Record Compass Plane - No. 020

record plane 020
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The Verdict

Record 020 Plane Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Record

Plane Type: Compass

Model No: 020

The Record 020 compass plane otherwise known as the Record 020 circular plane is a 10 inch long metal plane with an adjustable flexible sole.

The plane is used for planing timber which has a curve such as the edge of a round table.

The flexible sole can be adjusted to form a convex sole or a concave sole, set to the required curvature.

The flexible sole is anchored with the frame at either end of the sole with a screw adjustment in the center.

The sole is adjusted by turning the knurled sole adjustment wheel nut; located on the top of the plane in the center. The screw either pushes the center of the sole down or pulls the sole up to create a curved sole.

Once the sole has been adjusted to form the desired curvature, the adjustment wheel nut is locked by securing the small locking screw just under the adjustment wheel nut.

record 020 compass plane

Similarly the small locking screw should be loosened before turning the adjustment wheel nut.

The frame shape provides handy grips to handle and control the plane with ease.

The Record 020 is fitted with the same plane blade, cap iron and lever cap as the number 03 bench planes. This makes finding a replacement piece a lot easier to find.

The plane blade and cap iron are locked in position with the lever cap. This helps to reduce chattering. The lever cap has a plated finish which is usually a nickel plating. The lever cap has a pear shaped hole in the middle in which a screw runs through, the shape helps prevent the cap loosening.

record 020 plane

Also, as with the standard bench planes such as the 03, the 020 compass plane has a lateral blade adjusting lever located just behind the blade. This lever pivots side-to-side which in turn adjusts the cutter side-ways (note: the lever cap must be released when making these alterations).

When looking at compass planes, you may come across some very similar planes including the Record 020C compass plane and the Stanley 20 compass plane. Other than the colour and the plane markings, the Stanley 20 is almost identical in design.

Tradionally compass planes were made from wood with a fixed sole, mostly with no form of adjustment.


Plane Construction

record compass plane no 020

Body and frog:
high grade cast iron

Lever cap:
high grade cast iron with a plated finish

Cap iron:
best quality steel

flexible spring steel

tungsten steel

Plane finish: blue

record compass plane no 020

Record 020 Plane Markings

"Made In England" - found on the top face at the very front of the plane.

"Record No 020" - found on the top face of the sole adjuster wheel nut.

"Record" - found on the lever cap face.


Manufactured Dates

1932 - 1969


How To Date This Plane

I have seen a Record 020 plane example where the top of the box has an interesting note saying 'The Ministry of Supply Order 1951 No. 1048 prohibits the use of Nickel Plating on Planes, and an alternative Metal Plating is now used'.


Plane Also Known As

Record Circular Plane 020
Record Curved Plane 020
Record Rounding Plane 020


Are There Any Problems / Issues With This Tool?

When buying an 020 compass plane, it is worth checking the anchors (the pieces of metal which connect the frame to either end of the sole) aren't damaged / loose / disconnected. Similarly where the central section meets the sole.

Also it is worth checking the frame hasn't cracked from a previous fall.


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