The block planes of Record.

When one thinks of metal planes from the U.K., it is hard to ignore those made by Record. The British company C. & J. Hampton Ltd. registered the trademark “Record” in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1931 that the company began manufacturing planes, based on the the patterns of Stanley. As such, there is nothing inherently innovative about these block planes – their main selling point may have been the “TUNGSTEN STEEL cutting irons” (high-speed steel). These blades made of tungsten carbide were supposedly harder, more resistant to wear, and produced a keener cutting edge. The Tungsten also prevented grain growth in the steel, producing a small grain size, and making the steel more resistant to shock.

record_planes

 

One of the interesting things about Record planes is their colour – painted surfaces on the body or lever cap are usually blue. The blue used in the original colour specification was known as “BS110 Roundel Blue”, yet it apparently varied in shade over the years, from a dark blue pre-war to light blue in later years. Record produced a number of block plane models, like many other plane manufacturers of the same era. This is quite astounding considering the smaller British market. Conversely Millers Falls, who started manufacturing planes a little earlier than Record, had a much larger repertoire. The numbering of the Record block planes suggests a direct correlation with the Stanley numbering system. There are some slight differences in the mechanisms used on some planes, but the planes are doppelgängers.

No.09½ – adjustable (lateral, depth), 6″ (1934-2004)
No.015 – adjustable (lateral, depth), 7″ (1934-1943)
No.016 – adjustable (lateral, depth), 6″ (1934-1943)
No.017 – adjustable (lateral, depth), 7″, nickel-plated lever cap (1934-1943)
No.018 – adjustable (lateral, depth), 6″, nickel-plated lever cap (1934-1967)
No.019 – adjustable (lateral, depth), 7″, nickel-plated lever cap (1934-1943)
No.0101 – non-adjustable, 3½” (1935-1943)
No.0102 – non-adjustable, 5½” (1932-1974)
No.0110 – non-adjustable, 7″ (1931-1994)
No.0120 – adjustable (depth), 7″ (1931-1982)
No.0130 – double-end non-adjustable, 8″ (1931-1982)
No.0220 – adjustable (depth), 7″ (1931-1994)
No.0230 – adjustable (lateral, depth), 6″, nickel-plated lever cap (1932-1943)

record_blockP

The initial four block planes increased to 13 by the late 1930’s, but wartime restrictions saw six of those models disappear (although some appeared in catalogs up until 1962). By the mid-1980’s there were three block planes left, augmented by the addition of a fourth:

No.60½ adjustable (lateral, depth), 6″, low-angle (1982-2004)

 

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