Patrick Leach wrote:
Leonard Bailey, inventor of the common bench plane (as we know it)
his patents to Stanley Rule and Level Co back in 1869. Mr. Bailey got
cheesed over the fact that he wasn't getting his just desserts from
burgeoning corporation, so he decided to invent another line of
po'd Stanley, who sued Bailey in an attempt to stop him from making
called The Victor Plane. Even though the adjustment mechanism was
from his first patents, a judge ruled that the Victor mechanism was an
fringement of the exclusive rights of Stanley. Things bounced back and
for several years, and Stanley decided to become an agent for the sale
Bailey's Victor Planes due to the good press (in the trade rags of the
they received. Finally, Stanley bought the Victor series outright,
for a few years more (until late 1880's) and then chucked them
for the original Bailey design. The only plane that endured was the
it underwent many modifications over its lifetime.
There are two basic adjustments characteristic of the Victor planes.
first, used on bench and block planes, has a circular disc, onto which
eccentric lever device is fixed. This device engages the cutter to
lower it whenever the disc is turned. There were three basic designs
mechanism, but all operated on the principal of turning a disk,
the top of the frog, to regulate the cutter.
On the #20, the Victor adjustment is a large, horizontal adjusting
which is held captive in the main casting of the plane. Through the
of this wheel passes a large threaded post. When the wheel is turned,
post is raised or lowered (depending upon whether the screw is turned
wise or counter-clockwise), which in turn adjusts the sole of the
make it convex or concave. This adjustment mechanism is the best of
Stanley's circular planes, since there are no gears to strip (like the
and because it adjusts uniformly (unlike the #13 which requires the
and rear of the sole to be adjusted individually). I think Record's
of the circular plane is based on this design.
BTW, I should mention that this description is of the common,
produced mechanism. The original #20's don't have the horizontal
They have a large thumb screw-like threaded post, along with two large
medallions attached to the body.
|> As a last note I found a Stanley #4 for $20 with very little rust and nickel
|> plating in good shape. It has a strange 'b'ish shaped hole for the cap iron
|> to clamp onto the blade. Any idea on the age, and is it a reasonable price?
The little hole you describe sounds like the one for the lever cap,
the cap iron. This is the kidney-shaped hole, which was introduced in
early 1930's. I buy every #4 I can find for $20, as long as they are
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