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Dating an old Stanley - help!

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condeesteso

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I have acquired an old U.S. No 6 and it's earlier than I was expecting, but there are a couple of things that I'm unclear on. Here it is:
No6.jpg


Here's some info to help I/D ( I have looked on a couple of plane dating sites which are quite different to dating sites):

- no patent dates on body at all
- 2 letter S behind frog on body
- knob top screw is tapped all way through (usually it's blind) - but this screw looks seriously original, I cannot find any reference to that
- depth adjuster works back-to-front - i.e. clockwise reduces cut
- no frog adjust screw
- has lateral, stamped Stanley but no patent dates
- frog seats under screws but leading edge seems not designed to - i.e. the casting under leading edge clears the area of base by about 1/2mm, and looking at the 2 surfaces that looks intentional.
- Blade has the Lozenge style 'Rule & Level'... but it may be a later blade

Any ideas please - it's sending me mixed signals but it's definitely an early one
 

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condeesteso

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Yes Roger, that was one of the ones I did. And from that in all respects other than logo on blade it's 1890s... and the blade could be a later one anyway. What interested me was the reversed thread on depth adjuster (not seen that before and I have another pre frog-adjust screw) and the through thread in the knob fixing screw. Also can't find any reference at all to 2 letter S behind frog on body. It intrigues me, this one.
 

Alf

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Douglas, bear in mind that type studies for Bailey planes were based on the #4, plus Stanley were horribly unhelpful and simply didn't build planes with type studies in mind. They're not gospel; merely a guide.

Anyway, a quick peruse of the Old Tools List archive flags up reversed threads on depth adjusters as a known phenomenon - more in-depth research might reveal if there's a pattern to when and why. An "S" cast into frog or bed is usually attributed to it being cast in the Sessions Foundry (I have dates of 1893-1899 for that fwiw) - but obviously whether that's the explanation in this case, I know not. I'd go with the date you've got, disregarding the iron for obvious reasons.
 

condeesteso

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many thanks Alf - for all the old U.S. Stanleys I keep acquiring you would think I'd know more. Still, learning all the time!
Not that it really matters but I like to get a feel for the history of them, and where they sat in the order of things.
The frog seating puzzles me a bit - I am really certain this is original and was designed so bearing surface was the higher one under the fixing screws - then with intentional clearance between leading edge of frog and body (as both those surface areas are rough-cast). This would simplify machining and it may be later they decided that front support (machined mating faces) was worth the extra effort... but that's guess-work.
As for this one - needs some tuning, seems very original indeed (except a later iron, like say 20 yrs later), covered in dried old oil, mucky... nice! (oh yes, and tote totally complete, and clearly a right-hander from patination.)
 

condeesteso

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:lol: very good indeed Skills... but then it would be in 'general chat' surely, cos the Mods are quite sharp on stuff like that.
(By the way, if you do want to date an old Stanley, I did find one site that may be helpful... pm me. I mean don't.)
 

jimi43

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condeesteso":330xr8rt said:
........(By the way, if you do want to date an old Stanley, I did find one site that may be helpful... pm me. I mean don't.)
Is that the website where a prince turns into a frog....or the one that makes the bed rock? :mrgreen:

Ok...I'll get me coat too.... :oops:

Jim
 

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