06/28/17
Plane Dating Flowchart

Getting started
I've converted some of the plane dating information found in Patrick Leach's Plane Type Study into an easy-to-use hypertext flowchart. Hopefully by answering a few questions about your plane you can determine which type it is.

The flowchart starts by asking questions about the cast iron bed of your plane. I've chosen the bed as a starting point because it has many easily identifiable markings, and it probably wasn't replaced that often.

Unfortunately, many plane types share the same bed markings, so other features are also used in dating. Some plane parts were frequently replaced by their owners, or are easily separated from the plane, such as irons, cap irons, knobs and totes, and lever caps. These features are avoided where possible, along with features that appear in only some planes of a given type (i.e. frog adjustment screw).

Where possible, the flowchart uses parts that were probably replaced less often, such as frogs, depth adjustment screws and lateral adjustment levers. This approach doesn't guarantee that you'll date your plane correctly, as the flowchart can be thrown off by some hybrids. The best approach is to use the flowchart to date your plane, and then visit the Plane Type Study and Plane Feature Timeline to verify the type.

Please let me know if I can improve the flowchart. (Does anyone want to take pictures of parts that are hard to describe? Send them to me and I'll add them to the flowchart...) If you find errors or discrepancies, Patrick's Plane Type Study is the final authority.

Disclaimers

  • The type study is based on the #4 bench plane

  • Hybrids of plane types are very common

For more information, read Patrick Leach's comments on Stanley plane dating.

Date your Bench Plane



































































Types 1-20

How many patent dates are cast into the bed behind the frog (toward the tote)?

0

Types 1-8,15-20

1

Types 13-14

2

Types 9-10

3

Types 11-12
































































Types 1-8,15-20

Is a raised ring cast into the bed as a receiver for the knob?

Yes

Types 15-20

No

Types 1-8
































































Types 1-8

Is the plane size number (i.e., No. 4) cast into the bed?

Yes

Types 5-8

No

Types 1-4
































































Types 1-4

Is lever cap back recessed?

No

Types 1-2

Yes

Types 3-4
































































Types 1-2

Is "BAILEY'S PATENT" "AUG. 31, 1858, AUG. 6, 1867" stamped into the depth adjustment nut?

Yes

Type 2

No

Type 1
































































Types 3-4

Is the frog receiver a broad rectangular area with an arched rear (toward the tote)?

Yes

Type 4

No

Type 3
































































Types 5-8

How many patent dates appear on the lateral adjustment lever?

0

Types 4-5,8-9

1

Type 8

2

Type 5

3

Types 6-7
































































Types 6-7

Is the depth adjustment nut stamped "BAILEY'S PATENT" "AUG. 31, 1858, AUG. 6, 1867"?

Yes

Type 6

No

Type 7
































































Types 4-5,8-9

Does "STANLEY" appear on the lateral adjustment lever?

Yes

Type 8-9

No

Type 4-5
































































Types 9-10

Is the frog rib the enlarged and arched type?

Yes

Type 10

No

Type 9
































































Types 11-12

Is the depth adjustment nut large (1.25" diameter)?

Yes

Type 12

No

Type 11
































































Types 13-14

Is a raised ring cast into the bed as receiver for the knob?

Yes

Type 14

No

Type 13
































































Types 15-20

Is the bed painted blue?

Yes

Type 20

No

Types 15-19
































































Types 15-19

Do the toe and heel have a raised, broad, flat rib casting?

Yes

Types 16-19

No

Type 15
































































Types 16-19

Is "STANLEY" printed vertically on the lateral adjustment lever?

Yes

Type 19

No

Types 16-18
































































Types 16-18

Does the depth adjustment nut have a diagonal knurling on it?

Yes

Type 18

No

Types 16-17
































































Types 16-17

Does the plane have wartime features (handle and knob stained red or painted black, depth adjustment nut made of steel or hard rubber, or heavier bottom castings)?

Yes

Type 17

No

Type 16
































































Type 1. Planes made in Boston, MA from 1867-1869.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 2. Planes made by Stanley 1869-1872.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 3. Planes made by Stanley 1872-1873.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 4. Planes made by Stanley 1874-1884.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 4-5. Planes made by Stanley 1874-1888.

You plane appears to be a hybrid of Types 4 and 5.

Use the Plane Type Study or the Plane Feature Timeline to further identify your plane.

































































Type 5. Planes made by Stanley 1885-1888.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 6. Planes made by Stanley 1888-1892.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 7. Planes made by Stanley 1893-1899.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 8. Planes made by Stanley 1899-1902.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 8-9. Planes made by Stanley 1899-1907.

You plane appears to be a hybrid of Types 8 and 9.

Use the Plane Type Study or the Plane Feature Timeline to further identify your plane.

































































Type 9. Planes made by Stanley 1902-1907.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 10. Planes made by Stanley 1907-1909.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 11. Planes made by Stanley 1910-1918.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 12. Planes made by Stanley 1919-1924.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 13. Planes made by Stanley 1925-1928.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 14. Planes made by Stanley 1929-1930.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 15. Planes made by Stanley 1931-1932.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 16. Planes made by Stanley 1933-1941.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 17. Planes made by Stanley 1942-1945.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 18. Planes made by Stanley 1946-1947.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 19. Planes made by Stanley 1948-1961.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.

































































Type 20. Planes made by Stanley 1962-1967.

Go to the Plane Type Study for information on features introduced in this plane type.

Check out the Plane Feature Timeline for a full listing of features associated with this plane type.



































































Last modified: February 13, 1996