not rate new non-rubbish planes..or you have not included them as they were not mentioned in initial post?

What are your top 5 of all time?

Togs
 

jimi43

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Hi Togs

I have tried a Clifton and it was glorious...and if you can justify it...buy one. LN and Veritas too...lovely planes.

I have not had the money to outlay on any of these to justify buying them...I suppose I would go for a bevel up one if I did...but my infills do all the jobs I need.....all of them are better than the Bailey style planes.

If we are still talking Bailey type planes which I have...the Anchor has to come out top for a No.5

The old Stanley 4C is my favourite smoother....

For jointer...the Record SS No.7 but I am on the look out for a larger infill...... :mrgreen: There maybe one in the pipeline! :wink:

The No.601/2 is a nice adjustable mouth block plane...I have an old one of those too....but it doesn't come near the quality of my old chariots.

I have never regretted restoring old bootfair planes...it's half the fun to me but if you have the dosh and don't want to restore anything...Clifton, Veritas and LN are all wonderful...and of course they are an advance on older planes....maybe! :mrgreen: ....well....all but these two...





Cheers

Jim
 

Togalosh

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Those 2 look like real beauties !

..the first one is like what RichardT makes (I was very impressed by those).

Would I have to delve deep into plane history to sort the good from the bad & the ugly befoe going to boot sales?.

..It'd be a give away to the seller if I got out my BS939 set square before any deal was done!
 

bugbear

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jimi43":2rtx9om9 said:
I think for planes the order of quality is:

Old Stanley USA...

Old Records

Anchor (Sweden)

Records up to 70s

Stanleys up to 70s

Marples/WS/Acorn

Rapier

New rubbish any brand

This is just my opinion based on the examples that have passed through my hands/ workshop over the years obtained from bootfairs.

The biggest surprise for me was the Anchor...the Swedish one I got recently. I didn't fettle it at all..just sharpened the Swedish steel...used it and haven't put it down as a fast stock removing jack since! It's a wonderful plane!
There are probably lots of "one-off" brands, of varying quality. I know of someone who collects #4 Bailey planes, searching out as many manufacturers as possible, and has hundreds. Even Preston made some Bailey-ish planes. But I don't think anyone should be looking out for "Anchor" as a goal - I've never even seen one, in all my tool-related activities.

I can recommend Marples (red ones, discussed elsewhere) and Woden. Both good, honest, well made castings. The Marples blades (and the blade is half the battle) are excellent. I certainly wouldn't group Marples with WS and Acorn, which were much more the handyman end of the market.

BugBear
 

jimi43

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i totally agree BB...not seen any myself apart from this one...and if anyone does find one..they should report it immediately to me being the only known owner of one...so I can collect the set! 8)

Whatever you do...do not buy it for yourself...they are total rubbish and potentially dangerous in the wrong hands! :mrgreen: :wink:

Jim
 

bugbear

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woodbrains":2ktqb23j said:
Hello,

Marples also made a smoother with adjustable mouth. It had some things in common with Veritas smoothers and I'll bet Veritas designers had a look at this model when they developed the design. It had a fixed frog and a plate in front of the mouth that could be move fore and aft and then locked with a couple of screws. The tote was a loop handle that joined the frog at the top, like the aforementioned Veritas. They dated from the '50s and were innovative and different then the usual Bailey style planes. Probably should have caught on, but didn't. Cannot confirm the quality of these as never owned one, but I do know that Robert Ingham uses one.
Those should be avoided. In particular, if you see one on eBay, don't bid on it.

BugBear (possibly with a hidden agenda...)
 

AndyT

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Well, that's increased the number of people thinking "if I spot one of those on eBay in among the ordinary no 4s I'll be the only one who knows what it is and will snaffle a bargain" beyond the maximum number!

Sorry BB if you've been searching for some time. ( I'm sure I have seen one on eBay, and spotted that funny wiggle on the lever cap, but didn't realise what it was!)
 

Vann

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bugbear":1m1wltb2 said:
NIce catalogue!
I don't own the catalogue :cry: The seller wanted more money than I had available at the time, but he posted over a dozen pages and I copied most of them to my PC.
I have more pics - but this site won't let me post anything over 256whatsits, and rejected two pages at 258whatsits. If people are interested I'll transfer them to our other PC, reduce their size (can't do it on this PC), and then post.

Cheers, Vann

ps I'm intrigued to see that X4 page is now on WN in the States - from NZ to UK and then to USA in the blink of an eye - isn't the internet wonderful :!: :wink:
 

Gregory Sherwood

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Vann, that would be me. I found that Pedder linked to my thread over on WN, and was really intrigued by that page. If you pbject to my copying it and using it there, I'll remove it straightaway.

Since this is my first post here, I'll drop a bit of info by way of introduction;
I'm a handtool user, collector and woodworker in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. I also own the rusthunter website , which is a new site which I hope to use to assist me in developing my tool collecting habit. I am also the Treasurer of the Kansas City Woodworkers Guild, which has a membership of over 400 woodworkers from the Kansas City area.

Hi.

.
 

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