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Unpopular Planes #1: Unpopular, Unloved or just overlooked?

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Blog entry by Johnnyblot posted 612 days ago 2711 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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In my time here on LJ’s I have seen, [especially Handplanes Of Your Dreams topic] what great lengths many of us go to, to bring a woodworking tool, in this case Hand Planes back from the junk heap to a full [wood]working life!

The big boys, particularly here in the UK are /were:-
1) STANLEY, made in USA & England

2) RECORD, made in England

But there are many others available that have not, shall we say been taken to our hearts like those above.

So here I’d like to show you a plane that I own, picked up for pennies at a car boot fair [Flea Market]. It has remained under my bench stashed away, unloved. Until now.

This is a RAPIER 400. Which to all intents and purposes is a Bailey pattern #4 bench plane. they were made by Anglo Scottish Tool Co. Gateshead, England.
Gateshead just happens to be approx 20 miles from where I live. I’d never heard of these planes until I saw this one and read ‘Gateshead’. Which in itself is a bit odd because usually planes simply say ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’. Also Gateshead is not particularly [be polite Johnny] well known, other than being on the south side of the river Tyne, across from the more famous [?] city north of the Tyne, Newcastle. However I’m waffling.
Carry on!

To make a point I Googled RAPIER and found a link to the UK Workshop site [like LJ’s] and found this ...a typically pithy comment by ALF [She’s on LJ’s too somewhere] it reads…. RAPIER...

Brandname of the Anglo-Scottish Tool Co. of Gateshead, c.1950s/60s. Generally considered not the greatest planes ever, although their #3 mini grooving plane (a knock-off of the Record #043) is well regarded. There’s a bit in the archive on them, but not much more than this really – no-one seems to know (or care) much about all the various companies skulling about in Britain at that time.

Cheers, Alf

Thank you Alf, I couldn’t of put it better myself :-)

Why don’t I like this plane much? Well it’s silly really- it’s got ‘Plastic’ handles and it’s not black [Stanley] or blue [Record] and it hasn’t got a nice shiny chrome Lever Cap?

But is it well made? Yes. The castings of the body & frog is excellent.

It is also slightly heavier than the equivalent Stanley #4 by 5 ounces

Are the handles comfortable- fit for purpose? Yes, apart from being made from plastic.

Are they cheap to buy off Ebay? Hell yeah- nobody wants them!

Can it be tuned up into a smoother? Dunno- Yet!

STAY TUNED?????

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit



3 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

13935 posts in 1069 days


#1 posted 611 days ago

i’ve never encounter a RAPIER. Something to look forward to. I’ll be you make a smoother

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.wordpress.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

View racerglen's profile (online now)

racerglen

2123 posts in 1282 days


#2 posted 611 days ago

I have seen Rapiers by times, and for some reason there are a couple of their blades in planes on my wall,
they seem to be an OK blade, not stellar, just OK..

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View Johnnyblot's profile

Johnnyblot

317 posts in 777 days


#3 posted 611 days ago

This Stanley of mine, surprisingly has a RAPIER blade in too.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App

You can pretty much be sure that whoever made these cutters for Rapiier, made them for Stanley and Record too.

Cheers
John.

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

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