DATING RECORD HAND PLANES
After 40 years of collecting Record Tools this is my finding on the lateral lever of Record hand planes from No 02 through to No 08, T5, No 010, and the No 010½. I find this the best way to date all Record hand planes. Dates are accurate to within approximately one year. Record very often had new products in the shops before they appeared in their Catalogue.
Lateral Lever Pattern #1
The first pattern had a revolving disc on the lower end of the lateral lever. This was provided until WW2 from 1931 to 1939 with no lettering marked on the lateral lever.
Lateral Lever Pattern #2
Revolving disc at the end of the lateral lever with "WAR FINISH" marked on the lateral lever, 1939 to 1945.
Lateral Lever Pattern #3
Solid disc at the end of the lateral lever with no markings on the lateral lever, 1945 to about 1952.
Lateral Lever Pattern #4
Solid disc at the end of the lateral lever with "RECORD" marked on the lateral lever, about 1952 to late 1957.
Lateral Lever Pattern #5
Solid disc at the end of the lateral lever with no markings on the lateral lever, 1959 with new ogee-shaped frog.
Frog Pattern #1
There are four frog pattern's that I have found. The first pattern having straight sides and a flat machined cutter seating, from 1931 to 1956.
Frog Pattern #2
The second pattern with straight sides and a recessed surface to the cutter seating to allow for less friction when moving the cutter, with the lateral lever. This was available for a short time in 1957. This pattern could be the first pattern that 'Qualcast' cast for Record. Qualcast also cast the body and frog for other plane makers like Stanley and Woden.
Frog Pattern #3
The third pattern has ogee-shaped sides and recessed surface to the cutter seating, from late 1957. This is when 'Qualcast', Fine Casting's foundry, Derby, started making the body and frog for Record. On the frogs cast by Qualcast you will see the letter Q marked in the top left hand side panel, and in the top right hand panel there is a number that could be for the casting run and year. Also, the body is marker with a letter like 'A' just under the frog. I am unable to confirm what the numbers and the letter on the frog stand for as the records for Qualcast were lost in the take-over in the 1980's.
Frog Pattern #4
The fourth pattern, a modification to the frog adjusting mechanism saw a milled slot introduced to the rear underside of the frog casting to accommodate the redesigned frog adjusting screw, from August 1976. This replaced the previously used captive head adjusting screw and fork. This pattern of frog had the solid disc pattern #5 lateral lever to 1st October 1988 and then the Lateral lever #6 pressed steel type onwards.
To date I have found three differnt patterns of frog screws that hold the frog to the body. The first pattern has a distince chamfer to the head of the screw from 1930 to 1957.
The second has a smaller chamfer from 1957 to the late 1960's and the third is flat from the late 1960's on.
The thread pattern is 7/32 B.S.W. X 20T.P.I.
FROG Y LEAVER
The Y. Lever which engages the cutter and cap iron assembly for cutter adjustments changed from a one piece iron casting to a two piece pressed steel component in the late 1960's.
FROG ADJUSTING BRASS NUT
The brass adjusting nut's first pattern is distinctively round on the inside edge, from 1930 to 1954. The second pattern has the words off-cut-on, marked from 1954 to 1963-4. The third pattern is less round on the inside edge from the late 1960's onwards.
There is nickel plating to the lever cap and the small screws until WW2. When nickel plating was discontinued during wartime production, due to government restrictions on nickel plating for non-essential purposes. A reduced wartime product range resulted in a ground and laquered finish. All planes that had nickel plating on them carried a "Ministry of Supply Restriction" lable, dated 1951. This was affixed to the lid of their boxes to confirm that an alternative plating had been applied. Although the box labels still identified the contents as "nickel plated", chromium plating appeared on bench plane lever caps from 1956.
Early Pattern Lever Cap
The lever cap on the left is the first pattern without the diagonal reinforcing RIBS. This lever cap was used on the first Record bench planes from late 1930 to mid 1931.
Cutter and Backing Iron
The first profile of the cutter had a straight top with angled sides and marked "RECORD, Made in England, Best Crucible Cast, Tungsten Steel" from 1930 to mid 1950's.
The second profile had a curved top and marked "RECORD, Made in England, Best Crucible Cast, Tungsten Steel" from mid 1950's to 1959. The cutter and cap iron on the 05½ jack plane was changed from 2¼" to 2 3/8" around 1937 to match the cutter on the 04½, 06 and 07 bench plane.
Cutter and Backing Iron
The third profile had the curved top with angled sides and marked "RECORD, Tungsten Vanadium Steel, Made in England" from 1959. Some curved top irons were marked "RECORD, Made in England, Best Crucible Cast Tungsten Steel" 1956 to 1959. Thereafter, it was "RECORD, Tungsten Vanadium Steel ,Made in England". The cap irons were marked at the top, "Correct angle for grinding". The profile of the cap iron changed from a straight top with angled corners to a round top with angled corners, from 1956 to 1959.
Stay-Set Cap Iron
C. & J. Hampton applied for a patent January 1931 which was granted on the 10th of December 1931. The patent number 362743 was for a two piece cap iron called "Stay-Set". The Stay-Set cap iron was marked with the patent number for 16 years until December 1947. Thereafter no patent number was marked on the Stay-Set cap-iron. Record Planes could be bought with the Stay-Set cap iron at no extra cost. Stay-Set cap iron could be bought separately as a spare part. Planes equipped with the Stay-Set cap iron had "SS" cast into the lever cap. The box label also had "SS" after the plane number. Hand Planes offered with Stay-Set cap iron were 02 to 08 and the T5 Jack plane.
HANDLE AND KNOBS
Rosewood was used for the handle and knob until WW2. Post-war production used dark stained beech until 1998 when resistant resin (plastic) replaced wood handle and knob afterwards. Prior to the early 1950's all bench, block and side rebate plane and the cutter iron wedge on the 1366 were listed a selected rosewood. Thereafter they were listed as selected hardwood which was beech stained and lacquered dark brown. However, it is likely that beech was used from the beginning of WW2 as rosewood became difficult to obtain due to war-time restrictions. The 405 retained rosewood fittings until 1962, thereafter selected hardwood was used. The 400½ scrub plane, routers 071 and 071½ always had beech handles and knobs. The 070 box scraper for 40 years had an ash handle clear finish.
As you will see I don't use the name Tote for the plane handle and not sure where Tote came from as I have looked in many Stanley catalogues and Record catalogues with no mention of any handle called a Tote. I also collect hardware and tool catalogues which number about 600 and no mention of Tote either. If anyone out there can let me know where Tote came from please let me know, I would love to know.
The dictionary definition of Tote is "to carry by hand" or "to make a practice of carrying". (Origin unknown)
The curved top edge of the sides and the curved toe and heel of the body casting had a ground finish until about 1955 to 1960. They were subsequently left as cast and enamelled blue. The frog receiver in the body casting was modified from a straight central rib to a wishbone shaped buttress around 1955 to 1960. This is when Qualcast, Derby, were doing the casting of the frog and body for Record. On some bodies you will see the letter 'Q' where the frog is seated.
Plane numbers 06, 07 and 08 had a central strengthening rib added to the body casting from 1963. A corrugated sole became available as an optional extra from 1932 but was discontinued on the 04½, 05½ and 08 from 1971. It was discontinued on the remaing bench planes in 1993.
The planes with a painted finish were advertised in catalogues as Record Blue but the shade did vary over the years. The spokeshaves which had their numbers prefixed by 'A' were made of malleable iron and painted red. Cellulose paint was used pre WW2 and subsequently stove enamel. The name Record on bench plane lever caps was highlighted in orange throughout most of the production years but was omitted from the early 1990's. Early block planes prior to WW2 also had Record highlighted in orange on the lever caps. It is said that the choice of the original blue came from the outer ring of The Royal Air Force roundel, such as in an archery target.
The supplier and manufacturer of the paint to C & J Hampton was R. J. Stokes & Co. Ltd, Sheffield. The original paint colour was known as Roundel Blue, then Hamptons Blue and later as Record Blue. The reference number for this paint is "BS 110 Roundel Blue". The BS refers to British Standard and is one of the colours from the very old BS381C range. Originally the paint was a traditional solvent bourne stoving enamel. Over the years the paint was re-formulated several times to reduce the solvent content and work at lower oven temperatures. For the last number of years there were two separate paint lines. One was an Epoxy Polyester power coating and the other a Waterbound dip coating, both of which were still stoved. This virtually eliminated the solvents in the paint. R. J. Stokes and Co. Ltd also supplied the orange paint for the highlighting of Record on the lever caps of the hand planes and block planes. The red paint on the spoke-shaves and the green paint for the Calvert Stevens Plane No. CS 88. Needless to say all this paint was developed and produced in Sheffield by
R. J. Stokes & Co. Ltd.
I would like to thank Mr James Stokes for all his help and time in getting this information for me.
The R. J. Stokes & Co Ltd web site is www.rjstokes.co.uk
In the United States the federal spec number for Record Blue is FS 595 15056. This number is a part number for Irwin Tools (US) Not sure if this is the later lighter blue colour that was used by Record/Irwin Tools.
I would like to Thank Mr Paul Hook, Virginia USA for this information.
The type of box which a plane is supplied in can be an indication of its age. With a few acceptions, which are dealt with seperately, Record planes were supplied in boxes as follows:
Pre-WW2: - Dark blue paper-covered strawboard with the contents labels on each end of the lid. Very early large planes may be seen with the box contents label on one end and a side of the lid.
WW2 to 1962: - Lighter blue paper-covered strawboard or card box with contents label on one end only. Until 1962 the box contents label had a blue and white border surrounding a yellow background with the contents stated.
1962 to 1970's: - A straw coloured paper covered card box with a blue and yellow contents label on one end.
1970's to 1980's: - A blue and white printed box made of corrugated cardboard. Until 1972 the box was marked C & J Hampton Ltd and then until 1982 Record Ridgeway Tools Ltd.
Pattern numbers 041, 042, 072, 073, 074, 077, 075, 311, 050, and 050A were furnished in a clear varnished wooden box with sliding lid up to the late 1940's
C & J Hampton registered the Record trademark in 1909 and the products were better recognised by the name Record than that of the manufacturers C & J Hampton and subsequent owners. The trademark was incorporated into an oval and applied in various sizes by water-slide transfer to most of the product range.
Type #1: The lettering and border are in gold on a blue background with 'Trade' and 'Mark' either side of RECORD shown top left. 'Genuine' is on top of RECORD and 'Made in England' is underneath, from 1930 to 1955/6.
Type #2: Paper stick-on label. The lettering and border are in gold with a blue background like type #1 but without having 'Trade' and 'Mark' either side of RECORD. ' Genuine' is on top of RECORD and 'Made in England' is underneath, from 1956 to 1961/2.
Type #3: Gold lettering and border on a clear background, with RECORD in a gold box. 'Genuine' on top of RECORD and 'Made in England' underneath, on a water slide transfer, from 1962 to 1979-1980.
Type #4: Gold lettering and border, with RECORD in a gold box on a blue background, water slide transfer, 1980--and still in use 2001.
1980 also saw a new oval water-slide transfer, with RECORD in red script lettering applied to Record vices.
The early trademark was RECORD in gold lettering and then in 1920 the trademark was RECORD in gold lettering and a border around RECORD, with 'Trade' and 'Mark' either side of RECORD.
From left to right in photo: Type #1, Type #2, Type #3 and on the bottom Type #4.
Certain model numbers were listed as being fully nickel plated on their introduction in catalogue No. 12 of 1933. These were Plough Plane: No. 050, Multiplane: No. 405, Bullnose Rebate: No. 077 and No. 077A. Shoulder Rebates: No. 072, No. 073 and No. 074.
However in catlogue No. 14 1935 listed all of the above planes as being "Rustless Plated" along with the following newly introduced models: Bullnose Shoulder Rebate: No. 311, Shoulder Rebates: No. 041 and No. 042, Side Rebates: No 2506 and No. 2506S, Bullnose Rebate: No. 1366, Plough Planes: No. 043, No. 044 and No. 050A.
Examples produced in this period can be observed with a dull grey metal coating that may be cadmium plating.
Catalogue No. 15 of 1938 listed the planes as Nickel Plated with the exception of the No. 050, No. 050A and The Multieplane No. 405 which remained Rustless Plated.
The onset of WW2 caused government restrictions to be imposed on the use of nickel for non-essential purposes. This, coupled with a much reduced war-time product range, resulted in a ground and lacquered finish to the No. 042, No. 073, No. 077A and No. 311 rebate planes. They were also stamped "War Finish" on the body casting. Later models of these were never plated.
Bench Planes, lever caps and small screws were also furnished unplated during the War.
Whilst nickel restrictions were in force the Plough Planes were plated with a nickel alternative along with the Side Rebates which made a post-war re-appearance.
All planes which previously had "Nickel Plating" on them carried a "Ministry of Supply Restriction" label, dated 1951, affixed to the lid of their boxes to confirm that an alternative plating had been applied although the box labels still identified the contents as Nickel Plated.
Chromium plating appeared on Bench Plane lever caps from 1956 and on the No. 018 Block Plane's knuckle joint lever cap and fittings from its re-introduction in 1959.
The last catalogue No. 16 1n 1962 listed the No. 2506, No. 2506S, No. 043, No. 044, No. 050, and No. 405 as plated.