Stanley plane dating guide
Quickly Identify Your Hand Plane And follow this link for more help. After 1885 when Stanley added the lateral adjuster, All Stanley Bailey and Stanley Bedrock planes had this style adjuster. Bedrock type study The Birmingham Plane Manufacturing Company of Birmingham, CT (1885-1900) Birmingham Plane (B Plane) The lateral adjuster on a Sargent made plane.
Make sure yours in question has the Stanley Lateral shown above.
I converted the type study to hypertext and added the plane dating flowchart and feature timeline.
Stan Faullin helped by providing some of the pictures used in the Plane Dating Flowchart, and Steve Turner provided the Post Script version of the flowchart.
The following tables provide a summary breakdown of identifying characteristics and markings of the Bodies, Frogs and Receivers, Lateral Adjustment Levers, and Lever Caps on Stanley’s Bailey line of bench planes.Features are broken down by type. These tables provide a helpful quick reference guide for identifying type.Please see the full Type Study and Plane Chart pages for additional information, including dates.Four categories seem sufficient to describe and roughly date a plane: Pre-lateral for any plane that has no side adjusting mechanism for the cutter, low knob, SW model or tall knob (SW stands for Stanley Works but is usually called Sweetheart) and late models for WW2 vintage and later.Start by reading Patrick Leach's comments on Stanley plane dating. If you thirst for heaps of data on plane dating, visit the Plane Type Study or the Plane Feature Timeline. This page leads you down a hypertext flowchart to determine your plane type.Some simply put the wrong bit in the wrong place, some customised their tools to suit their needs - the possibilities for change are endless.There are detailed type studies available, usually starting with type 1 for the first model then going up with every little or major change.Unless somebody unearths the complete Stanley shop floor production reports for the last 150 years we simply can't be sure.We can, however, check the Stanley tool catalogues, many of which are available as reprints. If in doubt I let the "Dictionary of Woodworking Tools" by R. I know of many collectors who have built their collections over 20 or more years and never paid top dollar for a single plane. Stanley planes, even the rarest of the rare, might still pop up at flea markets, garage sales, swap meets, General auctions or on a dusty shelf in a neglected corner of an antique shop. Still the number one source of bargain buying for dealers and collectors alike. Prepare to get stung every now and then but more often than not the risk is well worth taking.I bought some of the best and rarest tools on a hunch.... Alas, I also bought some of my worst tools that way! there is a lot of money invested in some of the new super tool sites and the bulk of it is not from tool dealing. Visit their sites for a quote or a laugh, then half the price and shop around.