Well, one of these I actually got a while ago, I just haven’t had any time to play with it…
I got the #8 late last year, and it has sat around due to the fact that it had a lever cap that was cracked in half (in the picture, it’s in the bottom right). Well, I finally snagged a new lever cap off of ebay, the same day I finally won a #71.
I’ve dated the #8 to 1910-1918, based on the patent numbers, adjusting knob size, etc., and the seller of the replacement lever cap put the date in the 1920’s. The tote is cracked off at the top (pretty common from what I’ve seen), and it looks like it was broken in half at some point and repaired. It has a little bit of a wiggle to it, so I think it may have another crack in it around the base, so I may end up replacing it – I’ll have to see. Considering the weight of the #8 and the amount of cracks already on it, I’m leaning towards replacement. Beyond that, the only major damage to the plane is on the front edge, which has a corner taken off the casting where it starts to rise up (visible on the left side of the picture). The lateral adjuster has a pretty severe bend in it, and I don’t really want to attempt straightening it out for fear of cracking it – so if I do replace the tote I may need to cut a little off the top myself to all for the bend.
The #71 is in fair shape – one of the knobs has a pretty good crack in it, most likely from over-tightening the screw. That should be an easy fix with some CA glue and sand paper. There is no depth stop, but I’m not too concerned about that since I primarily plan on using this to true up dadoes, etc. – not route them from scratch.
So, I’ll be looking to pick up some Evaporust soon, and start letting these soak :)
-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"