Stanley bench plane dating page

He was the undisputed champion of the plane slugfest that errupted in the decades after the Civil War.If you're at all fascinated with handplane design, follow this link to read all about the Better Moustraps smoother.

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There were some subtle differences in the dimensions, but only those that are significant are mentioned where appropriate.

Some of the bench planes are a bit longer/shorter, wider/narrower, heavier/lighter than what's noted for the fact that the planes used many patterns over their decades of production.

So, if you have a plane that's one-half inch shorter or longer than what's mentioned here, don't go thinking that you have some ultra-rare version of the tool.

Features are broken down by type.[1] 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.

Let the games begin, starting with the bread and butter of Stanley, upon which they built an empire, the Bailey patent bench plane in its various configurations.Leonard Bailey designed what has become the standard plane configuration that's still in use to this day.This type study is based upon Roger Smith's original and includes many comments and updates from Patrick Leach. "The improved form of this Plane Iron renders it unnecessary to detach the Cap Iron, at any time, as the connecting screw will slide back to the extreme end of the slot in the Plane Iron, without the danger of falling out.This information was originally on Jay Sutherland's website, but it went inactive sometime in 1999 or 2000. The screw may then be tightened, by a turn with thumb and finger; and the Cap iron will serve as a convenient handle, or rest, in whetting or sharpening the cutting edge of the Plane Iron." There you have it, in all its gory, why the circular hole was repositioned, after it being at the top of the blade for some 100 years. However, the patent drawing for the change shows what I believe is the real reason for the change - the circular disk, on the lower end of the lateral adjustment lever, loses its ability to engage the slot provided for it (in the cutter) when the iron is nearly used up.By relocating the circular hole toward the bottom of the cutter, the iron can be used right up to the slot, without sacrificing the advantage gained from the lateral adjustment lever.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.

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