Many of Stanley's competitors took to making direct copies of that company's more popular designs all in an effort to cash-in on the corporate giant's marketplace that they nearly had monopolized. Some companies, like The Ohio Tool Co., pretty much made direct copies of Stanley's planes, and even went so far to give them the same model number (Ohio Tool had the courtesy of prefixing all their ripoffs with a zero; e.g., #05, #010, etc.).
One company, Sargent&Co., long a dominant force in the hardware business (hinges, locks, brasses, etc.), also was a company that sought to mimic Stanley's planes. However, the New Haven-based Sargent&Co., sought to differentiate their products through some clever, and at times questionable, modifications or improvements to the basic designs.
One of Sargent&Co.'s more interesting planes is their version of the #62, the model they designated as the No. 514. For all intents and purposes, their plane is the same as Stanley's #62, however, it went a bit farther with its adjusting mechanism, making it capable of lateral adjustment instead of just lengthwise adjustment, which all of Stanley's low angle block planes posses.
The lateral adjustment means is really quite simple and it's done via the same knob that regulates the iron's set. The threaded adjustment knob screws into a stocky cylinder, which in turn fits into a machined boss in the main casting. The cylinder is permitted to pivot over a small range in the boss. Just above the threads of the adjusting lever, the rod diminishes slighty in radius to accept a clip that's peened to the underside of the iron. This clip can rotate so that the iron's lateral adjustment is smooth and capable of fine control. This design was innovative enough to be patented by Albert Page on March 17, 1914 (too bad his last name wasn't O'Page).
The mouth is also adjustable, and it's the same basic patented design (Henry Sargent's, April 24th, 1906) used on the company's common block planes. The adjuster is a disk-like casting that has two projecting lugs that are opposite each other. The lugs are gripped by the thumb and finger to move the sliding section of the sole.
The plane has the patent date embossed in the main casting. It measures 14" long and has a 2" wide iron. A simple screw-activated lever cap holds the iron in place. As with many of Sargent&Co.'s planes, the knob and tote are made of mahogany.
For another interesting Sargent plane, tune into John Shaw's design by pressing Shaws.
Copyright (c) 1998-2012 by Patrick A. Leach. All Rights Reserved. No part may be reproduced by any means without the express written permission of the author.