Dating record hand planes
It has also been noted that some very early 2-inch lever caps are slightly shorter (by 2mm) than later ones and have an indistinct flat about 7 mm wide on the inside lower edge, similar to that found on the 2-3/8 inch size. K., most RW planes have been found to comprise a mixture of original Steel Nut and Record specified parts.
In this study, these planes are referred to as ‘changeover’ planes and such examples will date to c.1961/62.
Original Woden bodies, frogs, and lever caps may be found on these planes, together with small parts, for example lateral levers, found on Record planes.
The greater number of Wednesbury parts, the earlier the date. These ‘changeover’ planes were packed in L2 labeled black boxes until the latter were used up.
Other smaller parts, including cutters, are user replaceable and could distort the dating process if not original to the tool.Fortunately, many Woden bench planes retain their little-used original cutters which were marked in a specific way.Hence it has also been possible to use cutters to assist with dating as three different types have been identified within the seven year period.The first planes fitted with the type 3 new improved cutter (NIC) had a small black & white label affixed to the box.
These labels have been found on both L1 and L2 boxes.
Early 2 inch lever caps had an inside measurement (shoulder to tip) of 48 mm (1954/55), increasing to 50 mm for 1955/57.