The Stanley Bench Plane Dating Page

If you have a Stanley bench plane and you want to know roughly when it was made, you've come to the right place. Otherwise perhaps you'd be happier elsewhere.

How to use this page
Start by reading Patrick Leach's comments on Stanley plane dating. Then check out the Plane Dating Flowchart. If you thirst for heaps of data on plane dating, visit the Plane Type Study or the Plane Feature Timeline.

Plane Dating Flowchart
Get your bench plane in hand (unless you have it's features memorized) and start answering questions. This page leads you down a hypertext flowchart to determine your plane type. It includes links to Patrick Leach's original Plane Type Study and the Plane Feature Timeline.

Plane Dating Flowchart (ASCII version)
Same as above, but in ASCII art instead of hypertext. Not as cool to use, but helpful if you want to date planes while out in the field.

Plane Type Study
Here is Patrick Leach's more complete version of the type study, in hypertext form.

Plane Feature Timeline
This page shows you when various bench plane features were introduced and eliminated, so you can hopefully make sense of planes that don't exactly match the type study.

The information in this Web page is derived from a type study done by Roger Smith, in his book "Patented Transitional & Metallic Planes in America." Patrick Leach reformatted the type study and added comments based on his experience with Stanley planes. I converted the type study to hypertext and added the plane dating flowchart and feature timeline.

I welcome your comments on the usefulness of this page. Let me know if I can improve it, especially if you find any errors. Thanks!

Last modified: February 10, 2002