I must admit that I don't have quite such a soft spot for the Record 044 as I do the #043 but many others have, and due to almost some demand, here's what information I can glean on it - For The Record... The combined 043/044 manual is available here (344KB PDF).


The Record 044 first appeared on the market around the same time as the 043 - sometime between January 1934 and November 1935, probably in early 1935. Originally without screw depth adjustment, bridged fence or cutter clamping screw - as with the 043 by a lucky chance the Buck & Hickman catalogue of that year happens to show it in its early design. It also seems likely it was only provided with one set of long fence rods.
By the time it debuted in the Record November 1935 catalogue No. 14 and here in the 1938 Ross & Alexander (London) catalogue it was pretty nearly set in its final form. Is it merely artistic licence that no depth adjuster is shown, or did that come in even after the bridged fence? A sighting by BugBear of one sans adjuster and the Marples M44 (below) is highly suggestive of the latter.

"Rustless plated" apparently meant cadmium, later changed to nickel plating from 1938. That changed again when wartime restrictions on the use of nickel were introduced, and an unspecified metal plating was used. Some sources believe that was cadmium again, but I'm not totally clear on the truth of the matter, or what was used after restrictions were lifted.
The clamping screw (1.) was introduced in 1949 to stop lateral cutter movement. The screw depth adjustment (2.) is basic but effective. As with the 778 rebate plane, Record opted for the greater control of a threaded adjustment instead of the lever Stanley frequently favoured.
However the screw necessitates grooves on the backs of the cutters, making their design unique amongst Record plough and combination planes.
At 8 1/2" long with a "real" rear handle, the 044 is noticably more of a plane than the 043. I've always assumed that it was designed to provide a like-for-like metal replacement for the old wooden ploughs, even down to the eight irons, to appeal to the more traditionally-minded craftsmen who needed a larger plane than the 043 but no requirement for beads or cross-grain work. See one in action on YouTube.
The 044 has the distinction of being one of only two plane types by C & J Hampton to receive a Registered Design Number. An extension gave copyright protection for a full 15 years from March 30th 1936 (when the registration came into force) until 1951. I gather that for about 15 years, presumably during this time, 044s have REGD. DESIGN No 811133 on the left-hand side of the skate at the back. The other registered models were the rare 712, 713 and 714 skew rebates, lest you were wondering.
Some time in the late 1950s the thumb screws were changed to a round screw with a knurled edge. The 044 finally disappeared from the Record catalogue in 1970, replaced by the modern styling of the 044C, itself only lasting until 1982. Before someone asks, I'm not shunning the 044C - merely require some pics of it. The manual for the 044C available here (2MB PDF)
As with the 043 there's nothing to keep the blade clamp from going awol unless it's holding a blade in place, so you might be glad to know there's a drawing of it on BugBear's site, to help you make your own replacement if necessary.
Provided with two sets of fence rods 7 1/4" and 3" in length and a standard set of eight cutters comprising 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2 and 9/16". Metric cutters 4, 6, 9 and 12mm wide were available as extras. Ray Iles offers a standard set of replacement cutters if yours are missing.
A superb, pristine Marples M44 version with the distinctive red lever cap. Both the Marples and I Sorby metal planes (the latter also including a 044) were made at the same works in the 1930s by Turner, Naylor & Co (later Turner, Naylor & Marples). The connection between them, Marples and Record seems tortuous and confused, but there definitely was one it seems. The lucky, oh-so-lucky, owner says "almost an exact copy of the castings, but looks a little rougher. The Marples appears chrome plated, the Records that I have are nickel plated." Despite the slighter rougher casting apparently the machining is very good.
Photograph courtesy of Mike Willett
Like the early incarnation of the Record, there's no provision for depth adjustment, and therefore the cutters are not grooved. The only other obvious difference as described by its owner is "that the blade clamp screw clamps the blade over body casting underneath the blade, where as with the Record, the axis of the blade clamp screw is actually slightly past the body casting."
Photograph courtesy of Mike Willett
Unlike the Record, the fence rods are 3 1/8, and 7 inches long. Mike goes on to say "Plane slide clamp padscrews are 1/4 - 20 TPI; (my Records are 1/4 - 26 TPI) rod clamp screws in the main body are 1/4 - 26 TPI; (Records are 1/4 - 28 TPI). Depth gauge clamp padscrew, and blade clamp thumbscrew, and blade side holding screw are all 3/16 - 24 TPI, the same as my Records." Wonderful detail in complete contrast to the extreme brevity of the manual! (163KB PDF)
Photograph and manual courtesy of Mike Willett
The short-lived 044C that took over from the 044. Although for only a 12 year lifespan, there seem to be a lot of them about, so they certainly appealed to the market at the time. The depth stop used a new idea of an expanding nylon insert to lock it - a feature that was also used in the 045C and 050C.
Photograph courtesy of Stuart Jones
The design actually won a Design Centre Award - but then that was all the rage in the early 80s. Anyone remember Mrs Thatcher (as then was) enthusing about the flip-top torch you could stand up and tilt the light at any angle? Where is it now? Exactly... Some people love it, but at least one well-known detractor was the late Jim Kingshott. A lesser-known one being me.
Photograph courtesy of Stuart Jones
Provided with a generous 10 cutters, four metric (4, 6, 9 & 12mm) and six imperial (1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, & 1/2")
Photograph courtesy of Stuart Jones

I don't pretend to be any kind of expert on the background of these planes, and I welcome any corrections or further information if you have it. I'm also always on the lookout for other makers or different versions. And very many thanks to all those folks who have come up trumps with pictures and information, both begged for and unsolicited.

Alf - 25th March 2007
Updated 16th August 2010