In 1898 Stanley began producing this high end bench plane for more discriminating and/or professional craftsmen. Though better quality, it was more expensive and never as popular as the Bailey line. Note that the early models were numbered with single digits, like the Bailey.
The performance of the Bedrock was considered top quality, even 120 years later.
The unique features of the frog, including the full face mating surface and adjusting screw, made it easier to adjust and eliminated any "chatter". Early types have a milled out area below the patent dates, the result of a casting error on one date.
This type 2 No 4 was in rough condition when found. Note the broken tote horn and frog.
With a new frog and repaired tote horn, this type 2 presents quite beautifully.
In about 1900 Stanley began using the 3 digit numbering system (60X)on the Bedrock to differentiate it more clearly from the Bailey.
Nice example of a type 4 smoother c1908
607 tote as found
OK, not perfect but better than before
After a repair and recondition
Type 4 Bedrocks were the last of the round top side model. Early examples sported a 3 line lever cap and the later production 2 line.
The 2 line caps had the "B" cast on the backside but generally no where else. Stanley made Keen Kutter K- and Winchester W- planes are based on the type 4 Bedrock.
In 1911 Stanley completely redesigned the look and functionality of the Bedrock. The 3 screw frog design was introduced allowing easier manipulation of its mouth adjustment. The top of the sides were flattened further differentiating it from its Bailey cousin.
This nearly unused example of a 603 type 5 was found in an old shipping crate along with several other similarly dated craftsman's tools. The box was lined with a number of perfectly preserved copies of the Portland Oregonian dating as far back as March of 1924.
Type 8 were produced c1927-30
This example sports and orange frog, a unique characteristic to the later Sweetheart planes
The last "official" Bedrock production model was produced just after the beginning of WWII in 1943. The design, however has been reincarnated and is now used by a number of modern manufacturing companies as the basis for a new generation of bench planes.
Contrasting pre WWII and wartime production of Stanley bench planes, hardwood replaced rosewood, most brass was replaced with steel, but the castings were much thicker and heavier as shown in this photo.