Dating Stanley Bench Planes made in USA

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Cleaning Selling Tips Home

Remember that a one hundred year old plane

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.

  Pre-Lateral to ca 1884 Low knob ca 1885-1919 Tall knob ca 1920-1933

war and post war models

after 1933


logo on cutter
from 1867 "A" logo 1872 "J" logo

1886 "P"


1907 "T" logo 1910 "V" logo SW 1921-1935 1936-1970
Lever Cap
major changes   1885: lateral adjuster added to frog

1902: adjuster screw added to frog

1919:  tall front knob, large depth adjuster screw 1923: lever caps now with Stanley name embossed

1933 lever caps now have kidney shaped holes

Frog Receiver