For Iron Plane Collectors

This article previously appeared in The M-WTCA Scribe, Vol. 3 No. 1 January 1974

For Iron Plane Collectors

Announcing the publication of “The Stanley Plane” By Alvin Sellens

Alvin Sellens

A new book on Stanley woodworking planes by Alvin Sellens will be published by the EAIA. Alvin is a member and newly elected director of the MWTCA. The following advance notice was prepared at the request of the Editor.

For Iron Plane Collectors

By Alvin Sellens

The draft of a book devoted to Stanley woodworking planes has been completed and is in the hands of the EAIA Publications Committee. The forthcoming book will contain a purpose, description and dates of manufacture for each of the many planes marketed by Stanley Tools. Emphasis is placed upon the use of photographs and illustrations. Each plane is illustrated at least once with additional illustrations being used to show the differences due to major model changes. Background information is included in the form of a brief company history, some general plane data, patent dates and numbers, trademark usage dates, numbering philosophy and a host of other related information. The book will be arranged and indexed to simplify both identification and dating of any Stanley plane.

It is the hope of the author that this book will answer most of the questions of Stanley plane collectors and that it will become both a scholarly reference and a flea market shopping companion.

The unlikely motive that prompted the assembly of material for a book can best be described as “Insufficient information”. Comparison of an old Stanley Catalog with several iron planes prompted more questions than could be answered by the known available information. At a subsequent tool meeting, several discreet questions led to the conclusion that even the avowed experts were not knowledgeable on the subject of iron planes. It became apparent that the source data available to the average collector was too limited to provide a good general understanding. It appeared that catalogs were the only reliable sources of data and, unfortunately, catalogs are both scarce and expensive. The few catalogs available locally answered several questions and prompted many more. The quest for information finally resulted in a decision to assemble and publish a compilation of facts about Stanley planes.

The EAIA Publications Committee graciously consented to sponsor this effort and, through their endorsement, the EAIA membership and others provided voluminous source data. The Committee is currently planning the publishing and distribution aspects of the book.