Dating vintage stanley tools
The distinguishing characteristics of this plane is that it has fewer cutters, all of which are ground straight across, and that they are skewed, which makes the plane more versatile when used across or against the grain.
Most of the planes are found missing all but one of their cutters, with the only one present being the one left in the plane from the last time it was used.
The first serious hobbyists started showing up in the early 1970s.
But judging from the many old tool boxes and original shops I have visited over the years, the hobbyists of the 1970s were not the first Stanley collectors.
It often accompanies them to auction houses and rests on their desks as they browse auction websites.
Newcomers to the world of antiquing may wonder what makes antique price guides so important to antique buyers and sellers.
Many books, articles and guides have been published, and today a tremendous amount of information is available.
cgp, As Samson mentioned, Sweetheart era planes are easy to identify.
Here are some other indicators: Any "Bailey"-marked plane (on the casting) with no (Stanley) markings and no nickel plating on the lever cap and a keyhole-shaped lever cap screw hole (as opposed to the later kidney-shaped hole) is pre-Sweetheart (pre-1918 IIRC). If it has 3 patent dates (1910, and 2 dates in 1902), it's also pre-Sweetheart.
Many of you recommend pre WW II or pre 1930 Bailey/Stanley planes. Thanks in advance Chuck Blood and Gore Section - Patrick Leach's fine dissertation especially the walk through of the 3 here: BG/stan1will help you.
How do I determine the age without carrying a reference book around to garage sales and auctions? Also here: vintage (20's and 30's) is easy to ID as teh heart with the SW in side is easy to see.
A detachable guard plate, which is often missing from the plane, was screwed to the sliding section's skate for this function.