Record Multi Plane - No. 405
Record 405 Review By: I.Ball
Category: Old Multi Planes
Plane Type: Multi
Model No: 405
The Record 405 multi-plane is a tool capable of carrying out a multitude
of tasks. The idea behind the invention of these multi-planes was to
have one multi-purpose plane instead of having 10-50+ different planes.
The Record 405 can perform the following jobs:
- Plough / Plow
- Centre bead
- Rabbet and fillester
- Match planning (tongue and grooves)
- Sash planing
The plane functions also include the possibility of producing ovolo
and astragal moulds with the use of the beading cutters.
The plane is made of three main sections:
- Sliding Section
The body is the central part of the plane to which everything is connected including the housing of the chosen plane blade. The body of the plane is fitted with a Rosewood rear handle and Rosewood front knob.
The sliding section which sits between the body and the fence, is used to support the wider plane blades in order to help prevent chatter.
The sliding section can
be adjusted if required by sliding it along the arms and locking it in position
with the thumb screws. This may require moving the fence first if the fence is
positioned close to the sliding section.
The fence is used to guide the plane along at an equal distance from the edge of the piece of wood being planed. Once again this can be adjusted by sliding it along the arms and locking it in position with the thumb screws.
In addition the main body parts, the 405 is equipped with an adjustable depth gauge, adjustable beading stop, sliding section depth gauge, slitting cutter stop, cam steady, 2x short arms/rods, 2x long arms/rods, blade clamp, spurs for cross-grain work, and the relevant securing screws.
The plane body and its parts were finished with a nickel plating which
was advertised as a rustless finish. The planes with nickel plating
give the plane a bright shiny look; the nickel plating can be prone
to coming off over time which may result in exposed metal which is
more prone to rust.
The 405 did have a period in the early 1940’s during World War II when the plane was made with a ‘war finish’. The war finish was introduced due to restrictions on materials during the war. Planes with this finish which are seen today show the plane with a dull grey look all over it.
The Record 405 multi plane was built in competition with the Stanley 45 multi plane. Both planes have very similar parts and similar extra parts such as the extra cutters and bases.
The 405 model number is also similar to the 45 model number, just with the usual Record addition of a ‘0’ to the model number, although unusually the ‘0’ wasn’t added at the start of the model number to make an ‘045’ as they did with nearly all over Record model numbers.
The Record 405’s were sold originally with 23 cutters as standard, with
later Record 405’s being sold with 25 cutters as standard. The later
models had their cutters presented in a plastic blue wallet, this wallet
had two extra ovolo cutters (1/4" and 3/8") .
The original 23 cutters consisted of the following:
Plough – 1/8”, 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 13/16”, 7/8”
Beading - 1/8”, 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2"
Sash - 1 3/4"
Match - 3/16", 1/4"
Fillister - 1 1/4"
The 405 had additional cutters available to purchase at extra cost.
Sash cutter - 1 1/2"
Fluting cutters - 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4"
Beading cutters - 5/8", 3/4"
Ovolo cutters - 1/4", 5/16", 3/8"
Reeding cutters (2 beads) - 1/8", 3/16", 1/4"
Reeding cutters (3 beads) - 1/8", 3/16", 1/4"
Reeding cutters (4 beads) - 1/8", 3/16", 1/4"
Reeding cutters (5 beads) - 1/8", 3/16", 1/4"
There were also Record 405 additional bases available to buy to offer
further additional functionality. The extra bases available included:
No 6 Hollow and Round:
1/2" (13mm) cutter = 3/4" (19mm) diameter cut
No 8 Hollow and Round:
5/8" (16mm) cutter = 1" (25mm) diameter cut
No 10 Hollow and Round:
3/4" (19mm) cutter = 1 1/4" (32mm) diameter cut
No 12 Hollow and Round:
1" (25mm) cutter = 1 1/2" (38mm) diameter cut
No 5 Nosing:
1 11/16" cutter = 1 1/4" (32mm) diameter cut
Each hollow and round set comprised of one hollow, one round and two blades. The hollow and its cutter will form a round. A round and its cutter will form a hollow.
The 'nosing tool' base and cutter are intended for forming a complete half round e.g. shaping stair treads.
These bases are used by removing the sliding section and put the required base in its place.
The Record 405 was presented in the most part in a wooden box. There
was a short period early on when the 405 was presented in a dark blue
cardboard box. The final 405’s were presented in a dark stained wooden
The wooden 405 boxes were made with combed joints with a diagram and parts list displayed on the underside of the lid.
The boxes were lightly fitted boxes with a couple of little slots and compartments to place certain parts neatly in to help stop them moving about in transport. The Record 405's screwdriver had its own individual slot.
Below are photos of most of the Record 405 boxes the planes were sold in:
In the early-to-mid 1940’s during World War II, the Record 405 had a
a manufacturing time when the plane was no longer made with a nickel
plated finish but made with an alternative finish which was called the
The reason for the introduction of the war finish on the 405 and the other Record plough planes was because the British government had issued restrictions on certain materials during the war.
Record planes with the war finish which are seen today show the plane with a dull grey look all over it.
The example in the photo shows the small parts as bright coloured which commonly meant they were nickel plated. I am unsure if this is because they had plenty of these parts already in their stores when the restrictions came in or another reason such as they have since been replaced or maybe there was a different technique used on these parts. It seems like a lot of parts to have been replaced since the making of the plane.
UPDATE: I have since seen other Record war finished planes with bright parts so this was the way they were, not replacement parts.
high grade cast iron
crucible cast tungsten steel
Handle and knob:
Record 405 Parts
What is the body?
The body is the core plane piece which bears the handle, slitter, depth gauge, and the selected cutter. The main body piece provides support for one edge of the cutter.
What is the sliding section?
The sliding section is one of the three largest pieces. The sliding section piece provides support for the opposite edge of the cutter to the body piece. The sliding section is held on the selected two arms. These arms allow the sliding section to be positioned in the required position to support different width plane blades. The sliding section sits between the body and the fence.
What is the plane fence?
The fence or guide is used to set the cutter to the required distance from the edge
of the piece of work being worked. The fence is held on the selected two arms.
These arms allow the fence to be easily slid to the required distance (and then
locked in place with the locking thumbscrews). The fence has two different holes
towards each end to feed the arms through. The purpose of these is to allow the
fence to be set at two different heights.
The fence is fitted with a hardwood knob offering the user extra comfort and control when handling the plane. The fence is also fitted with a hardwood strip running the length of the plane. This strip acts as a guide which comfortably slides along the edge of the piece of work being worked.
The 405 can be used left or right handed, with the fence being able to be positioned on the left or right side by pushing the arms through to the relevant side.
What are the arms?
The Record 405 has two pairs of arms, one pair labelled as the short arms (4 1/2 inch)
and the other pair labelled as the long arms (8 1/2 inch). Occasionally different
length rods are found to the norm where Record or the user have made custom sized
The arms are the cylinder rods. These rods slide through the various holes on the body, sliding section and fence to bring the whole plane together as one, as well as allowing the sliding section and fence to be easily adjusted to correct positions by sliding them along the rods.
The rods also act as the anchor points when the thumbscrews secure the sliding section and fence in position.
What is the cam steady?
The cam steady is the semi-circular piece. The cam steady slides on and secures
to one of the arms (usually the arm at the front of the plane).
The purpose of the cam steady is to act as a fence stabiliser, assisting in preventing the fence dropping to a position which results in an undesired / inaccurate planing outcome.
1933 - 1982
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