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Precision Bilt Handplane

chuckh's picture

Can anyone tell me anything about this plane? It is an obvious Stanley #5 knockoff. The only markings are the words "Precision Bilt" on the lever cap and the top of the blade. Cast into the back edge of the body is "MADE IN U.S.A." It is a well built (bilt?) plane. The casting is true and robust and the frog is nicely machined. I've been using it for several years and it works well. I've search the internet and even ebay but can't find any reference to it.

-Chuck

We need to set our course by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship.
pzgren's picture

(post #103711, reply #1 of 10)

Chuck,


  The shape and style of the lever cap, along with the style and layout of the lettering, is very similar to that on my old Sargent VBM #8, so it may be a house brand manufactured by Sargent. Don't know for certain...so it's just my SWAG.


  Hope this helps some.


.


Tschüß!


Mit freundlichen holzbearbeitungischen Grüßen aus dem Land der Rio Grande!!


 


James

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Tschüß!

James

 

"The end does not justify the means. No one's rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others."

-- Ayn Rand

chuckh's picture

(post #103711, reply #2 of 10)

James,


Yes, as a matter of fact it does help.  A gentleman on another forum said the same thing: Sargent VBM.  That pretty much confirms that.  So it was probably retailed by someone like Sears or Wards?


Thanks for the reply,


-Chuck


 

We need to set our course by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship.
JeffHeath's picture

(post #103711, reply #3 of 10)

Chuck


Something in my memory bank tells me precision bilt was sold by Wards.  Not positive, but pretty sure.


Jeff

A distinguished graduate of the School of Hard Knocks
PADDYDAHAT's picture

(post #103711, reply #4 of 10)

C. look to see if there are other numbers cast on the back side of the cap or frog. I have some old Sargents that were made for retailers and were no different than their first grade product. ie. a #407 for sears Fulton , really a #2 Sargent. Paddy

chuckh's picture

(post #103711, reply #5 of 10)

Thanks for the help guys.


Jeff, Wards would fit puzzle.  They were very big in this part of the country for many years.


Paddy, I took the plane apart a couple of weeks ago to give it a tuning and good cleaning but I couldn't find any other numbers, although I didn't think to look under the lever cap.  That would be easy enough.  I haven't been in the shop very much lately -too many irons in the fire and it has been just too coooold out there.


-Chuck 

We need to set our course by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship.
chuckh's picture

(post #103711, reply #6 of 10)

Okay, so I pop of the lever cap and sure enough there is a #8 stamped under there.  I remember that James referred to it as a Sargent VBM #8 (Very Best Made - I learned something), but the Sargent literature calls it a #414 and makes no reference to #8.  Maybe #8 just refers to the size of the Lever cap?


From studying the pictures on the net it sure looks like a Sargent even though the history talks about how Sargent supplied hand planes for Sears Roebuck & Co under the names Craftsman & Dunlap, but makes no reference whatsoever to Precision Bilt.  That seems odd. 


So now I'm still not sure.


-Chuck


 

We need to set our course by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship.
pzgren's picture

(post #103711, reply #7 of 10)

Chuck,

With "Sargent VBM #8" I was referring to my (Stanley #8-sized) Sargent VBM jointer plane; I used the Stanley plane size # as a reference to the size of the Sargent plane. I'm not sure what Sargent's official label is -- maybe 424?
Anyway, my point was that the lever cap shape and the lettering layout & style closely resembled that on my Sargent plane, so I was speculating that it may have been manufactured by Sargent for someone else to sell as a house brand plane.
Sorry for any confusion my terminology may have caused!! ;-)


.


.


Tschüß!


Mit freundlichen holzbearbeitungischen Grüßen aus dem Land der Rio Grande!!


 


James


 


Semper Paratus!


Pro Patria!

.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Tschüß!

James

 

"The end does not justify the means. No one's rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others."

-- Ayn Rand

chuckh's picture

(post #103711, reply #8 of 10)

Thank you, James,


I understand now what you were telling me.  I'm nearly convinced that my plane is a Sargent variety.  Precision Bilt was probably a short-lived line they made for somebody. 


Your Sargent "#8" is indeed the 424.  Hmmm, it just hit me: Stanley #5, Sargent 414, 14" body length; Stanley #8, Sargent 424, 24" body length.  Sometimes I'm just as sharp as a rock!


You've probably seen this, but I attached is a nice cross-reference chart I found.  It lists various plane manufacturers and their model numbers. 


Regards,


-Chuck 


 


We need to set our course by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship.
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pzgren's picture

(post #103711, reply #9 of 10)

Chuck,


  Glad that we're not confusing each other anymore!  ;-)


  Thanks for posting the chart; have seen similar ones before, but none as thorough as this one.



.


.


Tschüß!


Mit freundlichen holzbearbeitungischen Grüßen aus dem Land der Rio Grande!!


 


James


 


Semper Paratus!


Pro Patria!

.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Tschüß!

James

 

"The end does not justify the means. No one's rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others."

-- Ayn Rand

VintageToolMan's picture

Precision Bilt Hand Plane (post #103711, reply #10 of 10)

You have a very good hand plane there.  Your Precision Bilt Hand Plane was actually distributed by the Spiegel Catalog Company sometime between the late 1940's to the late 1950's. In the early 1940's to the late 1950's, Spiegel had several companies manufacturing all kinds woodworking tools for them to compete against Mongomery Ward and Sears Craftsman woodworking tool lines.  The name "Precision Bilt" was Spiegel's trade name for their line of woodworking hand and power tools.  Their line of woodworking tools are of very high quality.  I have recently restored a Precision Bilt 4 inch jointer saw that was manufactured by the Tomlee Tool and Engineering Company for Spiegel Catalog and it dates back to the mid 1940's.  I included a photo of the data tag from this 4 inch jointer saw.  You have a very nice piece of Spiegel Catalog history there back when they were still a department store.  Now they only sell womens fashions. I hope this information helps!

Jim F.

       

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