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Record Smoothing Plane No. 03 SS (Stay Set)

record 03ss plane

The Record no. 03 SS (Stay Set) smoothing plane is an 8" (20cm) long smoothing plane designed for fine finishing work; the 03 SS plane is used for smoothing any irregularities made from the use of a jack plane, it is also used for smoothing joints. The plane is fitted with a 1 3/4" (4.5cm) blade and weighs in at around 1.47kg (3 1/4lbs). This bench plane can also be known as a finishing plane.

The 'SS' in the model number stands for 'Stay Set'; this is a special two piece thicker cap iron consisting of an upper cap iron and a lower deflector, the idea being you can very quickly remove the deflector and hone or sharpen the blade plenty of times without the need to keep resetting the upper cap iron. The 'Stay Set' cap iron was advertised as being chatter proof guaranteed, this boast was due to the additional third pressure point which tradional cap irons didn't have. 'SS' models have the attractive 'SS' mark on the lever cap.

The older C & J Hampton Record planes have quite a following of late from both users and collectors. From observing the sale of secondhand Record planes and Stanley planes, we have noticed Record planes generally command slightly higher prices than their Stanley equivalent plane of the period. These Record 03 planes were probably the second most used number '3' model of the 20th century behind the Stanley no. 3 equivalent.

Number 3 smoothing planes are still being made; model number '3' planes which are made today include Clifton, Veritas and Lie-Nielsen.

Plane Use

The Record 03 SS plane is generally used for finishing finer work on pieces of joinery and carpentry.

Plane Construction


Body and frog:
high grade cast iron

Lever cap:
high grade cast iron with a plated finish

Cap iron:
best quality steel

crucible cast tungsten steel

Depth adjuster wheel/nut:

Handle and knob (earlier models):

Handle and knob (later models):
selected hardwoods

Plane finish:
Record stove enamel blue

Plane Markings

"No 03" - (raised) found at the front of the plane
"Record" - (raised) found at the rear of the plane
"Made in England" - (raised) found at the rear of the plane
"Record" - set in relief on the lever cap face
"SS" - set in relief on the lever cap face

Manufactured Dates


Plane Also Known As

Record Finishing Plane

Further Info

Record Tool catalogues, No's: 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16
Record Planecraft books: 1934, 1943, 1945, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1959

There are also numerous retailer tool catalogues of the time which listed this plane for sale with picture/drawing and snippets of information. We have found it quite facinating looking at some of these and viewing the other tools of the time.

Where Can I Buy This Tool Secondhand?


This model of plane can be purchased from the following woodworking tool retailers, subject to availability.

Price: £25 - £55

Shops that sell similar planes

* The price shown is a typical price. The price may vary between retailers. The price may vary between planes. Some planes may command higher prices due to condition, type, age, variations.

Where Can I Buy Alternative Modern Planes?

Clifton Planes

clifton plane

This model of plane can be purchased from the following woodworking tool retailers, subject to availability.

Price: £250 - £295

Shops that sell these planes

Plane Details

Manufacturer: Record

Model No: 03 SS

Plane Type: Smoothing

Date Produced: 1931-1963

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£25 - £55

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£190 - £230

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