So You Bought an Annant Handplane .......
Perhaps you didn’t but I did. I was lured into a promotion by a UK supplier who was offering them a big discount. I had been wondering if it’s still possible to buy a decent Bailey pattern handplane and on first glance the Anant looked promising
It arrived and my first impressions were no longer of promise. The finish was crude and rough. The main problem areas were handles that had big nibs in the finish, the sides of the frog casting were rough,lateral adjustment lever was also stiff with signs of rust around it’s union with the frog, the yoke or Y lever was a very cheaply made pressed to part affair. Also both the blade and cap iron had very deep grinding marks.
All of these problems can be sorted but for nearly £50.00 and comparing what other planes available it was disappointing. To contrast the Anant I have photographed it against a vintage Record No4.
I chose to ignore the poor finish on the handle, if I were to keep it and turn it into a regular user I would sand them back and treat with some boiled linseed oil for warmer feel. The sides of the frog were also ignored
I removed the blade and cap iron to check the position of the frog which needed a bit of adjustment to make it sit square. The frog retaining screws were pretty cheap and nasty. The blade and cap iron are both quite thick but needed significant work. I tried to remove the grinding marks on the fine side of my stone but it was taking too long so I turned the stone over and worked it on the coarse side which improved progress. I then honed and finished the cutting edge. The steel seemed ok, not really soft which looked promising.
The cap iron then needed work, as with the blade I had to revert to the coarse side of the stone to improve matters before moving onto the fine. I then put the whole thing back together for some trial cuts. I then noticed that I had to offset the blade within it’s gaping wide mouth to allow the lateral adjustment to work. Something was clearly not square, the frog and frog seating seemed the likely culprits but I decided to leave alone.
I set up to do some trial cuts on some European Oak and the plane performed OK. There was enough lateral adjustment left to enable a good set up and the surface finish left in the planes wake was also fine. Bearing in mind how long it took to get the plane working nicely and perhaps the further steps that would be desirable to improve thing further this was overall a poor performance. If the price point had been lower or the quality a little higher it might be worth considering but this is not a tool I would recommend. However if it does not able to sell this within my tool purge I will most likely keep it and take advantage of it’s big mouth and use it as a scrub plane or alternatively put it in the bin