Dating stanley block planes

Please see the full Type Study and Plane Chart pages for additional information, including dates.

This is the first in a series of low angle (12 degrees) block planes that have the blade adjustment mechanism most of us know and love.

Thus, a turn of the adjustment knob either pushes forward or pulls backward the iron to regulate the plane's set.

I've seen a few examples of this plane, and other similar model low angle block planes with the same adjustment mechanism, that have had their adjusting knob snapped off the threaded rod, only to be welded back together.

This problem can be found on the earlier model of the plane with the cast iron knob that has a coarse "knurling" cast around its edge (these knobs are threaded onto the adjusting screw and either have 6 holes drilled through them or "STANLEY" cast into them.

has probably gone through many hands and changing fortunes.

Some were showered with attention by their former owners, others suffered the worst possible abuse.

Some owners worked them so hard that they had to replace one or several parts.

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.

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.

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.[1] These tables provide a helpful quick reference guide for identifying type.