The No.77 block plane is the cousin of the No.76, but was only manufactured from 1933 to 1943. It is likely derived from the Preston No. 1355, and lacks the receding nose of the No.076, but adds a blade adjustment mechanism in the form of a milled nut. Due to its limited manufacturing years, it’s somewhat of a rare plane, production stopping midway through WW2. A sibling to the No.77, the No.77A was manufactured from 1933 to 1994. It retained the blade adjustment mechanism, but differed by having an adjustable mouth.
The nose is attached to the plane body with a single centred machine screw, and can be removed completely to form a chisel plane.
In addition, there are two steel “distance” shims between the detachable nose and the plane body, held in place by two pins. One is 1/64″ thick, and the other is 1/32″ thick, allowing the plane throat to be modified to four distinct opening sizes for fine or coarse work.
The blade adjustment mechanism has a knurled knob and engages the blade which has a slot cut in it.
There are a number of variants of this plane, which deviant from the original, as the plane evolved through manufacturing.
- Type 1: Markings of “007A” on the bottom heal of one side, and “RECORD BRITISH” on the lever cap (surrounded by blue paint).
- Type 2: Markings of “Record No 077 / 077A, Made In England” on the bottom heal of one side, and “RECORD” on the lever cap. The small inset triangular region to the rear bottom of both sides has been removed.
- Type 3: The original wavy form lever cap is replaced with the singular curve, also found on the No.076. Again I think this is likely due to a reduced manufacturing cost. The downside to this was that the original maintained a portion of the lever cap at the bottom (maybe ¾” in length) which held down the lever cap, although only the front point actually made contact (see the third figure above). This allowed more room for shavings, room which was reduced with the new lever cap. Similar markings to the Type 2, except no markings on the lever cap.
- Type 4: No markings on the plane. The front of the plane “nose” has changed from a gentle curve to an edge, somewhat negating the “bull-nose” concept.
This makes the plane I have somewhere between a Type 1 and Type 2. Note that the Clifton 770 is somewhat of a clone of the Record No.077, and the Edward Preston No.1355. Clifton, as well as Veritas are two modern manufacturers of bullnose planes.