Stanley plane iron dating popular dating show past or present
All lever caps, irrespective of plane size, have single 5/32 inch (4 mm) marks on the reverse lower section.Early 2 inch lever caps had an inside measurement (shoulder to tip) of 48 mm (1954/55), increasing to 50 mm for 1955/57.Like the bodies and frogs, early 2 inch lever caps were probably cast at Wednesbury, changing to an outside supplier from late 1955.Like the frogs, it appears that all 2-3/8 inch lever caps were from the first batch cast at Wednesbury.It has been noticed that early lever caps had poor chrome plating and were subject to corrosion and poor chrome retention.From around 1956/57, the plating process was improved and later lever caps have a much better chrome finish without corrosion.Other smaller parts, including cutters, are user replaceable and could distort the dating process if not original to the tool.
Even then, some overlap in date ranges must be allowed for.From about 1957 to the end of production, the letter “Q” was included in the upper left hand face frame in addition to the right hand number mark.Mid and late 2 inch frogs have the same features and probably came from an external supplier.They were very susceptible to corrosion and the printed trademark could easily become obliterated over time. A third cutter had the same finish as type 2, but was much thicker, up to about 2.5mm.These were known as “New Improved Cutters" (NIC’s) and a white sticker was sometimes attached to the plane box to show their inclusion. ‘Changeover’ planes are identified by being constructed of a mixture of original Woden and Record parts.
These labels have been found on both L1 and L2 boxes.