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Another Side to the 60's

Back in the late 1960's, the folks who made Record tools in Sheffield, England, redesigned their classic 044 plow plane (or plough plane, as they spelled it). It's a tool used for making grooves by hand, and it's hard to imagine why Record bothered to redesign it, with everything going electric back then. The 044 was pretty good to begin with-why spend the time and money to make it better?

Speaking on behalf of all hand tool nuts, I'm glad they did. The redesigned model, the 044C, is very comfortable to hold, easy to adjust, and has a handle that's virtually unbreakable. I love the way it looks. It comes with a set of 10 cutters (four of them metric, no less). I couldn't find one on eBay, so I turned to a tool dealer in Scotland, Inchmartine Tool Bazaar ( They had one in its original box for about $125, including shipping.

I also found a ton of information about this plow plane, and all other Record * planes, in a venerable old book,

% "Planecraft," by C.W. Hampton. He wrote this manual in 1934, and it's been updated and republished many times. Now I've got my sights on a Record 050C, a combination plow plane from the same era that can also cut beads and dados. Leads, anyone?

David Lane

Editor's note: See page 24 for a new version of this plane, by Lee Valley.

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