The M77 is listed as a Bull Nose Rabbet Plane and first appears in the October 1938 mini catalogue. It is not shown in the large May 1938 catalogue, so it must have been introduced around August 1938. It is, and was always, 4″ long and has a 1.1/8″ adjustable cutter.
There are few other details ever listed apart from the above rudimentary information, so I do not know whether it was originally introduced as totally Nickel Plated (in which case I feel sure that would have been mentioned) nor whether it was painted. In keeping with other MARPLES planes prior to c.1944 I would expect the base colour to be Black, then changing to Red after 1944+. But I have no evidence, as yet, of that being correct for this plane. The paint was initially applied all over and then the sides and bottom were machined and polished . The 1959 Catalogue does tell us that ‘The bottom and sides are accurately machined and ground‘.
Of note here is that the Revised Price List of 1st November 1951 (referring to the ‘Brochure dated December 1949) was not printed as showing that the M77 was a re-introduced line. My copy shows the M77 available, but as it has been hand written into the Price List,this is not assured.. This list is rubber stamp dated 8 April 1952.
Therefore we can conclude that the M77 was dropped from production around 1940 and re-introduced into the line around March 1952.
According to Catalogues and Price Lists here are the price increases over time:
October 1938 – March 1940 10/- Spare cutter 1/6d
April 1952 15/-
September 1955 19/6d Spare cutter 3/3d
April 1961 21/- Spare cutter 3/6d.
April 1962 22/6d. Spare cutter 4/-
The last reference to the M77 that I can find is in the Price List of April 1962. [ A Price List that still emanated from ‘Hibernia Works‘] In consideration of the facts that C&J Hampton [RECORD] acquired MARPLES in 1962 and that the M77 was then in direct competition with the RECORD 077, it seems logical to assume that this line would have been dropped from manufacture upon that acquisition or shortly thereafter.
As mentioned above we must conclude that the first M77 was issued in Aug 1938, and based upon other information gleaned from other MARPLES planes at this time (all MARPLES planes were painted Black.) there is good evidence to suspect that the M77 would have been likewise treated until at least c.1944, when the RED base colour was introduced across all the MARPLES lines.
I presently have no internet photos or personal information to support this intelligent supposition.
Again Type 2 is based upon the standards and marks of this time, but I could be wrong in the time line here.
Body: Was painted Red and has the circular ‘MARPLES’ transfer on the front of the plane that does not show as ‘Wm.MARPLES & Sons.’ The mouth on the base seems to be smaller than Type 3 since it has a 3mm mouth whereas Type 3 [below] shows a 4mm mouth.
Lever Cap and screws:
These screws are more finely knurled than later variations. (see Type 3 for pictures)
I have also noted that the Lever cap, at the pressure point, shows a ‘Triangular’ casting as opposed to Type 3 which has a more rounded casting and the side pivot points are thinner at 5.5mm average diameter. [see below : Type 2 is above and Type 3 is below]
Blades and Marks: The markings on Type 2 are shown here [BM10] and the blade was always stamped out at 114mm long and 23mm from the cutting edge to the shoulder.
Adjustment screws: [ blade adjustment and Pressure Cap screw] are knurled finer on Type 2 [above] than on Type 3 [below].
Box and Labels:
Body: The body seems to be the same as Type 2 but has a wider mouth on the base at 4mm
(cf 3mm for the Type 2) [Type 3 shown above in the photo below]]
Blade and markings:
Has the BM9 stamp.
Lever Cap and screws:
The pivot points on the Type 3 have been increased to approx 6.5mm and the Lever Cap now shows a more rounded aspect towards the front pressure point. [Type 3 is shown below in the photo ]
Adjustments screws: As can be expected these screws have now a much coarser knurling than Type 2. [Type 2 is shown above in the photo below]
But the dimensions are still the same…19mm diameter and 10mm depth of knurled finish.