On all of the commonly used bench planes the lever is refined to an elliptical shape so that when the cam-shaped lever is pressed into action from its loosed state the cam lifts the lever cap up from its zero pressure position to apply pressure at two points; one, directly beneath the lever cam near the top or upper end of the cutting iron and then, two, along the full length of the leading edge of the lever cap directly on the top of the hump of the cap iron.This then compresses the cap iron against the cutting iron and subsequently beds the whole onto the frog.Stan Faullin helped by providing some of the pictures used in the Plane Dating Flowchart, and Steve Turner provided the Post Script version of the flowchart.
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.
I paid a little more than was necessary because I bought planes that had intact handles and were well presented (with several clear photographs). If you don’t know anything about hand planes, buying them on Ebay can be an expensive way to learn.
Here are some very simple rules to follow when looking to purchase an old Stanley hand plane. That indicates it is a type 15 or earlier Stanley bench plane (made before 1932).
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.