Record Woden Bench Planes 1961 to 1965

 Woden Tools Ltd. became a C & J Hampton (Record) company early in 1961.

 RW bench planes are those assembled or made by Record in Sheffield, from April 1961 until around mid 1965.

 Woden catalogues issued by Record presented exactly the same line-up of Woden planes as the earlier Steel Nut publications.
 Record used the same images as the earlier SNJH catalogues printed by Joseph Wones of West Bromwich.
 According to the Hawley Collection, this was quite normal as new printing blocks were quite expensive. In reality, the planes themselves
 gradually changed from the earlier Steel Nut product to one with fully Record made or specified parts.

 RW planes were so different from their earlier WW sisters that a comparison has been used to fully describe them. The comparison is
 between a late Steel Nut W4 plane with New Improved Cutter (NIC), and a Record Woden number W4, c.1961/62.See IMG 0040.
 Larger RW planes will, of course, have some slightly larger components.

 The early Sheffield planes (post April 1961) used a mixture of original WW components and Record specified parts.  These have been
 designated “changeover planes”.


IMG 0040

WW4 (left) and RW4 for comparison

 Body castings:

 RW planes are best identified by the style or profile of the body casting, which is identical to Record number 4’s of the same vintage.
 The profile is less rounded than WW, particularly at the toe end. See IMG 0041 (RW is lower plane) and IMG 0042 (RW left hand plane).

 At the heel, there is a notable bevel or chamfer underneath the handle. Shown in IMG 0043 and IMG 0044.
 The RW body shows linishing marks running the length of the sides and sole.  This is clearly shown in IMG  0043.

 On WW planes, the top edges of the body sides and the toe are ground square. RW planes have the top edges of the sides of the body
 rounded over and painted.  The toe or leading edge may be ground square, as in WW, or unfinished and painted.
 Generally, the toe is bright steel and the heel is painted.

 The WW base is noticeably thicker than some RW planes, see IMG 0044.
 Changeover RW planes have very similar body thickness to WW, that is base 4.5 to 5mm., and sides 3 mm. thick.



IMG 0041

WW4 and RW4 side elevations for comparison


IMG 0042

RW4 (left) and WW4, toe differences

IMG 0043

RW4 (right) and WW4, heel differences


 The brand identification cast into the body shows some differences from WW.  
 Changeover planes have “WODEN” cast in front of the knob and “No w4” behind, as WW. Later RW planes have no WODEN cast and
 simply  “No 4” in front of or behind the knob. See IMG 0045.


IMG 0044

WW4 (left) and RW4, sole thickness and heel chamfer

IMG 0045

Late RW4 showing simplified cast marking at toe

 Foundry marks may be found under the handle, usually “QC” and sometimes a single digit, but some RW bodies do not have them.
 There is a single digit mark on the frog receiver upper bridge towards the left hand side, if there is none under the handle.

 This could be because Record cast early w4 plane bodies in Sheffield, before outsourcing supply for later production.

 WW planes have the handle set directly onto the base but  RW have the handle set up 1/16” on a perimeter raised platform. See IMG 0046.
 Where the plane sides turn to the handle at the heel, WW have concave curves sweeping toward the handle. RW planes have more of a
 direct line leading to a pronounced platform for the base of the handle. See IMG's 0046 and 0047..


IMG 0046

WW4 (left) and RW4, handle platforms

IMG 0047

Heel profiles from the same planes

 The RW frog receiver is slightly different in that the ‘wishbone’ is more pronounced and the split lower surfaces are smaller. See IMG 0048..
 Lastly, RW has a thinner and taller transverse wall at the front of the mouth and the plane mouth and frog seating may be set further back
 in the body by about 3mm.


 Frogs and related small parts:

 There are no appreciable differences in the length and width of WW and RW frogs.
 On the cutter bed where the lever cap screw enters the frog, the WW frog is ground level and shows 3 radiating arms away from the lever
screw hole. On the RW frog, there is only one lower vertical arm. Both frogs have the Qualcast foundry mark (Q) and a casting number
 in the
 top recessed panes of the ogee profile.  see IMG 0049

 IMG 0049 also shows the frog fixing screw differences. WW have un-plated slotted round head screws and RW have un-plated slotted
 cheese headed screws with a minimum of chamfer.

 The WW frog back edge is vertical, almost at right angles to the sole when fitted but RW is raked back.  Hence the WW frog adjustment
 clip is angled whereas the RW clip is totally straight along its length.  On WW planes, the clip is plated and held by a distinctly chamfered
 and plated cheese headed slotted screw. RW is un-plated and held by an un-plated round headed slotted screw.  See IMG 0050.


IMG 0048

RW4 frog receiver and mark

IMG 0049

WW4 (left) and RW4, frog face differences.

Also shows different frog screws.

IMG 0050

Rear of frog differences; RW4 is top image.

IMG 0051

Alternative view showing RW4 straight frog clip and screw

 Lever Caps and Screws:

 All Woden bench plane Lever Caps are Chrome plated.  The WW lever cap is one part that appeared to be in abundance to Record
 for assembling Woden planes, well into 1962.

  The Record specified lever cap is more easily identified on the reverse.  WW shows less defined more rounded ‘ribs’.  RW was more sharply
 defined and had the added transverse strengthening strip at the leading edge. There are no marks on early RW lever caps but a single digit
 mark did re-appear on later planes. WW lever caps used by Record were generally modified with a larger orifice for the Record lever cap screw.
 The different size of orifice is clearly seen in IMG 0053.


IMG 0052

WW4 (left) and RW4, lever caps compared.

IMG 0053

Rear views of same lever caps

 Early changeover planes had chrome plating, as WW, but with a modified lever cap screw orifice (see below).
 The name WODEN was cast into the top face of the lever cap and the background was painted red.  Changeover and some RW plane
 lever caps retained red, but the background changed to orange for later planes. Orange being the standard Record colour.
 The “WODEN” casting appears to be finer on some of the later RW lever caps. See  IMG 0052.

 This style was later replaced by a plain fronted lever cap having without WODEN cast into it, but with the standard Woden brand transfer slide
 applied on the neck close to the lever.  See IMG 0054.


IMG 0054
Late RW lever cap front
levercapcamcomparisons    The sizes did vary slightly;
    RW had higher shoulders than WW;
    WW= 48mm     RW= 51mm.
    see IMG 0055.

    RW reverse and shoulder
    dimensions are identical to
    Record planes of the same
    vintage (around 1960).

    The total body length
    (excluding the lever) changed;
    WW= 111mm., and RW= 109mm.

    The width changed;
    WW= 48mm. and RW=  51mm.

    Lastly, the cam or lever profile
    changed to that of Record,
    with the RW showing more
    curvature. See IMG 0055, WW on the left.


    IMG 0055

    Lever cap cam profiles.

 The differences in lever dimensions are shown on the following sketch:-

sketchofcamprofile WW  has x= 29mms.                       RW  has x= 25-26mms.


 The lever cap screw orifice is larger in RW planes (about 23 x 14mm) and the lever cap screw can pass unhindered from the lower (larger)
 to the upper (locking) hole when the lever cap is replaced.
 The Lever cap screws on both planes are Chromed and threaded the same, 24 tpi., 9/32 American UNF, and inter-changeable.
 The WW screw has more thread with a set screw end, a more rounded head and a wider screwdriver slot. See IMG 0056.



IMG 0056

WW (left) and RW, lever cap screws.

IMG 0057

WW (left) and RW, cap screws


 Cutters and Cap Irons:

 The RW cutter is designated ‘Woden type 4’. It is very similar to Record parts of the same vintage. See IMG 0058.

 The top of the cutter has a curved profile and the WODEN brand identification is stamp marked.  The cutters have radial
 grinding marks on both faces and the thickness is similar to the WW type 2 cutter, about 2mm. The lower (working) facing between the
 adjustment slot and the edge is usually linished or surface ground to a degree of flatness. The WW NIC is much thicker, about 2.5 mm.
 (See later section on Dating Woden Planes for more details of cutters).

 Unlike Record irons, most Woden branded irons were simply stamped
 with the WODEN trade mark and "MADE IN ENGLAND".Record irons
 of similar
vintage were Tungsten Vanadium steel.
 Sometimes “TUNGSTEN VANADIUM” is stamped under “WODEN”.
 These tungsten vanadium irons, both Record and Woden, are understood
 to have been made from cold rolled steel. Record introduced a new
 process in the early 1960’s whereby the iron profile was stamped from a
 strip of the correct thickness, replacing the earlier process.

 IMG 0058 shows the cap iron has the same top profile as the cutter.
 It has the original bright steel finish apart from the lower inside edge
 which is ground so that it mates with the back of the cutter. It is stamped
 with "CORRECT ANGLE FOR GRINDING" and a 25 degree angle
 symbol, as per Record. It is 126 mm. in length. WW cap irons are
 133 mm. long.

 At the opposite end where pressure is applied to the back of the cutter,
 RW has a gentle lower curve of about 20mm long.  WW cap irons have
 a distinct crease to the start of the curvature which is about 15mm long.

 The cap iron screw is bright steel with either a cross-hatched (knurled) or
 a parallel line rolled edge.  WW planes always had a knurled screw
 edge with a “Blued” finish. See IMG 0057 above.. On both planes,
 the screws are inter-changeable with 18 tpi. 5/16 BSW thread.

 Cutter adjustment:

 The brass adjusting wheel for depth adjustment on WW planes is
 marked on the inside “ON  OFF  CUT". RW shows no adjustment
 direction markings.   See IMG 0059. A later brass wheel (c.1962 )
 had much coarser fluting on its circumference, with no markings.
 See IMG 0060. It may be that this wheel is to military specifications.
        IMG 0058 WW cutter (left) and RW 2 inch cutter c.1961/62


IMG 0059

WW (left) and RW, depth adjustment wheels compared

IMG 0060

Unusual RW depth wheel, c.1962

 On RW planes, the left hand threaded screw for the adjustment wheel is thicker, 6.5 to 7mm. with thread 24 tpi. 9/32 American UNF.
 The WW screw is slimmer, 5.5 to 6mm, with thread 26 tpi. 1/4 BSF.

 The lateral cutter adjustment lever on WW planes consists of a 2-piece plated pressed steel lever bent at the adjusting end to form an
 inverted U shape. As per Record, RW has a 3-piece riveted and bright steel finished lever. The RW lever is slightly shorter than WW.
 see IMG 0061.
 The head of the rivet that holds the lateral lever to the frog is larger in RW. On the rear of the frog the rivet is flush in
 WW planes, but is external and protruding in RW.  See IMG 0062.

 In WW, changeover and some RW planes, the “Y” adjusting lever is a one-piece painted steel casting.  Very Late RW planes have a
 two-piece riveted and BZP pressed steel “Y” lever, the same as used on Record planes from the late 1960’s. See IMG 0063.


IMG 0061

WW (left) and RW, lateral lever differences.

IMG 0062

WW (left) and RW, "Y" lever and lateral lever rivet differences.

 Handles, Knobs and Studs:

 Handles and knobs were made of Beech, machine made and dark lacquered as received from the supplier.  Shades varied,
 but generally the wood grain was not obscured.

 ALL WODEN planes have the same brand transfer on the top of the handle. Both WW and RW handles are about the same
 thickness, side to side.
WW handles are taller and deeper front to back, with flat sides.  RW handles are slightly smaller and more rounded,
 showing slimmer proportions overall. See IMG 0063.
RW have a top rear edge that is quite pointed at the top and rear of handle junction.
 WW have a rounded appearance at the top rear edges which meet at almost at 90 degrees.
Typically, WW handle dimensions are 110mm
 high x 77mm deep (at base) x 24mm thick.
The RW handle is 104mm high x 78mm deep (at base) x 24mm thick.
 IMG 0064 shows the WW knob (left), with a rounded top profile, a distinct ‘waist’ and a crisp chamfered foot. RW (right) has an elliptical type top
 profile with a blended indistinct waist and foot. There is also an indistinct groove at the base.

 The RW knob is 63mm high, 35-39.5mm wide with a boss diameter of 28.5mm. The waist width is 19-20mm.


IMG 0063

WW (left) and RW, number 4 plane handles compared.

IMG 0064

Knob comparison, RW on right.

 The steel screws or studs for the handles and knobs are similar in length, but have different diameters and threads:-
 WW 5.5 mm diameter with 26 tpi., BSF thread.
 RW  4.5 mm diameter  with 20 tpi.,7/32 BSW thread.(the same as the  frog screws).

 WW handle and knob screw cap nuts are brass, straight sided with a top flange, 13.5 mm long x 11mm diameter at the top.  The RW cap nut is
 ‘waisted’, 12.5mm long x 11 mm diameter at top. See IMG 0064.

 Larger RW Planes:

 No 4-1/2:

 Unlike the No. 4 size, there is little difference in the body side profile between larger WW and RW planes. We believe the RW4-1/2
 body also had the heel chamfer. IMG 0065 shows an RW4-1/2 changeover plane from around 1961/62.


IMG 0065

RW4-1/2 changeover plane

 This plane has painted body side tops, a Woden type 4 double iron and an un-marked RW depth adjustment wheel.
 Later W4-1/2’s with fully Record specified parts, will be similar to the No. 5 size described below.


 No 5:

 RW5 plane bodies have the following differences from original WWs:-

IMG 0066

RW5 (right), showing body differences.

IMG 0067

The same plane (right), showing raised handle platform

 The brand identification “WODEN” is larger and “No 5” slightly smaller and the order of the foundry marks (eg. “QC2”) is different;
 The two ribs on the toe and heel of the plane are wider;
 There is a thinner, taller transverse wall in front of the mouth, similar to RW4s;
 There is no strengthening rib on the base from the back of the frog to the front of the handle;
 The handle is mounted on a raised bed, similar to RW4s; The body side tops are painted and
 The frog receiver is slightly different, with smaller upper bearing surfaces and the lower ones linked together, but otherwise similar
 to RW4s. See IMGs
0066 and 0067.
 The frog assembly, small parts, lever cap and cutter assemblies are similar to RW4.
 The wood parts are larger and similar to vintage Record.  The RW5 handle is different – it has a rounded toe with no flat for the toe screw
 and no washer is fitted. See IMG

 IMG 0069 shows a nice example RW5 with all the features described above.


IMG 0068

WW (left) and RW5, handles compared


IMG 0069

RW5 complete

 Corrugated bottom (C-series) planes:

 These planes do not appear to have any distinguishing features other than the corrugated bottom. It is thought that standard production
 planes were used and the bottoms machined as required.
RW continued to make planes with corrugated bases until around 1962/63.
 Designated the ‘C’ series, page 48 of Cat. 30 (1962) explained the advantage of these planes for face planing thin boards.
See IMG 0069.


IMG 0069

Woden Tools catalogue information, 1962

 Woden bench planes appeared in the 1964 catalogue, but not 1966, so we believe Woden Tools Ltd. continued to make bench planes
 until around mid 1965. By this time, as has been described,  there was very little superficial difference between a Woden and
 a Record branded plane and the performance of each would have been comparable. All patterns of Woden plane were discontinued at
 this time (1965).   IMG 0070 shows a 1962 Woden Tools advertisement for planes.


IMG 0070

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