I was digging around in the shop tonight and remembered I had a couple old planes my dad brought me last time he was in town. I didn't pay much attention to them at the time (it was the weekend of my wedding), and I stashed them away in a cabinet. Anyway, here's what I dug up:
It's a Stanley Bailey No. 3 that belonged to my paternal grandfather. (The one who never did any woodworking as far as I knew.) It's dirty and lightly rusted, but it looks like it should clean up well.
I don't know anything about Stanley patent dates, but here's what this one says:
The other plane that my granddad had was one I've never heard of...a "Bluegrass". It's comparable in size to a No. 5, and it's made in the USA, but other than that, I don't know anything about it.
It doesn't seem as substantial as the old Stanley, but I'm guessing it would also clean up into a decent user.
Last but not least, I revisited this little guy, which I bought in the early '60s when I was about 6 or 7 years old. It's got a broken lever cap, but everything else is in decent shape but in need of cleaning and tuning.
So it seems to me I should stop worrying about eBay auctions and look into turning these into user planes. (Although I could keep my eyes open for another lever cap for the 220.) A little elbow grease, some time with the sandpaper and granite tile, and maybe even some new Hock blades, and I'd think these would suit my limited needs. (Considering how little flatwork I do these days.)