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.