The only difference that I can find is that the Depth Adjuster Lever is now painted the same colour as the base [Black].

As with the other MARPLES Bench Planes the conversion to a RED base may have occurred around 1944.

Type 5:

The sideways stamp is 3/4" long

Lever Cap Screw is 1" long and

has fine vertical knurling

Note:  that the blade marking 'square' has rounded corners

Thumbscrew sides are smooth.

Wing Nut with central Diamond pattern

Although advertised as being 8.1/2" long they were in fact 8.5/8" long, nose to end of sole under the handle.

The base is Black and the Lever Cap is Red.

The depth lever was not painted, remaining as uncoated steel. 

The fence is 5.1/2" long [and this remained the same until 1964]

The Bolt through the Lever Cap is 1" total length with a Fine straight vertical knurling.

The Lever Cap is not painted underneath nor on the extreme lower ground edges.

The markings on the 5/64" thick blade are sideways and are 3/4" wide.   The blade has 9 notches underneath for adjustment with the 2 pronged Lever.

The Wingnut that secures the fence to the nickelled arm is larger than on later planes and has no diamond cross hatched central motif.


Type 2:

The text below is as it appeared in the pocket catalogues of 12/34: 4/35 and 9/35.  It was only in the 3/36 Pocket catalogue that we first get a picture of the tool and the spelling mistake is corrected to 'Fillister'.

It is interesting to note that there was only the one picture of the M78 from 3/36 through 1964 and this had been perpetuated after the war even though the base casting and length were changed! 

After WWII the name was changed to an 'Iron Rabbet Plane' and then changed again in the 1959 Main Catalogue to 'Iron Rabbet and Fillister Plane'.

Type 3:

By the time that the 1965 'MARPLES' Catalogue was issued the MARPLES Company had to march to the tune of C&J Hampton Ltd.  So the single arm M78 was replaced by the [much improved] MA.78.  I do not know why MARPLES clung to the single arm plane when the Double arm design had been around since c1945 [ WS A78]

M78 Prices listed:


12/34- 3/36        10/6d.

9/36 - 3/40         11/3d.

12/49                  24/3d.

11/51- 1955        28/6d.

9/55                    31/6d.

12/59 -8/61         34/6d.

9/61- 4/62           36/-

3/64                    39/6d.‚Äč

To date I think that I can identify 5 different Types of M78 and that Study is to follow here:

Casting differences noted between Black planes and Post-war [Red] planes

Note:  that the blade stamp 'square'  has square corners.

The Black rear blade support shows a Square top edge casting, but the Post-War casting has a rounded top corner.

The 'Black' castings generally appears to be thicker and stronger than Post-War.

This is shown in the front nose, the handle attachment arm and the handle top horn.

Type your paragraph here.

Type 4:

This is the only picture of the M78 shown in all catalogues.

Types 1&2 on the left with 9 notches and Type 3-5 on the right with 10 notches.

The Red body length now really is 8.1/4" long.

The blade marking is changed as shown below and the Lever Cap bolt has been shortened to 7/8" long, but still nickelled.

The 3/32" thick blade has 10 notches on the back to engage the vertical blade adjustment lever.

The box has the same old picture in the label on the end which indicates that it is still 8.1/2" long, and 'Filister' is spelt with one 'l'.   It therefore appears that MARPLES used the first made Label throughout all the years of production.

Lever Cap bolt shows a more coarse vertical knurling.

The Black top horn appears to be more slim looking from the top, but thicker from the side [above noted]

I have only recently discovered this variety and have yet to restore the plane. I have never seen this variety before, but at first blush it seems to be fit between Types 2 and 4. but with other casting variances.

This Type will be completed when I have looked more closely at the evidence and restored the plane. Give some time, OK?

Type 1:

M78 Duplex Rabbet and Filister Plane

The M78 is first listed in the 12/34 [December 1934] Pocket catalogue and appears to have been in continuous production until c1964.

At that time MARPLES was under the control of C&J Hampton [RECORD] and so in the 1965 Catalogue the M78single arm plane was replaced with the MA.78 Rabbet and Fillister double arm plane having a removable wooden front knob attached at the blade position. This front knob was no innovation for RECORD, they stole the idea from the WODEN W78 who in turn inherited the concept from WS Tools Birmingham's A78 [see  wstoolsbirmingham.com]. The MA.78 was produced 1965-1969 and thereafter, through various Company name changes, it was designated #778, but this was really a pure RECORD plane and nothing to do with MARPLES.  Even this RECORD #778 was only listed until 1996+ and then was discontinued. 

I do not consider the MA.78 a true MARPLES plane.

This is a Black Lever Cap on a Red base, the latter of which is actually 8.3/16" long [advertised as 8.1/4"]

The Black Lever cap now has the sides totally painted. The Lever cap adjuster is painted Red.

The wing nut for the width arm is now showing a diamond shaped cross hatched central area.

The bolt that holds the Lever Cap now has a more coarse vertical knurling.

The blade markings are shown below and are 9/16" in width. The blade is 3/32" thick and has 10 notches on the underside to engage the Depth Adjuster Lever.