Wm Marples No X4 Smoother

A nice example of the Wm Marples & Sons X4 smoothing plane produced between about 1954 and about 1965. It was advertised as not recommended for the "Do it yourselfer". Marples apparently had high expectations for the plane and touted it for the more professional user.

Wm Marples No X4 Smoother

Roughly based on the Bailey design, the plane has some significant differences, largely cosmetic but a few practical improvements over the Bailey.

Wm Marples No X4 Smoother

As with many British made planes, the heft of the X4 makes it easier to use with less effort needed to push across the workpiece. The frog and tote are a combined unit and manufactured out of wood. The iron has a unique curved top and the lever cap is hinged at the top and let lever is shaped to accomodate the fingers.

Wm Marples No X4 Smoother

Excellent performance and easy adjustment make this a fine user, though its rarity and value would preclude it from a bench worker. (that is unless you fancy a rare plane for your projects)

Wm Marples No X4 Smoother

Depth adjustment is accomplished with a mechanism similar to the Bailey and the plane comes with an adjustable mouth which can be opened and close by loosening two set screws behind the knob.

Wm Marples No X4 Smoother

Note that the handle and frog are of a single piece of milled wood, similar to the British infill plane. Probably a clear attempt by Marples to differentiate the plane from it's American Bailey cousin.

Wm Marples No X4 Smoother

Nice view of the unusually shaped lever on the lever cap.

Wm Marples No X4 Smoother
Wm Marples No X4 Smoother
Wm Marples No X4 Smoother

Mouth adjusting screws aft of the knob can be clearly seen in this photo. Note the wooden frog/tote assembly. The lateral lever on this example is missing a couple of red plastic tabs that fit into the loop at the top to make adjusting more comfortable. Early models didn't have the tabs. Information contained in this article based on data collected from Wm Marples and Sons. For additional information click on the link.