Stanley Router Plane Type Studies

by Lars Larson, Jim Price and Roger K. Smith, © 1993, 1996

Production History

The No. 71 Router plane, introduced in late 1884, was originally a closed-throat type. In 1892, it was redesigned with an open throat. This feature was advertised as"giving more freedom for chips and a better view of the work and cutter."

In late 1895, Stanley decided to reintroduce a closed-throat router. It first appeared in an 1896 update of the 1892 catalog. Since Stanley had already reassigned the number '71' to the open throat router, they designated the new router as No. 71-1/2.

This study outlines the changes in both router planes until the No. 71-1/2 was discontinued in 1949. Although the No. 71 is still manufactured by Stanley in England, nearly 110 years after it was introduced, there have been no significant production changes since 1974.

Type Studies

Since production records, etc. are non-existent, a study such as this can only be accomplished by careful and long-term observation of multiple specimens with identical features. Only "pure" specimens with all original parts were used for this study. It is impossible to pinpoint the exact production dates for design changes, casting marks, trademarks, etc. However, it is believed that the dates given are accurate to within one year.

No. 71

No. 71 1/2

No. 271


These three co-author's names are in alphabetical order only. All three provided equal effort to complete this study. Lars Larson provided most of the routers for study and coordinated the efforts of the artist, Jim Price, who created all the supurb line drawings presented. Because of his experience with other type studies of Stanley planes, Roger K Smith studied the artifacts and put together the details of this study. If the reader finds any omission, errors, or variations, please send them to Roger K. Smith, P.O. Box 177, Athol MA 01331, for any revised study that may be published in the future, if warranted.

Appreciation is extended to John Wells of Berkeley, California and Bob Kaune of Port Angeles, Washington for providing data on router planes in their collections.

Last modified: April 15, 1996

Jay Sutherland,