The best approach is to use the flowchart to date your plane, and then visit the Plane Type Study and Plane Feature Timeline to verify the type. (Does anyone want to take pictures of parts that are hard to describe?
Send them to me and I'll add them to the flowchart...) If you find errors or discrepancies, Patrick's Plane Type Study is the final authority.
The combination of all this effort counters any tendency in the cutting iron to chatter or vibrate under the forward thrust of the plane in the work. See the cam in place against the thin spring plate, but then look at the next image in the same place and you will see that the lift distance is 3mm more because of the hard corner and……that added 2mm is enough to cause a miss-set to the depth of the setscrew.
On the left is the B&Q lever cap showing the square and angular corner to the cam that causes an issues.
It should look like the cam on the Stanley shown right, which is indeed rounded and operates smoothly to ensure the depth of the setscrew is the right depth to allow the cam to operate and set everything properly.
These features are avoided where possible, along with features that appear in only some planes of a given type (i.e. Where possible, the flowchart uses parts that were probably replaced less often, such as frogs, depth adjustment screws and lateral adjustment levers.
This approach doesn't guarantee that you'll date your plane correctly, as the flowchart can be thrown off by some hybrids.
Stanley Bedrock Planes are one of the most sought after and highly regarded bench planes ever produced due to their superior quality, top of the line design features, and the super usability traits that they exhibit.
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.
The flowchart starts by asking questions about the cast iron bed of your plane.
I've chosen the bed as a starting point because it has many easily identifiable markings, and it probably wasn't replaced that often.
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.
If money were no object, I would simply call up Lie Nielsen and order one of everything in their catalogue.