- Getting started
Ever wanna date Stanley planes without having to serve time in the big
house for trumped up charges of rhynkenological abuse? Well, read on.
The types are listed for the #4 size bench plane. Most of the other bench
planes follow the features listed below, with some minor differences. One of
the most easy to spot is the location of the number designation cast into the
bed of the plane. The larger ones have their numbers cast behind the tote,
whereas the smaller ones have it cast at the toe (in front of the knob).
One thing needs to be stressed -- some planes are hybrids
of the types I've listed. This is for the simple fact that parts on-hand were
used up. It would have been wasteful and costly had Stanley decided to chuck
the castings they had on-hand when subtle changes were made to the planes. Most
of the parts were made well before the planes ever were assembled. Stanley had
a huge replacement parts business, and there was no way they could anticipate
how many of any particular part would be ordered. Thus, they made batches of
them for replacements and for new planes. Any leftovers, which could be used
on the next batch, which may have had a subtle change made to them, would
naturally be used up. So, if your plane has a part from an adjacent type, or
a part from a type within a few years of a particular type, it's more than
likely original to the plane, provided the patina and wear match the rest of
the plane. To date your plane accurately, it must have all
of the stuff listed for that particular model.
Things that are hard to describe, like the shapes of totes, are not listed
here. You'd have to see pictures, or examples, of the planes to be able to
detect the subtle differences.
There are some hybrid models,
and sub-models, which aren't fully documented, but what follows are the ones
you're most likely to encounter. Some are extremely rare, and bizarre, like
the true first model with its three screws to secure the frog to the bed.
These hybrids surfaced after the type study was made, too late to be included
Copyright (c) Joshua Clark 1997-2009