I've converted some of the plane dating information found in Patrick Leach's Plane Type Study into an easy-to-use hypertext flowchart.
Hopefully by answering a few questions about your plane you can determine which type it is.
Initial diagnosis After cleaning a plane, it’s wise to establish a performance baseline before doing further work.
The advantage to my approach is that it can be used not only to revive old planes, but also to ine-tune newer ones that aren’t living up to their full potential.With the following instructions and a little practice, you’ll be able to quickly diagnose and treat those tools that require only a little irst-aid, or decide whether or not a plane warrants heroic measures.Unfortunately, many plane types share the same bed markings, so other features are also used in dating.Some plane parts were frequently replaced by their owners, or are easily separated from the plane, such as irons, cap irons, knobs and totes, and lever caps.Regardless of a tool’s age, the trick to tuning it up is determining whether it needs a bit of preening or a complete overhaul.
Tearing a plane apart isn’t terribly dificult, but unless the tool is a basket case, a full renovation is the woodworking equivalent of performing a heart transplant to treat a hangnail.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.Ok Cupid users can expect this toy to be available to them in the next couple weeks.Until then, here’s another example from someone on the site.Anyhow, it’s interesting to see these important questions all in one place.