Stanley Gage Planes – History and Type Study

John Porcius Gage formed the Gage Tool Co. in 1883, and operated it until 1917, making wood bottom transitional planes. J.P. Gage registered plane patents on 4 August 1885, 13 April 1886 and 8 November 1892. The 30 January 1883 patent of David A. Ridges was also used.


J. P. Gage Patent Drawing

The Gage “self-setting” design eliminated the need for a lateral adjustment feature, which eliminated slop in the blade movement. The adjustment slide was designed to accurately fit into a groove in the frog, and depth adjustment was controlled by a screw at the rear of the frog, similar to a low angle block plane. The two-piece lever cap design also functioned as a chipbreaker. The outer part of the cap serves as the lever cap, with the inner piece functioning as a chipbreaker. The mechanism is adjustable via a two-screw slide to bring it closer to the edge of the blade. The self setting feature allowed the cutter and cap to be removed and reinstalled without adjustment of the cut.

In 1919 Stanley Rule & Level Co. bought the Vineland NJ company, mainly to get the patent for their excellent frog design and to compete with Sargent’s Auto-Set line of planes that are very similar in both appearance and design. Stanley retained the use of the Gage name, producing a line of transitional planes from 1919 to 1935, and metal Gage planes from 1919 to about 1941, when the line was phased out.

The original Stanley Gage line of metal bench planes was numbered 3 through 7, sizes that compared to their Bailey counterparts. The G prefix was added in 1930 to distinguish them from the Bailey line (G3 through G7C). There were 10 different numbers included in the offering, which included corrugated versions that, like Bailey planes, were differentiated with a C suffix appended to the model number (ex. G3C or G7C).

Gage Plane

Stanley Gage no. 5, Type 2 (1924-1930)

Gage Type Study

There are four “Types” of Stanley Gage planes, which are thankfully far less complicated than most of the other Stanley Type studies.

Type 1 (1919-1923) – Plane beds marked “Pat. Appl’d For” in the casting. No “G” prefix to the model number

Type 2 (1924-1930) – “Pat. Appl’d For” removed from the casting. Plane beds are now marked with Schade’s 2-17-20 patent date.

Type 3 (1930-1941) – The “G” prefix added to the model number.

Type 4 – Same as Type 3 but has “Made in USA” added to the casting. (exact date of this is uncertain)

Sellens, Alvin, The Stanley Plane,: A History & Descriptive Inventory, Augusta, KS: Allvin Sellens, 1978.

Walter, John, Stanley Tools: Guide to Identity & Value, Marietta, OH: John Walter, 1996.



About Bryant
Bryant is a business management and organizational development executive with over 20 years’ experience focused on financial and operational efficiencies, talent development and optimization, improved employee engagement, and cultural alignment of teams within the organization. He has diverse experience in successful financial and strategic planning, brand management, leadership analysis and talent development, as well as designing and executing improvements to teams’ cultural efficacy and organizational alignment. Bryant has experience in both International Public S&P 500 Corporate and Non-Profit Sectors, and also runs his own entrepreneurial business venture, a consulting company specializing in helping small businesses and organizations improve operational efficiency, leadership development, and employee engagement . Bryant holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA).

14 Responses to Stanley Gage Planes – History and Type Study

  1. Sheldon Sanders says:

    Fascinating planes. As a woodworker I don’t think that the design solves the leveling problem better than the lateral lever. To be of practical value, the iron must be ground with the cutting edge precisely perpendicular to the edge. With that earl lever available that is not at all necessary. Close enough is good enough.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: Brands Other Than Stanley | TimeTestedTools

  3. DeForrest Keeling says:

    I have one of these planes but there is a date of 2-17-20 No G3. So does this mean 1920 correct.


  4. Joseph says:

    I recently uncovered one of these self-setting planes that was my grandfather’s. It is marked Stanley, not Gage; however, it is missing the front knob and screw post. I’d love to replace those and restore it. Does anyone know if Stanley used the same screw and knob from their Bailey line during the same time periods?


  5. Anonymous says:


    Mine (marked G4, & made in the USA) has the same hardware as a Stanley No. 3.


  6. kit says:

    My husbands family was part of the PJ Gage tools. We cleaned out his parents house and found a lot of Gage planes and some other tools. We also have lots of information about the Gage family. We must have 20 different planes.


  7. Anonymous says:

    I have a fully intact no 5 type 1


    • Seems that I also have a fully in tact No 5. If I have read the above correctly then it’s a type 1. A couple of months ago I didn’t know that there was a Gage or if Stanley was involved with it or not. I’m very happy to know that I have one of the first Stanley-Gage planes.


      • Bryant says:

        Just understand that the Gage planes are not typed using the same type study as the Bailey planes.


      • Michael Thornton says:

        As a novice to this I don’t even attempt to make a call on a Stanley anything. It’s a puzzle that I’ve never tried to put together. The Gage is new to me in that I didn’t know that one existed. I read that the Gage was acquired by Stanley and Stanley kept the Gage name. The No 5 is the model number and the pat applied for is all that is stamped on the body. I think it’s a type 1 because that’s all that is on the plane and yes it isn’t as complicated as the Stanley is.


      • Michael Thornton says:

        I need to know how to send pictures of the plane and explain why I don’t see all the things on my plane. There are some differences in what I’ve seen and I need to let you take a look.


  8. Bryant says:

    Use the Contact Me form here on the website. I will then be able to respond with instructions for sending photos. I don’t post my email address here because I end up on spam lists.


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