The big plus point for a Rapier is the frog that has two horizontal bottom surfaces .Also they have a frog adjuster. The complication with a slanting frog bed is not there to confuse the user . I have a No 4 Spear and Jackson plane with slanted bed frog. (two surfaces on the same plane angle ) .Also a Pre Stanley Acorn 4 1/2 with slanted frog base . Both need some understanding . (The Bedrock planes have the same slanted bed .That`s why collectors like them. Similar to a Penny Black stamp with missing perforations .Rare and a bit strange ) .Strangely both have lateral adjusters set a little off centre which becomes a real pain. The Acorn is easier to manage .The Spear and Jackson needed a metal hacksaw saw and some filing to get it working. (before I got it ) .Frankly the Spear and Jackson would be better without the adjuster .Just tap the blade sideways like it was a wooden plane. The sideways lateral adjuster forced me to offset the blade to the chipbreaker to get the blade to level out properly .This covered part of the hole used by the wishbone.So that was obstructed and needed some filing to keep the blade flat on the frog .One Spear and Jackson fault would knock on and create another one. The top spring cap had a habit of shifting loose due to the straight up keyhole.Apart from that the cam on the lever spring would be tighter in the loose position than when it was supposed to be tight .That`s why it has a Stanley cap fitted .Unpopular, Unloved or just overlooked?
In my time here on LJ's I have seen, [especially Handplanes Of Your Dreams topic] what great lengths many of us go to, to bring a woodworking tool, in this case Hand Planes back from the junk heap to a full [wood]working life!
The big boys, particularly here in the UK are /were:-
1) STANLEY, made in USA & England
2) RECORD, made in England
But there are many others available that have not, shall we say been taken to our hearts like those above.
So here I'd like to show you a plane that I own, picked up for pennies at a car boot fair [Flea Market]. It has remained under my bench stashed away, unloved. Until now.
This is a RAPIER 400. Which to all intents and purposes is a Bailey pattern #4 bench plane. they were made by Anglo Scottish Tool Co. Gateshead, England.
Gateshead just happens to be approx 20 miles from where I live. I'd never heard of these planes until I saw this one and read 'Gateshead'. Which in itself is a bit odd because usually planes simply say 'MADE IN ENGLAND'. Also Gateshead is not particularly [be polite Johnny] well known, other than being on the south side of the river Tyne, across from the more famous [?] city north of the Tyne, Newcastle. However I'm waffling.
To make a point I Googled RAPIER and found a link to the UK Workshop site [like LJ's] and found this ...a typically pithy comment by ALF [She's on LJ's too somewhere] it reads…. RAPIER...
Brandname of the Anglo-Scottish Tool Co. of Gateshead, c.1950s/60s. Generally considered not the greatest planes ever, although their #3 mini grooving plane (a knock-off of the Record #043) is well regarded. There's a bit in the archive on them, but not much more than this really - no-one seems to know (or care) much about all the various companies skulling about in Britain at that time.
Thank you Alf, I couldn't of put it better myself
Why don't I like this plane much? Well it's silly really- it's got 'Plastic' handles and it's not black [Stanley] or blue [Record] and it hasn't got a nice shiny chrome Lever Cap?
But is it well made? Yes. The castings of the body & frog is excellent.
It is also slightly heavier than the equivalent Stanley #4 by 5 ounces
Are the handles comfortable- fit for purpose? Yes, apart from being made from plastic.
Are they cheap to buy off Ebay? Hell yeah- nobody wants them!
Can it be tuned up into a smoother? Dunno- Yet!
So Rapier planes have Bakelite handles. If you had wooden handles coated with hard lacquer you might not notice the difference.Is hard lacquer classed as plastic ? Sorry to complicate the topic but planes ,good and bad , can help the learning curve .Rapiers have all you need technically for a very good plane. Just buy some wooden handles if you absolutely must .Rapiers. Nowt wrong with them .
36 KB Views: 3
31 KB Views: 3
35.3 KB Views: 4
34.9 KB Views: 3
34.9 KB Views: 4