This is a very early plough marked Darbey, and is most likely to be George Darbey of Birmingham.
18th century plough by William Wheeler of Thatcham is in remarkably good condition.  I love the decorated ends of the fence arms.
I've asked this one once before, but didn't get an answer (someone, somewhere, must have an opinion!) - how do marples planes and irons compare to Record and Stanley? Not quite sure how to answer this one.Going way back into the mists of time, there were two Marples companies, William Marples and Joseph Marples.
Vann and AndyT - thank you - I stand corrected!Phil - I think the best way to remove the twist from the plane's sole would be to file it out. The maker has created a raised area behind the iron on the stock to provide a rudementry hand grip. Notice that there are no wedge stems to the arms, which rely on pure friction to hold them in place.
The 5 I've not used as the sole has a twist in it that I've not felt inclined to take out - it has heavily laquered darkened beech handles.
I have only ever seen one other and that was on an Australian website…if you have one of these little beauties let me know!
The upside down Spiers mark is not confined to the early planes but the screwed construction and the domed lever cap screw certainly are.
William was the larger concern, making (among other things) chisels, brace bits, plane irons and wooden planes (which they continued to make into the 1960s).


The 7 is a beautiful plane with rosewood handles - the only fault I can find is that the handle is a bit small for me. It had some things in common with Veritas smoothers and I'll bet Veritas designers had a look at this model when they developed the design. Grip the plane upside down in a vice (engineer's type for preference), check carefully where the high spots are, and apply the file with a little finger pressure over the 'hump'.
It had a fixed frog and a plate in front of the mouth that could be move fore and aft and then locked with a couple of screws.
Work very carefully, just a few strokes at a time, and just on the highest spots, checking constantly.
Spiers claimed to have started in 1840 but by 1861 he still gave his profession as cabinet maker and plane maker.
They evetually (late 1970s?) became part of the same group that owned Record, and in the late '80s or early 90's, the brand name Marples was used on metal-bodied planes, probably made in the old Record works. The tote was a loop handle that joined the frog at the top, like the aforementioned Veritas. They dated from the '50s and were innovative and different then the usual Bailey style planes.
Once the twist has all but gone, lap the sole in the well-known way with wet-and-dry on plate glass. They appear to be heavy and well made, not quite as fine as Record planes of the period, but better quality than Rapier planes.


As both my planes were bought incomplete, and I have yet to make one good one out of the two, I cannot say how they perform.HTH. Cannot confirm the quality of these as never owned one, but I do know that Robert Ingham uses one.The Marples after Record took over are much better than Stanleys of the same vintage and the irons are pretty good and a little thicker than the Stanley's. PM me with your e-mail address if you want a copy of the Marples 1938 catalogue - PDF (which I lifted off the internet from somewhere).Cheers, Vann.
They can be identified by having Marples cast in the body around the knob, with Record cast on the lever cap, but not painted red (logo, that is, just left chrome). It will have a cam locking cap, not the later brass screw, when quality was poor and should be avoided. The only thing I do not like about the planes of this vintage, is the lateral adjuster is a stamped out bit of steel, rather than the ones with the roller riveted on, like earlier models. Aside this, the castings are good and heavy and they did come with wooden handles, allbeit the rear one in need of a bit of re-shaping.
Old Records are still the best and I have a slight preference for the early Records over the early USA Stanleys, if I'm honest, though I suspect this is so marginal that my preference for British made, edged the Record.Mike.



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