While I enjoy reading the information on these old planes I often wonder how sound the advice is. There are tons of opinions on what is acceptable and of course if it works then....but that isn't always a great way to go. Earlier in another post I mentioned what I had read or seen about acceptable flatness of the plane sole. How accurate that is remains to be seen. If it were a new Lie-Nielsen or Veritas that I paid good money for I'd expect it to be completely flat. After all isn't that what they advertise and what you paid for? There's working and then there's working extremely well. Sorta like tuning an engine. This journey has its pitfalls by finding the wrong information. It's like surfing the net for medical information, it's all over the place, truth and myth.
I bought a Stanley Bailey #4 I just received yesterday and it appears to be pre-war based on some 5 facts I saw in a video. The
was comparing which plane to buy, the much older Stanley or the newer pre-war model. 1st the frog has 4 contact points and has very little ability to wiggle when seated, 2nd is the larger brass adjustment nut, 3rd is the smaller but taller diameter front knob, 4th is the frog adjusting screw near the adjusting nut, and lastly was supposed to be the nickel plated lever cap. Here's where it's maybe not the original because it isn't nickel plated as I expected but again there may be a good reason for that and that being this model was just before the nickel plating was done. Forgot to mention the cast is thicker as well, more so than the earlier models. It arrived yesterday with a very dull iron (not unexpected) but otherwise in very nice shape but I may have to shorten the rear handle screw to tighten the handle. It has a slight wiggle to it now. Doesn't seem to have any more ability to tighten down although it loosens easily. Maybe take it out and inspect.