Newly Acquired Merit Plane

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Forum topic by Hawgnutz posted 02-24-2008 11:32 PM 5108 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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526 posts in 4959 days

02-24-2008 11:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: merit planes

I recently acquired a Merit plane. Here is the plane. It is in pretty good shape, except for the totes. The rear tote is broke horizontally in middle and front tote looks like it is starting to break along its lip. You can note the dark metal of the side. Is this regular japaning?

I was going to flatten the soul. It loked like it was painted to match the rest of the plane.

The bottom of the frog is embossed with the number 409.

Here is the plane disassembled:

Here is my question: Is this a collector plane, or is Merit a “generic” plane that I should just be happy to return to service?

Thanks for all your input.

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

8 replies so far

View Recycler's profile


40 posts in 4648 days

#1 posted 02-26-2008 01:15 AM

I haven’t seen or heard much about Merit planes. The only data I can come up with is that there’s a Merit smooth plane (probably very similar to yours) at for $25.

I’d fix it up and use it if I had it.

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Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4845 days

#2 posted 02-26-2008 03:55 AM

Never heard of it. Fix it up and use it. It looks like about the size of a #5. some one probably “spiffed ” it up with paint. You can get Crown totes and knobs at Woodcraft. Have fun, Marc.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4644 days

#3 posted 02-29-2008 04:18 AM

It does look like a #5 (about 14 inches long). This is a plane that could be very useful for removing cup and twist from a rough cut board prior to puting it through the planer. I would go ahead and flatten the sole, and sharpen the iron. The chip breaker may also need a little stoning. I definitely would fix it up and let it “sing” again.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4758 days

#4 posted 02-29-2008 12:31 PM

I’d agree—restore and return to service.

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 4873 days

#5 posted 02-29-2008 03:55 PM

Mine was fun to restore into a working tool. Ripped some hard maple the other day, had burn marks from the saw blade and I shuddered at the thought of the time needed to sand all those marks out…then I grabbed my “restored” plane and ZZZZZIPPP! It was sooo beautiful! All those marks just magically disappeared!

So restore it! Then post your results.

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4959 days

#6 posted 02-29-2008 04:42 PM

Thank you. Yes, I am going to bring it back to service. I found some old rear totes on Ebay and will fabricate a new front one from some mahogany or hard maple. It is same size as my other 5s, but iron is much shorter. I have just finished geting initial edge on the old iron. It had 3 different bevels and the edge was not square, either. I have a couple of old 110’s in the same condition as well as new bench and block planes I got for Christmas that vI need to put the initial edge on, too. I am had a sharpening party!

Even with my Work Sharp, I still am using grinders and stones. All the way from my wooden #37 and #7 to my littlest the bullnose, they all got a new edge or honing. Woo wee, what a job that was! I am still working on those old 110’s, too. The irons were in terrible shape! I look forward to getting the old Merit, along with a rust-bucket Stanley restored to use this spring, thanks to the electrolisys post from David.

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View Warezo's profile


3 posts in 54 days

#7 posted 09-21-2020 01:07 AM


I found a Merit Tools 5277 plane and refurbished it to use in my shop.

View bandit571's profile


26727 posts in 3566 days

#8 posted 09-21-2020 01:32 AM

The “409” is a Sargent frog. Supposed to be the same as either a No. 409 Smooth plane OR the No. 414 Jack plane.

Would seem that Sargent made the plane to be sold by Merit….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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