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tibi

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Hello,

I was looking at some vintage hand planes on E-bay. Do you think that there is any noticable quality difference or a better user experience for Millers Falls, Sargent,Marples or Sorby planes compared to Stanley/Record? Is it worth waiting for those above-mentioned brands to appear on E-bay?

This comparison has nothing to do with the actual condition of the individual plane.

Thank you.
 

Jacob

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Hello,

I was looking at some vintage hand planes on E-bay. Do you think that there is any noticable quality difference or a better user experience for Millers Falls, Sargent,Marples or Sorby planes compared to Stanley/Record? Is it worth waiting for those above-mentioned brands to appear on E-bay?

This comparison has nothing to do with the actual condition of the individual plane.

Thank you.
Record very reliable for quality. Stanley variable. I don't know about Sorby planes but everything else they did or do is excellent. Haven't an opinion on the others except very late Marples became a brand name for some slightly inferior tools.
 
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Adam W.

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I've got a Record No. 8 with rosewood handles and a nickel plated lever cap and I think it's a lovely plane, but I prefer my lignum based La Chapelle wooden jointer, as it just glides over the surface of timber with very little effort.
 

JobandKnock

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A biased and very subjective view from a user perspective as opposed to a collector's:

Millers Falls up to the 1960s are good quality planes. The earlier type 2 and type 3 have a better handle shape than later models

Sargent, despite the "Very Best Made" marketing hype really weren't (same period Stanleys are often superior) and after the late 1930s became pretty cheap and horrible IMHO

Marples and Sorby came out if the same factory. I have one Sorby and it is no different to an equivalent period Marples. During WWII Marples quality was really ropey and whilst they recovered a bit, I don't think their post war offerings could hold a candle to Record, Woden or even Stanleys in the 1950s or early 1960s on terms of quality of machining. The pre-war Marples planes I have often have thicker castings, but the (original) machining is sometimes pretty ropey. They often come up in a poor way but aren't that cheap. Sorby prices are on orbit (the Paul Whatshisname effect?)

In terms of quality I've found USA made Stanley's from the 1930 to 1940 period to be generally excellent - the castings are reasonably thick, the handles are rosewood, they have better features than earlier planes (like the larger size adjuster knob) and the machining is first class. Early post WWII UK Stanley planes with the square edge blades (as opposed to the later rounded edge, flame hardened ones) are often good users.

Same goes for Record, but their good period extended until they started to cheapen the blades and handles in the 1960s

And the same.was true of Woden who seemed to take real pride in their tools until being taken over in the 1960s

Were I looking for users I'd look.to Woden, Records with square edge blades and Stanley ditto (post-c.1930). I'd also look for Millers Falls planes. These brands are a bit more common, but will cost less and you are less likely to end up with a lemon and more likely to find a decent example
 
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Adam W.

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I just had a look at my neglected plane collection in the far, dusty corner of the workshop and found a Record no.4, Marples no.4, a Record no. 010 and a Bailey no. 5 1/2.

All unused for decades.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I have a Marples No.7 that is a thing of beauty. I also have a Marples No.5 that wasn't just hollow, it was winding - it was a job and a half to flatten it. I think it was a little later than the '60s that Record went downhill - I have a 5 1/2 from the mid '70s that's that fine (they were still using wooden handles). It's the newest plane I have and the only one I ever bought new. And no, I'm not selling my Stanley No.8 with its Sweetheart iron. :LOL:
 

D_W

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The marples planes that are a good copy of the early stanley pattern, great. I. Sorby (if you can find any such thing in metal bailey pattern planes), also wonderful.

Record, just fine. Millers falls, fine. Stanley, fine. (try to get something new enough that you don't have unusual things like gaps between frog and casting, etc). Older still meeting that condition is fine.

Oddballs and planes with gap between frog and casting, etc, can be duds. It's not so much about the maker as it is the design of the plane. I recall having a marples 4 that wasn't very good, but still have a 4 1/2 that's not made the same way in the frog/bed area and it's better. Years ago, I found an I. Sorby 7 on ebay in England and paid what it took to get it (I can't recall exactly, but it was close to $200 at the time when a stanley 7 was $100 in the US in very clean shape). I wouldn't normally pay extra for unique, but the sorby plane is made well enough I'd repeat the buy.

If you're looking at millers falls, the earlier types (vs X900 or whatever the larger numbers are), are generally better. I'm less familiar with sargent except a VBM that someone recently sent me to set up/flatten. It had a soft casting (personally, I like that better - they're all hard enough, but the softer ones lap flat easier), but the rest of it wasn't something I'd take over a typical mid-age stanley.

(the things nicer on the sorby plane than record or stanley aren't things that would make the plane a better worker, it's just a nicely made plane with a solid feel and unique).
 

tibi

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The marples planes that are a good copy of the early stanley pattern, great. I. Sorby (if you can find any such thing in metal bailey pattern planes), also wonderful.

Record, just fine. Millers falls, fine. Stanley, fine. (try to get something new enough that you don't have unusual things like gaps between frog and casting, etc). Older still meeting that condition is fine.

Oddballs and planes with gap between frog and casting, etc, can be duds. It's not so much about the maker as it is the design of the plane. I recall having a marples 4 that wasn't very good, but still have a 4 1/2 that's not made the same way in the frog/bed area and it's better. Years ago, I found an I. Sorby 7 on ebay in England and paid what it took to get it (I can't recall exactly, but it was close to $200 at the time when a stanley 7 was $100 in the US in very clean shape). I wouldn't normally pay extra for unique, but the sorby plane is made well enough I'd repeat the buy.

If you're looking at millers falls, the earlier types (vs X900 or whatever the larger numbers are), are generally better. I'm less familiar with sargent except a VBM that someone recently sent me to set up/flatten. It had a soft casting (personally, I like that better - they're all hard enough, but the softer ones lap flat easier), but the rest of it wasn't something I'd take over a typical mid-age stanley.

(the things nicer on the sorby plane than record or stanley aren't things that would make the plane a better worker, it's just a nicely made plane with a solid feel and unique).
Thank you very much. I have found this seller that has some pretty-looking Stanleys. He probably restores them regularly. As he is from the U.S., I will save the money needed and then I may ask him to send me 4 1/2, 5 1/2 and 7 in one shipping, if he will be willing to sell without auction.

Also here is a seller with nicely restored planes in the U.K

Or I can restore myself, as I did with my Stanley 4 and 5. But no. 5 has some heavy pitting that I was unable to get rid of. And I made the knob of no.4 way to small by grinding the old color. So I will make another one, once I have time for that.
 
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