Hand Tools Archive
If the frog is moved back, will the cutter rest on the casting?
I've had several planes that have that unsupported span (ohio planes come to mind), as well as the initial confusing puzzle that is a transitional plane.
The transitional planes rely on you using the cap iron instead of closing the mouth and they work well as long as the iron is set to bed on the wooden bed.
They can be blocked shut at the mouth if the mouth is too large (by inserting a mouth blank like you sometimes see on old wooden planes), but I've still never liked htem. Some of the older ones have opposite-rotation adjusters, and some have adjusters that are hard to get to, while others (all) have fairly weak feeling handles compared to metal planes with a front screw.
They do have a lot of nice screws in them, and beech for chisel handles if you take one apart and throw away all of the useless bits.
Anyway, the metal plane may become more usable if the mouth isn't too large and the bevel of the iron will rest flush on the casting for support. (still, any reasonable-priced stanley plane that doesn't have those limitations is a good reason to set the craftsman plane aside - same with the ohio or union or KK keen kutter series, or anything else that has a long unsupported span).