Record 040 plough plane

Record 040 plough plane

Another year, another hand plane. This time it’s a Record 040 plough plane which, according to “Record Hand Planes, A History“, was only in production from 1935-1943. Due to the short production run, it is less common than other Record plough planes, such as the 043 and 044, but despite that, they do turn up regularly on eBay.

The one I bought had some surface rust but was otherwise in good condition.

After a quick soak in some Evapo-rust, the rust was gone. For some reason, the Evapo-rust turned the edges of the chipped blue paint white. Not ideal, but it’s better than all the rust.

The final step was to try it out on some scrap wood.

Record 040 planing in process of cutting a groove
Record 040 cutting a groove

So, how well does the Record 040 work? The short answer is: Not amazingly.

The main problem with it is the fence bar. As there is only a single bar on the 040, the fence would naturally want to rotate. To prevent this, Record made the top of the bar flat allowing the fence to lock onto the bar a lot better.

The fence bar is threaded like a bolt and screws into the body. When screwed in tightly, the flat portion of the bar should be at the top but, with wear, the flat portion moves away from the top, as is the case with mine.

If the flat portion of the bar is no longer at the top, the fence will lock on at an angle and not work. To make it work, either the fence bar needs to be rotated to the right position, making it and thus the fence loose, or the fence needs to be tightened onto the non-flat portion of the bar, making it less secure. Neither option is ideal.

A better solution would be to make a washer so the bar tightens with the flat portion on top, but it would be fiddly to get right.

If Record had used a screw to secure the fence bar instead of a threaded bar and hole, this would not be an issue.

The only other problem with the Record 040 is that it has a habit of clogging up.

Record 040 plough plane clogging up with shavings
The Record 040 clogging

Clogging is not a big problem. It just requires keeping an eye out for it and clearing it with a pencil or wood chip when it occurs.

Apart from the fence, the 040 is a decent little plough plane. I don’t think it would handle much more than 9 mm (3/8″) irons, but that is enough for many uses.

Groove cut by Record 040 plough plane
Goove created by the Record 040

Overall, it works, but it is not as pleasant to use as the 043 or 044, and the fence issue is not ideal. Unless you can get one for a low price, I think the Record 040 is one Iā€™d leave to the collectors.


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