Dating stanley no 4 planes
Histories prior to these examples are not clear although furniture pieces and other woodwork found in Egyptian tombs show surfaces carefully smoothed with some manner of cutting edge or scraping tool.
There are suggestions that the earliest planes were simply wooden blocks fastened to the soles of adzes to effect greater control of the cutting action.
Generally all planes are used to flatten, reduce the thickness of, and impart a smooth surface to a rough piece of lumber or timber.
Planing is also used to produce horizontal, vertical, or inclined flat surfaces on workpieces usually too large for shaping, where the integrity of the whole requires the same smooth surface.
The Bailey and Bedrock designs became the basis for most modern metal hand plane designs manufactured today.
The Bailey design is still manufactured by Stanley Works.
The original Bailey designs were further evolved and added to by Justus Traut and others at Stanley Rule & Level.The Roman planes resemble modern planes in essential function, most having iron wrapping a wooden core top, bottom, front and rear and an iron blade secured with a wedge.One example found in Cologne has a body made entirely of bronze without a wooden core.The block plane is a smaller tool that can be held with one hand which excels at working against the grain on a cut end of a board. Wood fibers can be seen running out to the surface that is being planed.It is also good for general purpose work such as taking down a knot in the wood, smoothing small pieces, and chamfering edges. When the fibers meet the work surface it looks like the point of an arrow that indicates the direction.