Which vintage Plough/Combination Plane should you buy?

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Friedrich

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I'm looking to purchase a combination plough plane ,however there are quite a few models from record/stanley/lewin ,
I'm after the best stuff there is with the best type of blades/design/functionality.
Maybe someone has used/researched this stuff and can comment on which plane models are the ones you should actually get?
seems like the stanley/record no 50 are quite popular and in large amounts on used market.
 

AndyT

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We had a bit of a discussion on this recently - first-plough-plane-t106825.html - so do have a look at that thread.

I have personally explored this question quite a bit over the years, buying more examples than I really need, though never paying very much, in the spirit of research. If, in some sort of "Desert Island Tools" situation, I had to keep just one, it would be the Record 405. It does everything, the build quality is excellent and it feels like a proper professional tool. (There were some really poor plough planes made in the 50s for the DIY market.)

It's a close copy of the Stanley 45 - which I don't have - and I expect one of them would be just as good. Prices for the 405 on eBay seem to have dropped lately - a good, complete one in its box used to sell for about £100, but I've seen some go for half that recently.
 

deema

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I too have a Recird 405 which I opted for much research. Lovely tool, and from my research none if the potential problems that others can suffer from.

Just check the skate alignment to the other at various points on the extension bars to ensure that nothing is bent. Sight the skates to be sure they are straight
 

Friedrich

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ok so a Record 405 , stanley 45 and seems like the Stanley 55 is also good?
Anything else could be added to the list that has the same quality/capability as those 3?
 

AndyT

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I don't recommend the 55 unless you really need the ability to cut extra shapes of mouldings.
There are too many adjustable bits, making it too fiddly to set up, compared to the simpler 45 / 405. 99% of the time you won't want the two skates anywhere except at the same depth, so having one movable relative to the other is actually not a benefit.
Fascinating as a design dead end though.
 

CStanford

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The difficult to adjust parts of a 55 are left off the plane altogether when being used to plow, bead, dado, and other simple operations. It's no different than using a 45 for these operations.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Friedrich":19zjr1ou said:
I'm looking to purchase a combination plough plane ,however there are quite a few models from record/stanley/lewin ,
I'm after the best stuff there is with the best type of blades/design/functionality.
Maybe someone has used/researched this stuff and can comment on which plane models are the ones you should actually get?
seems like the stanley/record no 50 are quite popular and in large amounts on used market.

What are the main tasks you plan to use the plane to do?

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

D_W

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IF you're plowing large grooves, the 405. If you're planning smaller work, one of the newer plastic handled record small plow planes. Love the 044c.

Before I'd think about getting any of the combination planes to do a whole bunch of operations, I'd learn to quickly make the open mortise style planes.
 

Vann

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Friedrich":396jp2jb said:
...Anything else could be added to the list that has the same quality/capability...
The Clifton multi-plane - another No.45 clone, and only just out of production (though I suspect recent sales were old stock from early Clico days - maybe mid 2000s).

Cheers, Vann.
 

AndyT

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Vann":15uby1sp said:
Friedrich":15uby1sp said:
...Anything else could be added to the list that has the same quality/capability...
The Clifton multi-plane - another No.45 clone, and only just out of production (though I suspect recent sales were old stock from early Clico days - maybe mid 2000s).

Cheers, Vann.

Did anyone reading this every buy one?

According to a 1995 "Good Woodworking" magazine which I happen to have kept, the price then was £428.88 with 24 cutters, and another £100 for 16 extra cutters.*

Conversely, does anyone have any experience of the late copy from the non-premium Indian brand Anant? Rutlands used to sell it in the 90s. I don't know how much they asked for it, but it was probably more than it was worth.


* An ELU MOF96 power router was around £155 in ads in the same issue, so it cost a lot more for the privilege of not using electricity.
 

Honest John

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I bought a Stanley or Record 050 combination from the Bay a couple of years ago for not a lot of money and I love it. I use it regularly for rebates and grooves and such. I love the dust and noise free Woodworking that this gives me compared to using one of my many electric routers. It came with the full compliment of cutters in a slotted wooden case, some of which appear to cut coves and beads although I have never tried it for that. From what I could see mine was virtually unused, requiring nothing more that a sharpening, and a wipe over with an oily rag.
 
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