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Sargent Plane Identity Tips

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 1231 days ago 5751 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1516 days


1231 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: sargent planes planes plane identity frankenplanes plane restoration david heckel

One of the planes I have from my GG-father is a Sargent, so I have been recently exploring eBay and picked up another “user” as well as David Heckel’s book on these planes. In an attempt to better myself and my knowledge about Sargent & Co. I try to follow the eBay postings on a regular basis.

I recently noticed this posting for a Sargent Plane. Wanting to know what/how this plane would/could be so valuable I started flipping through David Heckel’s book and found what seemed to be an anomaly to me. The lever cap, according to the book, was a “Type 4” with the single rectangle Sargent logo on the front, yet the seller is stating this plane is a “Type 2” plane and thus worth big $$$. Other portions of the plane back this guy up, but the lever cap is odd. He claims to have purchased this plane directly from David.

The guy snapped at me for emailing my concerns about this to him so I am asking fellow LJs for their expertise on identifying early Sargent planes.

QUESTIONS:

Just how good is David Heckel’s Sargent Planes – Identification and Value Guide (2nd Edition)? Any errors (if so where)?

Any tips on avoiding Frankenplanes on eBay?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."


8 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15667 posts in 2821 days


#1 posted 1231 days ago

I don’t know anything about Sargent planes, but when I was researching the two old Stanleys I purchased recently, I found quite a bit of conflicting information out there. When we’re dealing with old stuff and minor differences, who can say if any source is 100% accurate?

I know this: A guy who is asking $695 for an old plane, who states that he takes no returns, who suggests that questions be asked before the purchase and then bristles when you ask a legitimate one…. well, let’s just say he makes me a little reluctant to do business with him, 100% satisfaction rating or not.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1516 days


#2 posted 1231 days ago

I hear you Charlie, I am readily beginning to fear anything over $25-50 on these planes. My current purchase was $26 +sh for a Sargent 418VBM. I have an older 418, so I wanted one to refurb “like Charlie did.” Your fault, but it was/is fun. Did the electrolysis thing and painted yesterday. Still coating the tote and knob a couple more times and then done! Already sliced my thumb open today on the blade after scary-sharpening it. Thank god for super-glue!

I am hoping that this thread can put together some information/tips on identifying hand planes (my interest is Sargent) for all the non-Stanley planes that are out there. It seems that there is a ton of stuff for Stanley and nothing (or very little) on their competitors when it comes to what is out there and what to look for, etc.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View swirt's profile

swirt

1935 posts in 1574 days


#3 posted 1231 days ago

I have no knowledge of Sargent planes, but what I can say is trust your gut, if something doesn’t look right, it is probably not. Look not only at what is shown, but look for what is not shown. I’ve only ended up with one Franken plane and I keep it to remind me to look for what is not shown.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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racerglen

2254 posts in 1383 days


#4 posted 1231 days ago

From my research and experience even the best of books and advice can be off when it comes to identifying old tools as to their vintage. One author’s been quoted as saying, in the case of Stanley, that when a new model run began the workers would keep using whatever parts were available from the older units until they were gone. I have a (my mistake) Stanley #4 that I fought for at auction because it had a Bedrock lever cap..number 4, not Bedrock’s 604 designation..Sigh.. The Sargent could be a slight Frankenplane, somebody could have broken the cap and simply put the newer one on..then you’re stuck with the user\collector question..and do you try to track and orriginal lever cap ? There are dealers with those in stock like Bob Kaune..

Glen

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1516 days


#5 posted 1231 days ago

Hi Glen,
Bob Kaune’s image of a very early Type 1 pre-lateral 422 (FYI, 418 and 422 have same frog/cutters) is one of the main reasons I wonder about the early lever caps. Bob's 422 has a plain lever cap with NO Sargent Logo, nor does it have ANY logo on the base. Other than mine having the lateral lever, they look very similar. The low beaded knobs are also indicative of earlier models. Also, the #418VBM (the next next iteration of this model) I got off of eBay also has the low beaded knob.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

156 posts in 602 days


#6 posted 586 days ago

Not entirely on topic, but I bought an inexpensive plane from a thrift store. The only marking was on the blade, fulton tool co. I think that was a pre-craftsman in house brand for Sears they put on a lot of stuff. This plane appears to be made by Sergent. This interesting part is that the cheap plane I bought from Harbor Freight a few years back is a clone of the one I picked up at the thrift store.

-- Ted

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1516 days


#7 posted 586 days ago

Ted,
Unfortunately the blade is probably the worst identifier. My first Sargent #418, the one that I have had in my possession +50yr that came from my GG-GF, has/had a Stanley Sweetheart blade on it! I swapped it out for Hock blade.

The BASE/sole of the is the truest indicator of the make of the plane since the blade, cap, and frog can all be so easily changed. It is very hard to trust the heritage of a plane without finding it in a barn yourself. Here is some of what I have learned, at least concerning the #418 and #422 Sargents. Look at the base in front, but under the frog. That area may be thick or thin, as well as the overall thickness of the body in determining the age/type of the plane:
http://www.horizontalheavens.com/418vs418VBM%20Comparison.htm

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

156 posts in 602 days


#8 posted 584 days ago

Thanks for the link. based on the pics It’s clearly a Sargent plane. But your are right, who knows if the blade was swapped out at some point.

-- Ted

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