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Sargent Planes-Information NOT in Heckel's 2nd Ed. Guide

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 02-26-2013 03:37 PM 6157 views 7 times favorited 98 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


02-26-2013 03:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sargent planes sargent plane handplane hand plane date dating additional information guide heckel age how old

I have been sitting on this information over the past two years, and after re-reading my personal emails, I realized that what Charles shared with me was NOT published and was thus copyright free. Charles authored the Shaw’s Patent Type Study in David Heckel’s ID Guide. His full name is in that guide, for those seeking that information, I am not including it here.

Anyway, here are some personal email exchanges (NOT LJs PMs), with identity links removed, concerning identifying characteristics of some of the earliest Sargent Planes from ~1880s through the 1920s or so. I think fellow hand plane enthusiasts will enjoy the added details/information on their Sargent Plane collection:

- – - – - – - – - – - – - -
[FROM ME]
Hi Charles,
I am hoping you might be able to help me nail down some dates on a Sargent #418 plane passed down to me from my great-grandfather. This plane has never been on the market and was used by my GGF to make a living. He was born 18xx, sired #x kids from 18xx-1890s, and eventually died in 19xx. My grandfather and father were both machinists (never carpenters) but saved this #418 and my GGF’s 22” Auburn Tool Co. wooden jointer and passed them on to me some 50 years ago.
Please take a look if you can, and possibly head me in the right direction for dating this thing.
http://www.horizontalheavens.com/418vs418VBM%20Comparison.htm
http://www.horizontalheavens.com/sargent_418_fore_plane.htm
Michael


[FROM CHARLES]
Thanks for the email, It looks like you done most of your research quite well. But your plane is more likely around 1909-1910 era. Not to say anything bad about Dave Heckel but he did the research that he wanted to & I let him put the Type Study of the Shaws Patent in the book. Quite a few people overlook that Sargent Started using Rosewood, Then East India Mahogany, & then in 1925 or so they just used any Mahogany that they could get. Yours looks to have East India Mahogany . A simple way to check it is if you have a user Stanley handle or knob, & the one off of your plane. On the bottom side of the handle or knob in a area not to damage it put it to a bench grinder for just a touch & then smell it. Rosewood will have a sweet smell & Mahogany will not. The proper blade would have helped in finding the year it was made. Also the pads that the frog screws into are round up to 1906 & squared off after that. Dave said that I over researched the Shaws patent & He left out a good bit in the book. But If you would use both the 400 series info. & the Shaws Patent Type Study it mite help in dating them. Good luck with the 418, The earlier Sargent planes were just as good as the Stanley planes , So since it belonged to your GGF you should find the proper cutter for it & let it retire on a shelf. There are a lot of users out there to use as a roughing plane. If I can be of any other help please let me know. Thanks Charles

[FROM ME]
Charles,
I’ve got a bug in my ear that keeps reminding me that Dave only used part of your Shaw’s Patent study. I keep wondering what I am missing…
Have you thought about publishing the full Shaw’s Patent study and/or making it available in some form or fashion? I really liked finding out about how the pad shapes changing in 1906. I am now wondering about how the “tote placement” has changed over time as my GGF’s 418 tote is ~5/8” closer to the frog than the 418VBM’s tote. Also the base of my GGF’s 418 has NO identifying marks (plain) just as some early Type 1 and 2 planes I have seen posted on eBay on occasion. Any ideas on tote placement and plain bases?
Michael


[FROM CHARLES]
Thanks for the email, I also added a couple photos of the basic 3 types of bodies. I didn’t have a pre-lateral at this time so we will call them Type 2,3 & 4. The one with the round post for mounting the frog has a very thin area behind the mouth & the leading edge of the frog doesn’t touch it 1891-06 ,The Type 3 has square post for mounting the frog & a thicker area behind the mouth.1907-09. The lateral lever will be twisted on these types & could have the hores shoe lateral or the standard lateral on the No.418 Type 2 & 3 the body is 2 7/8 in. to under 3 in. wide, On the Type 4 It still has the square pads for the frog but now has a raised machined area for the leading edge of the frog to sit on.the lateral lever will be the folded type on the type 4 to the end of production. No.418 will be 3 in. -3 1/8 in. wide. 1910 & later. Also this type had the handle in a differnt pos. It would take quite a while to do a complete type study since every size was a little differnt. On the No.414 they also moved the handle , The type 2 & 3 No.414 was 13 1/2 in. long & about 2 5/8 in. wide & the later ones were 14 in. long & 2 3/4 wide. The dates that I used are just aprox. they could very a year or two. On the Shaw’s patent Type Study in Daves book he changed a few words here & there & I had about 7 types. One main thing is on the type 1 Dave has ” The area behind the throat is very small” It should have read ” The area behind the throat is very thin where the leading edge of the frog sits”. I hope this helps you a little, I wish I had the time to complete this type study & a few more but I just don’t have the time, If you are ever down this way I’ll let you go through all of my Sargents & do it yourself. Thanks Chuck


[FROM ME]
Chuck,
Boy this Sargent plane stuff is addictive! I just picked up another off eBay for $50. I found a #422 jointer that looks to be Type 2-ish. It has the twisted lever, Wright’s Patent date stamp, but has the second standard lateral working end that you say dates from 1907-09. This one is cleaning up real well and has much japanning left:
http://www.horizontalheavens.com/sargent_422_22in.htm
I added some side-by-side comparisons of the #422 with the two 418s here:
http://www.horizontalheavens.com/418vs418VBM%20Comparison.htm
Boy! I could not believe just how thin the entire casting is on this 422, especially the sides of the body where it looks like half as thick as those on the 418s (even though it has the squared frog mounting holes). This thing feels like a toy compared to my other planes! Again, NO emblems or plane numbers on the cast base (plain).
As always, any additional advice or shared knowledge is always welcome. Got any more tidbits on these early castings? Ever get an image of the pre-lateral casting?
Thanks, Michael


[FROM CHARLES]
Michael, Thats how I got hooked on SARGENT. It is a wide open research area. If you use the Shaws Patent Type Study & the other imfo. in Daves Book It should guide you in the right direction. I don’t know if I added in the last email but I have noticed that Sargent started not useing the plane numbers on the planes after they started the corragated bottom planes. & were useing the 5400 seris . As they couldn’d use the No.402 etc. numbers when they were corragated. So that is why you find the earlier ones marked & unmarked , I hope this helps you & just don’t confuse you that much more. Thanks Chuck

[FROM ME]
Well that at least gives me another explanation for the unmarked castings. I guy off eBay was insisting (dismissingly) that ALL the unmarked plane castings were only for Sargent’s off-brand production/business.

BTW, I use your Shaw’s Patent Type Study information quite a bit, but any additional images you might have of the frog mounting areas on earlier and later planes would be an added bonus. I am trying to build a graphic image library of the general changes made to these bases over time. I am amazed that David chose to leave such information out of the 2nd Ed. book, especially after you shared your research with him. Maybe he was/is afraid of the effect it would have on his own plane collection when trying to “establish” value after acknowledging the existence of additional “Types” in the early years.

QUESTION: How long did the production last for the twisted Wright’s Patent lever with the standard lateral (beyond the 1907-09 timeframe)? Was it used on other models later? It seems to me that that short 3 year period may make this particular lateral MORE scarce than the highly touted “Horseshoe” lateral that was apparently produced for a longer period of time (1891-1901). Just a thought…hmm…
Thanks, Michael


[FROM CHARLES]
Michael, That would be hard to say, I would say that any of the Sargent planes with the twisted lat. 1st. or 2 nd. type are quite scarce. Also if you take into the fact that Sargent more than likely started useing the horseshoe lateral while they were waiting on the patent, & when they came out with the later type they more than likely used up any old stock. Then the same thing when they came out with the folded lateral they used up any remaining old stock of the twisted laterals. Chuck

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


98 replies so far

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Don W

15561 posts in 1319 days


#1 posted 02-26-2013 03:44 PM

Excellent Mike. Thanks for sharing this information.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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CharlieM1958

15815 posts in 2970 days


#2 posted 02-26-2013 04:12 PM

Thanks for sharing that, Mike.

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

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HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#3 posted 02-26-2013 11:51 PM

Thanks guys, I have always wondered what else in the “Sargent” world is out there waiting to be discovered. Anyway, I now have a Type2 and Type 3 #414 that I am refurbishing. I aslo have a later #414 that has mismatched parts…

The Horseshoe Type2 had much pitting on the blade, chipper, cap lever, and most importantly the twisted knob. There was just enough detail left on the blade to make out that it was a Type 2 or 3 (Oval). I was obvious that all went together. The toe&knob were alien and I happened to have a period set in rosewood so that was cool. I found a Type2 blade and chipper, and a cap elsewhere. That being said, I now have a period accurate Type2 Sargent #414 that I have restored. And yes I re-japanned and ground the base square. Looks quite nice, though the only thing lacking is a clear stamp of the Feb. 1891 patent date on the horseshoe adjustment lever. Never the less, IT IS A HORSESHOE.

Fun stuff for sure… 8-)

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

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Tim

1388 posts in 713 days


#4 posted 02-27-2013 02:38 AM

Mike that’s awesome stuff, thanks. Do you mind posting some or links to some comparison pictures of your Type 2 vs Type 3 414 showing those differences you mentioned? Don mentioned the horseshoe a type two would have but I haven’t seen it. The comparison would be very interesting in general I think.

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HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#5 posted 03-08-2013 03:29 PM

Here you go. I had to add a #418 to show you a folded Lateral Adjuster for comparison.

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

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HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#6 posted 03-08-2013 05:19 PM

Here is some additional visual information concerning the evolution of Sargent Castings in the early years. Neither Charles nor I have/had a pre-lateral casting to compare (as that one would have been a Type 1). So here is what I have with regards to what Charles calls “Types 2, 3, and 4” castings.

The third plane is one I have had my entire life and before I re-japanned it, the original Asphalt Japanning showed that this ‘milling’ took place at the time this plane was manufactured. Below the comparison image I have included an image of the original japanning on this particular plane to show how the milling occurred at the manufacturer, in order to match the mated frog. Planes were fitted to their own parts, one at a time, prior to the moving assembly line production popularized by Henry Ford.

Early Frog Bottoms. Look at the right, The 424 Type2, and just how big that foot is! And it DOES NOT touch the sole when in use.

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

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Tim

1388 posts in 713 days


#7 posted 03-08-2013 05:58 PM

Great information and pictures. Thanks, Mike.

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Don W

15561 posts in 1319 days


#8 posted 03-08-2013 06:07 PM

When you writing your book Mike? Great info and thanks for sharing it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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racerglen

2396 posts in 1532 days


#9 posted 03-08-2013 06:21 PM

Now that’s attention to detail !
Great stuff Mike, now if I could find a VBM 15-C frog WITHOUT breaking the bank, I’d actualy
have one Sargent plane.
;-(
They seem to be VERY scarce this side of the 49th..
(Sargents in general )

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

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HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#10 posted 03-22-2013 11:28 PM

OK, I just received a very interesting FleaBay plane. It is a Sargent 409C that pre-dates the VBM moniker that most WWrs (including David Heckel’s ID Guide) assumes to ”start” the all Sargent Corrugated Plane series by 4 years. It has a thin casting, round frog posts, clearly marked “409”, is corrugated, has a “Horseshoe Lateral” adjustment, and has a “pure” brass adjusting knob that is indicative of very early Sargents (Sargent switched to steel sleeves inside the brass adjuster knobs, and then finally switched to brass coated/plated steel adjuster knobs). Having spoken with “Charles xxx” above about these very soles/bases, this plane could NOT have been made any later than 1906. That being the case, valuations escalate accordingly.

Charles: ”... [Plane soles/bases] Also the pads that the frog screws into are round up to 1906 & squared off after that. ...”

Please note the 409VBM directly next/above the plane in question, as a reference of the massive difference in manufacturer sophistication with the ”VBM” line of planes. This very early plane looks like an aluminum mock up by comparison. Just saying… ;-)

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

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Don W

15561 posts in 1319 days


#11 posted 03-23-2013 12:41 AM

I don’t know Mike. We may not live long enough to figure it all out.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#12 posted 03-23-2013 01:09 AM

Just thinking,... maybe this is why Stanley actually gained market shared way back when… who knows…? All I know is that it is a hell of a difference in the thickness of the soles and frog nuts…

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

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HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#13 posted 05-09-2013 03:04 AM

UPDATE: The corrugated #409 Sargent I shared above, is actually a Sargent #5409 (pp. 76-77 in Heckels’s 2nd Ed. Guide). Sargent only manufacture this plane for 3-years 1907-09, though this one, with its round frog posts, dates to 1906 or so. So this example must have been one of the very first in the 5400 Series to be produced.

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

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Don W

15561 posts in 1319 days


#14 posted 05-09-2013 11:41 AM

that’s a rare find Mike.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Don W

15561 posts in 1319 days


#15 posted 07-07-2013 09:59 PM

I got a Sargent type 2 #422 and a Sargent type 2 #414 this week end

Needs some work, but don’t they all.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.


Along with a type 2 #306 (I already had a type 2 #307)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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