Dating bedrock planes
After a short period Stanley flattened the side rails of this line of planes to make them look more distinctive from their regular offerings. This looks to be a type 4 with early round sides, and the 2 line Bedrock lever cap. A workhorse ready to go back to work or it is nice enough for the shelf. There is at least 80% of the of the japanning if not more. Overall it is a very nice plane and good enough for the collection, or will be a fine user. If you have similar antique or collectible tools you want to sell please see our FAQ Page, the Appraisal / Selling Page, and the Selling Your Collection Pages for further info about selling with us.
First model Bedrocks were numbered 2 thru 8 and only the 3 line Bedrock Cap and frog design distinguished them from the regular line of bench planes. It is in OK overall condition having seen considerable use. There is a small nick in the lever cap as shown in the pics. Good throat, no rust, pitting or other casting problems. This is an early 604 1/2 Bedrock smooth plane with round sides. This 605 1/2 Bedrock plane looks to be a type 3 according to the type study. Nice near full length proper marked cutter, Good cap. The knob and handle are the premium Rosewood of the era and very nice. To view examples of the types of antiques and collectibles we have previously sold and are always interested in helping you sell please visit our Past Sales Archive Pages at our sister website
More support for the cutter The improved Bedrocks supported the plane iron right to the heel of its bevel, eliminating movement and chatter so completely that some folks proclaim them the finest planes ever made.
Bedrock planes cost slightly more than the Bailey planes, and come in corresponding sizes 2-8.
The basic Bed Rock patent was issued April 2, 1895, but nothing appeared in the Stanley literature regarding this subject for several years.
The 18 Stanley catalogues, as printed by Ken Roberts, did not mention Bed Rock planes or a new frog design.
By about 1900, the frog design had pretty much evolved into the design that most of us handtool fundamentalists recognize - the angled bottom that mates to the bottom casting at two areas, one along the rear of the mouth and the other at a raised crossbar that spans the interior width of the bottom casting.Comparing a Bedrock plane to the standard line of bench planes Stanley offered is like comparing a Cadillac or Corvette to a regular Chevy or Vega. This plane could be made to look very presentable with a through cleaning and new tote installed, or it is ready to go back to work as it sits. It has the proper 1 line Bedrock cap, flat sides, 3 screw frog adjuster, tall front knob, 2 patents, etc. There are no casting cracks or other problems in the body or main casting. The sides and bottom have no rust or pitting and look good as well. It looks as if the chip breaker has been replaced, but the cutter is the proper vintage and nice. It is marked #7 and has the ground out patent date. When Stanley first introduced this style of plane they numbered them like their typical line of planes.Both were made by Chevrolet, both are cars and but what a difference. Nice enough for the collection, or it will make a great user. The one apology is the nick in the 3 line lever cap. The tag on the side indicates the collector bought this in 1987 about 35 years ago. Overall it is a very nice plane and good enough for the collection, or will be a fine user. There is no rust or pitting to speak of, just some dust from sitting on the shelf. The knob and handle are the premium Rosewood of the era and very nice. It was not until the type 3 offered in 1900 that they started using the 600 series to number the planes and differentiate them from the regular line of bench planes.THE STANLEY PLANE book, using a conservative approach, specifies 1902 as the starting date for the 600 series Bed Rock planes.The above rationale for using 1902 as the initial date for Bed Rocks is difficult to refute except that an earlier type of Bed Rock is known to exist (assumed to be earlier).