The M44 Iron Plough Plane is first shown in the ‘New Line’ ‘M‘ plane introduction of the September 1935 mini catalogue. Here it is just listed [with no image] as ‘Plough Plane, 8.1/2ins. long, with 8 cutters 1/8 in. to 9/16 in. … 17/6 each‘
The surface finish is not stated, but this information is first to be found in the September 1936 mini catalogue wherein it is listed as ‘Rustless Plated‘.
The first listing that I can find stating that this plane was ‘Nickel Plated’ is in the 1954 Export catalogue., and thereafter Nickel Plating remained the plating used until the plane was discontinued by RECORD around late 1969.
From the 1st November 1951 price list of planes it would appear that this M44 was produced throughout the war and would then have been ‘Rustless Plated‘ to conserve Nickel for the war effort. Like those similar planes produced around this time by RECORD the plating was based upon ‘Cadmium‘ and had a dull grey colour finish. The 1959 large catalogue tells us that the cutters were supplied in a plastic wallet, but Types 1 ,2 and 3 planes had the cutters housed in a Red cardboard sleeve with matching top.
Here [above] is the first illustration from the March 1936 mini catalogue.
Here are some prices gleaned from catalogues, these can help identify the age of a plane, if it is boxed and if it was price marked!
9/35 – 3/40 17/6d.
4/61 – 9/61 55/-
4/62 – 9/62 60/-
3/64 – 4/65 65/-
Around 1963 the plane was renamed MA44, as it was now produced by C&J Hampton [RECORD], since they tookover the MARPLES firm in late 1962. The MA44 [Type 4 here] was produced until at least late 1969.
This type may be structurally distinguishable from later types in that this first issue has no small width cutter retaining screw housed into the base. It was ‘Cadmium’ plated [Rustless plated], and this finish was available as such between September 1935 and c.1954. I also note that the rods do not have the circular indentation at one end and that they also had the early circular MARPLES transfer on the rear handle.
Below is a good example of this Type 1, compare it closely to the Type 2 shown below that:
Apparently RECORD tools #044 added the ‘cutter cramping screw’ in 1949 and I will assume that MARPLES followed suit at this time.
Therefore Type 2 represents the issues from c.1949- 1954, being still Cadmium Plated and it seems the ‘Diamond’ motif on the thumbscrews was added at this time.
8.1/4″long and Nickel plated throughout and polished on the top of the handle and top of the main frame. On the top of the handle is placed a circular MARPLES water transfer [MARPLES only, not W. MARPLES & Sons]
2.9/16″long and 1/2″wide Nickel plated, and very often missing!! This fence appears to be the same issue as is found on the M40, MA43, and M50.
8 cutters were supplied, 7 in a Red plastic wallet and 1 to be found installed on the plane. [1/8″;3/16″;1/4″;5/16″;3/8″;7/16″;1/2″;9/16″.]
The markings [BM 11] seem to be found on only the 4 largest cutters due to space limitations.
2 sizes of rods were supplied to handle the different width tasks asked of the plane. The rods were supplied in a manila envelope, as shown. I have yet to find out the purpose of the circular indentation at one end of each rod. Short Rod 3.1/4″long, Long Rod 7.1/4″long and both of 3/8″diameter.
Lever Cap and Screw:
The Lever Cap was always painted RED and had a plated adjusting screw. The smaller cutters were secured by a lateral grooved screw applying pressure against the main body. [see below] [Not present in Type 1]
Fence and screws:
The fence was 7.1/8″long and all nickel plated. The screws still had the ‘diamond’ insert knurled pattern.[shown below]
This 2 sided leaflet is sized 8.7/8″ x 11″ and therefore the scans below can be copied and reproduced for your benefit.
Box and Labels:
The M44 box was substantially made and therefore many have survived to this day. The end label and top of lid label are shown here.
This could be called the Type 4 of M44 plane and was produced by C&J Hampton from late 1962 , [after the takeover of MARPLES by RECORD] until late 1969 and then was de-listed.
I do not expect that this plane would have materially differed from Type 3 in any large way, but the photo below shows that the base casting marks had a rounded aspect to the name MARPLES and the number MA44.
The only other exception was in the box design, and this followed the Blue and Yellow labels of that time that was typical then of RECORD. As shown below: