|Record Stay-Set No. 041⁄2|
|Before I "rehabbed" it.|
The chip is pretty big, but it really doesn't affect the plane in use that I can find. Likely it is the result of a casting error that wasn't seen until much later when the plane was already in someone's hands.
From what I can tell, the only difference between a Stay-Set Record plane and a regular Record plane is the "SS" cast into the lever cap, and the two-part Stay-Set chip breaker. I hadn't ever seen a Stay-Set chip breaker up close, so I was looking forward to this one.
|Stay-Set 2-piece chip breaker.|
I think the idea is a little silly, given the way I work. Re-attaching a chip breaker to a freshly sharpened iron is really not hard. In fact, I would say it takes just about as much effort to attach a regular chip breaker as attaching the second piece of the Stay-Set chip breaker to the blade assembly.
In my opinion the real benefit of this chip breaker is in the increased mass of the chip breaker. I've long thought that the single best upgrade you can make to a vintage Bailey type plane is to add a heavier chip breaker. This one definitely has more mass.
There are some other differences between this plane and the previous Record No. 04 that I reviewed. Let's take a closer look:
|The new to me Stay-Set No. 041⁄2 next to my other Record 04.|
|A close up of the cap iron.|
|Much better attention to detail on the older plane.|
I went a bit wild with the rehab of this plane. I don't really like to "brand-new-ify" really old or somewhat collectible planes, but this one isn't particularly rare, and it also has a giant defect in the casting that will never allow this plane to fetch top dollar.
Brand-new-ifying it is.
|As good as new.|
|Before and after.|
The knob and tote on this older plane were rosewood. I stripped them with a scraper and gently sanded them back. I finished them with some of my linseed oil followed by a coat of shellac and some paste wax.
|I can fit it in my honing guide this way. Why? Because I can. That's why!|
The most difficult part was the chip breaker. It's usually a pretty simple thing to sharpen the underside of the leading edge to ensure a tight fit, but with this short cap iron, I found it difficult to hold for that purpose. I'll have to think about this and try something else. I did the best I could, but it isn't perfect.
Luckily, it seems to work just fine.
|Beautiful wispy shavings.|
My first impression is that I now know why many people really love the 41⁄2. It is a little longer than the No. 4, and has the same width as a No. 7. I think my favorite part about it is the extra mass in this plane. It feels very solid. I think it weighs about a pound more than the others:
Type 12: 1632 grams
Record 04: 1670 grams
English Stanley: 1680 grams
Record Stay-Set 041⁄2: 2272 grams
The extra weight is both a blessing and a curse. It's a nice, big, beefy plane that I'm sure will make you tired faster after a lot of use than a regular No. 4.
As far as the blade goes, I didn't get the same warm-fuzzy feeling with this steel that I got with the later Record blade. Perhaps I need to use it a bit more to get used to it. It's good, but not as fantastic as the one that is on my later model.
That's all pretty subjective. In the end, it seems to work just as perfectly on the wood as the others.
|I think it is a beautiful plane.|
Peter Schickele, the voice of P.D.Q. Bach said about music, "If it sounds good, it is good."
Perhaps we could change this saying a bit to suit smoothing planes:
If it works, it works.
Part I Type 11 Stanley
Part II English Stanley
Part III Record
More to come... (Sigh)