Combination And Multi Planes

Toward the end of the nineteenth century, there was a huge push to develop multipurpose iron planes. Remember, that at that time, the skilled woodworker had to have all manner of dedicated single-task wooden planes - a set of grooving planes, a set of hollows and rounds, and so on - for all the many grooving and shaping tasks.

Manufacturers came up with the brilliant idea of making one plane that could do it all. Through an evolutionary process they developed several do-it-all planes that came to be known variously as universal combination planes and multiplanes. With the primary manufacturer being "Stanley" in America, and then later "Record" in England, the best planes of this type arc the "Stanley 45," the "Record 405," which was a copy of the "Stanley," and the legendary "Stanley 55." These planes are characterized by having a main stock with a handle, a cutter clamp and depth gauge, two bar arms that arc fixed to the stock with screws, a middle section with an integral handle and runner that slides onto the arms, and then a fcncc and/or another handle that also slides onto the arms.

To use one of these planes, one of the many cutters is selected and fitted, the middle sliding section is brought up close to the cutter and then the fence and depth stops are adjusted to suit. The cutter is set for a shallow cut, and then the plane is used in much the same way as a rabbet plane. Certainly it sounds a bit whiz-bang, but in fact it is a very exciting and successful tool. Though the "Stanley" and "Record" planes arc long out of production, they can be bought used and a manufacturer has starred making "Stanley" look-alikes.

ABOvfrThe classic Stanley 45 in action. Arrows show thrust direction.

Depth g»jgt adjustment nr.

Slate or sole runners

Rosewood fence knot

fente fine , x adjustment strew

Rosewood fence knot

Depth g»jgt adjustment nr.

ABOvfrThe classic Stanley 45 in action. Arrows show thrust direction.

Slate or sole runners

fente fine , x adjustment strew

(utter adjustment screw and wheel

Ham stock hand!«

Stanley Multiplane

left: The Clifton multiplane is the successor to the Stanley 45 and the Record 405 - it is supplied with 24 cutters.

Sliding section

Arm rod to hold sliding stciwn and ience slide

Rosewood fence

(utter adjustment screw and wheel

Ham stock hand!«

left: The Clifton multiplane is the successor to the Stanley 45 and the Record 405 - it is supplied with 24 cutters.

Sliding section

Arm rod to hold sliding stciwn and ience slide

TIPS BOX

Rosewood fence

There is no denying that the router is a good option if your income depends on fast and furious output. But a combination plane isn't about speed. It's about the simple pleasure and challenge of all the setting up and tuning. Ard just in case you have looked in the catalog and see that you can't afford the high price of the beautiful new reproduction combination planes, it is still possible to buy old models second-hand at about a one third the cost of new.

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