The Sargent Prelateral #400 series Hand Planes

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The Sargent Prelateral #400 series Hand Planes as published in the March 2023 issue of The Gristmill

By Don Wilwol

Tool collectors, traditional woodworkers, and hand tool enthusiast have an obsession for hand planes. Partly due to the fact the hand plane is an essential part of most woodworker’s tool kit, especially if they are into traditional hand tool woodworking. So, it is no surprise that we find the history of hand plane evolution an interesting and well-researched subject. However, since it is frequently undocumented history, some facts can be speculative and often open to interpretation. As we follow the history of hand plane manufacturing, through the transition from wood to metallic planes, the research into the advancements and improvements of these tools is often addicting for those who thoroughly enjoy the history.

My addiction took me to the Sargent Manufacturing Company. Research tells us that by the 1870s, Sargent had started manufacturing their line of woodworking hand tools and in 1887 the company introduced the #400 series of hand planes.  These were very similar to the Bailey Patented hand planes that Leonard Bailey is known for manufacturing and later Stanley picked up and continued. The Sargent line of planes were first advertised in June 1887 in an insert added to the 1884 catalog. The hand planes were permanently added to Sargent’s 1894 catalog.  

As with all the metallic hand planes of that era, these were what are known today as the prelateral series. The typical lateral adjuster we see on most Bailey style hand planes had not been thought of yet, so lateral adjustment was made similar to earlier wooden plane by tapping the blade side to side.

The 1887 circular pictures the smaller, smoother-size hand planes toting a different shaped handle. We now call this a Type 0 (Zero). The longer hand planes in this insert are shown with a typical handle (tote) in the style we have seen on Bailey style planes ever since.

This would lead one to believe that this unique tote was only available in the smoother sizes, and it was assumed that way by many Sargent enthusiasts right up until Casey Benton found one in a size #422. And if your first thought is “well somebody changed the handle out”, remember the toe screw.

There are other subtle differences from the Type 0 and the Type 1. The model number is pressed in the base of the Type 0 #409 but it is cast in all of the Type 1s I have seen. Casey’s #422 Type 0 has no marking in the base at all. “Sargent & Co” is cast behind the frog on the smaller Type 1s and behind the tote on #414 and longer #s, but not on the Type 0. There are grooves in the frog seat where the frog screws sit on the Type 1 as well, but no grooves are seen on the Type 0. The angle of the tote bolt is different as well to accommodate the different stye tote —so these hand planes are clearly different.

Figure 1.  An example of a Type 0 #409 tote.
Figure 1.  An example of a Type 0 #409 tote.
Figure 2. Sargent #422 with the unique tote

The interesting point is, as of this writing, only one plane of each size is known to exist (and I have not heard of all sizes). That doesn’t necessarily mean there are not more, and maybe someday more will be found, but I have only heard of one of any size. I often wonder if it was a very limited run as a prototype that was then transitioned to the Type 1. (If you know of other Type 0’s, please let me know.)

Figure 3. Note the grooves on the frog seat of this Type 1 #408.

Figure 4. Image from the 1887 insert

Typical prelateral Sargent’s Type 1s are a little easier to come by than the rare Type 0s. The following are some typical Type 1 Sargent #400 series hand planes from my collection.

Figure 5. A Sargent #408 Type 1.

Figure 6. A Sargent #409 Type 1.
Figure 7a. Most prelaterals will have this logo.

Figure 7b. However, a few can be found with the second logo with the USA in the center.

The following images (Figures 8-9) consist of a #408, #409, #414, #418 and #424 (missing for a complete set would be a #407 and #422[WC2] ). Note the Number ends in the plane size, so a 408 is 8”, a #414 is 14” and so on.

Figure 8. From back to front, #424, #418, #414 & #408, #409

Figure 9 . Left to right, #408, #409, #414, #418, #424

Sargent had some unique hand plane designs, and sometimes the way we find these hand planes can be quite interesting; and that combination creates the addiction. It was actually the fact I found the Type 1 #409 shown above at a flea market that started me down the Sargent collecting road. Happy Hunting.

About the Author: Don Wilwol is owner of timetestedtools.net and has been collecting, writing, and publishing about vintage tools for about 15 years. He published “The Sargent Hand Plane Reference Guide For Collectors & Woodworkers: Second Edition” and “The Hand Tool Chronicle Series” https://www.amazon.com/author/donwilwol.




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Sargent #5414 Jack Plane

Sargent #5414 Jack Plane

Sargent #5414 Jack Plane Sharpened with a camber https://www.timetestedtools.net/2016/01/27/typing-sargent-bench-planes-400-series-type-5400-series/ A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes (My...
Sargent #5414 Jack Plane  (Restored)

Sargent #5414 Jack Plane (Restored)

Sargent #5414 Jack Plane (Restored) Tote repaired Here is the Sargent catalog description Sargent No. 5000 Series Corrugated Iron Plane Sargent’s Adjustable Iron Planes — Corrugated Bottoms. PATENTED FEBRUARY 3, 1891. Bench Pla...
Sargent #5414 Jack Plane Restored Type 2

Sargent #5414 Jack Plane Restored Type 2

Sargent #414 Jack Plane Restored Type 2 https://www.timetestedtools.net/sargent-400-series-bench-plane-type-study/ A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes (My #414-031123-5)
Sargent #5414 Type 2 Jack Plane

Sargent #5414 Type 2 Jack Plane

Sargent #5414 Type 2 Jack Plane  (The #5414 was an early #414 corrugated) Note the welded tote bolt. The sole was stripped so this was the repair The tote has been repaired. ...
Sargent #5418 Corrugated Fore Plane Type 3

Sargent #5418 Corrugated Fore Plane Type 3

Sargent #5418 Corrugated Fore Plane Type 3 https://www.timetestedtools.net/2016/01/27/typing-sargent-bench-planes-400-series-type-5400-series/ A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes (My...
Sargent #5418 Fore Plane

Sargent #5418 Fore Plane

Sargent #5418 Fore Plane https://www.timetestedtools.net/2016/01/27/typing-sargent-bench-planes-400-series-type-5400-series/ (My #5418-031423-1)
Sargent #5424 ( 424C ) Type 2/3 Jointer

Sargent #5424 ( 424C ) Type 2/3 Jointer

A Sargent Type 2/3 #5424 ( 424C ) (Stanley #8 Size) See the 5400 series info here —> The picture should tell the whole story. The 5424 is a bit uncommon and kind of hard to find. The base has been stripped and refinished. For a S...
Sargent #5424 (424C) Jointer

Sargent #5424 (424C) Jointer

A Sargent Type 2 #5424 (Stanley #8 Size) See the 5400 series info here ---> The picture should tell the whole story. The 5424 is a bit uncommon and kind of hard to find.
Sargent #59 Scraper Plane

Sargent #59 Scraper Plane

Sargent #59 Scraper Plane From Rob Morgan's Archives The Sargent Gallery
Sargent #615 24in Wood Bodies Jointer - Wood working Hand Plane

Sargent #615 24in Wood Bodies Jointer - Wood working Hand Plane

Sargent #615 24in Wood Bodies Jointer - Wood working Hand Plane With this piece you can Show some Hand Tool Woodworking history from Craftsman from days past. This is a typical hand plane used in the 1700-1800 and before. It would be considered rustic...
Sargent #6408 Shaw Patent Prototype

Sargent #6408 Shaw Patent Prototype

Sargent #6408 Shaw Patent Prototype The #6408 Sargent is one of the rarest hand planes you'll need to find as a Sargent Collector. Other than this one, I've not seen another for sale, and I know of only 3 in private collections. This plane is in this...
Sargent #7 Smoother

Sargent #7 Smoother

Sargent #7 Smoother This plane is also the actual plane featured in  “THE SARGENT HAND PLANE REFERENCE GUIDE FOR COLLECTORS & WOODWORKERS – SECOND EDITION ” also available on amazon .
Sargent #708

Sargent #708

This plane is also the actual plane featured in "THE SARGENT HAND PLANE REFERENCE GUIDE FOR COLLECTORS & WOODWORKERS – SECOND EDITION " also available on amazon . It's the plane shown on page 17  
Sargent #708 Type 3 Smoother

Sargent #708 Type 3 Smoother

Sargent #708 Type 3 Smoother (My #708-022618-1) This is the actual plane found on page 16 of “The Sargent Hand Plane Reference Guide for Collectors and Woodworkers” Don't have the book yet? Add a copy with this plane for $45 Tuned and sharpened. It has...
Sargent #710 Autoset Smoothing Plane

Sargent #710 Autoset Smoothing Plane

Sargent #710 pitted sole & bloodwood Knob & Tote https://www.timetestedtools.net/books-3/the-sargent-hand-plane-reference-guide-for-collectors-woodworkers/ A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes (My...
Sargent #710 VBM with Custom Bloodwood Knob & Tote

Sargent #710 VBM with Custom Bloodwood Knob & Tote

Sargent #710 VBM with Custom Boodwood Knob & Tote This plane is features on page 18 of The Sargent Hand Plane Reference Guide for Collectors and Woodworkers - Second Edition
Sargent #710C Autoset Smoothing Plane

Sargent #710C Autoset Smoothing Plane

Sargent #710C Autoset Smoothing Plane (My 710-021923-1)
Sargent #711 Type 5 Jack Plane

Sargent #711 Type 5 Jack Plane

Sargent #711 Type 5 Jack Plane This is the plane I featured in The Sargent Hand Plane Reference Guide for Collectors and Woodworkers Second Edition (My#711-012423-1)
Sargent #711 with Block Plane Style Knob

Sargent #711 with Block Plane Style Knob

Sargent #711 with Block Plane Style Knob. This plane is in "The Sargent Hand Plane Reference Guide for Collectors & Woodworkers – Second Edition" The Sargent #711 with Block Plane Style Knob is harder to find than the normal knob. This makes i...
Sargent #714 Autoset Jack Plane

Sargent #714 Autoset Jack Plane

Sargent #714 Autoset Jack Plane I believe This is a type 4. New rosewood furniture A Gallery of Sargent Hand PlanesShows in (Page)--- Sargent (My #714-021923-2)
Sargent #718 Autoset Fore Plane

Sargent #718 Autoset Fore Plane

Sargent #718 Autoset Fore Plane https://www.timetestedtools.net/books-3/the-sargent-hand-plane-reference-guide-for-collectors-woodworkers/ A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes (My #718-011423-8)...
Sargent #722C Autoset Jointer

Sargent #722C Autoset Jointer

Sargent #722 Autoset Jointer The Sargent Gallery…………………………………………..Sargent Hand Plane Examples (My #722-021923-4)
Sargent #722C VBM Autoset Jointer

Sargent #722C VBM Autoset Jointer

Sargent #722C VBM Autoset Jointer The Sargent Gallery…………………………………………..Sargent Hand Plane Examples (My #722-022423-3)
Sargent #74 VBM Circular Plane

Sargent #74 VBM Circular Plane

Sargent #74 VBM Circular Plane A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes
Sargent #79 Filletster & Rabbet Plane (New in Original Box)

Sargent #79 Filletster & Rabbet Plane (New in Original Box)

Sargent #79 Filletster & Rabbet Plane (New in Original Box) This is never used And in the original box The Sargent catalog States:Sargent V.B.M Adjustable Iron PlanesRabbet and Filletster PlanesWith Depth Gauge and Spur andRemovable Arm...
Sargent #81 Side Rabbet Plane

Sargent #81 Side Rabbet Plane

Sargent No. 81 Side Rabbet Plane Sargent V.B.M Adjustable Iron Planes Side Rabbet Planes Nickel-Plated. East India Mahogany Knob. No. 81 , 4¼ Inches, Two ½ Inch Cutters This is a combined right and left hand adjustable Rabbet Plane. It...
Sargent #9 Shaw Patent Smoother

Sargent #9 Shaw Patent Smoother

Sargent Shaw Patent Plane information ---> Sargent #9 Shaw Patent Smoother This plane has been completely restored. It has new wenge knob and tote and a Hock High Carbon Tool Steel (O1) Blade.
Sargent #9 Shaw Patent Smoothing Plane

Sargent #9 Shaw Patent Smoothing Plane

Sargent #9 Shaw Patent Smoothing Plane Wenge custom made Knob and Tote A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes
Sargent #905 16in Jack Plane

Sargent #905 16in Jack Plane

Sargent #905 16in Wood Bodied Jack PlaneWood working Hand Plane With this piece you can Show some Hand Tool Woodworking history from Craftsman from days past. This is a typical hand plane used in the 1700-1800 and before. It would be considered rustic...
Sargent Horned Smoothing Plane

Sargent Horned Smoothing Plane

Sargent Horned Smoothing Plane 8 3/4" long with a 1 3/4" iron The plane is marked 44m/m it is believed these were marketed from 1922-1927 A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes (My #S-022824-3)
Sargent Made American Beauty

Sargent Made American Beauty

I’ve got a very strict rule about computers. After the 2nd cocktail, I don’t return work emails and I don’t buy on ebay. But, who follows rules after the 2nd cocktail? Apparently not me. The work rule is easy. Who wants to work once the fun start...
Sargent made Fulton #3408 (#2 or 407 size)

Sargent made Fulton #3408 (#2 or 407 size)

Sargent made Fulton #3408 (#2or407 size) A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes (My #3408-031723-1)
Sargent made Fulton Jack Plane #414 

Sargent made Fulton Jack Plane #414 

Sargent made Fulton Jack Plane #414  A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes
Sargent Made Hercules #1408 (a #3 size plane) sharpened and ready to Woodwork

Sargent Made Hercules #1408 (a #3 size plane) sharpened and ready to Woodwork

Sargent Made Hercules #1408 (a #3 size plane) sharpened and ready to Woodwork A Gallery of Sargent Hand Planes (My #1408-030723-2)
Sargent Nail Puller

Sargent Nail Puller

Sargent Nail Puller
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