One of the most (if perhaps not the most) treasured tool in my tool chest is my vintage Stanley Bedrock No. 7. I’ve had it for a bit less than year and I love it more and more every day. It was a gift from my late godfather, and it is a joy to use.
I’m generally familiar with the dating criteria for ordinary Stanley planes. But I hadn’t looked into the history of the Bedrock variants. Until last night. Turns out, my No. 7 is a Type 2, built between 1898-1899. It’s not my oldest tool (that probably goes to the firmer paring chisel I recently restored), but it’s still in great shape for its age.
Despite hanging on a basement wall for however many decades (it has a hanging hole), the plane had minimal rust (no pitting) and the sole was still very flat. It merely required a wipe down with mineral spirits, a replacement iron (Veritas A2 from Lee Valley), a quick re-peening of the lateral adjustment lever, and a few passes on the granite slab with 220 grit sandpaper to be fully functional.
I don’t know how much use it got originally, but it gets used every day I’m in my shop. If it came down to it, I am 100% certain that it’s the only bench plane I would keep. They really don’t make ’em like they used to.
And, for the record, I sharpen my No. 7 with a slight camber.
Using a great plane is such a fantastic feeling.
I guess people who are not woodworkers can’t really understand the thrill of it though.
And in this brave new world of short lived technological appliances, it is a special feeling to use something that is noce and old but still works every bit as well as it was intended to from the start.
Nice tool. And it was always treated with care – no hevy rust 👍
I thought that Bedrock’s were 3 digit number system (No 607) instead of the bailey numbering system of a single number (No 7)
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Good question. Not sure. I just know what mine looks like. It otherwise checks out from the specs I saw.