First blog entry on LJs. I have restored two other planes before this one (both Bailey No. 5s… one for use as a jack, one for use as a scrub), but this one will definitely be the best documented. Here goes. FYI I am done with this restoration and will be adding entries in chronological order as time permits. Truthfully, I’ll try to sneak in an entry between entertaining my 7-month-old.
While browsing the Craiger, I came across a sale for a bunch of stuff (none of which I needed). Naturally, I clicked on the link (who wouldn’t?), and at the bottom of the listing was something like this line: ”Some old, rusty handplanes… $1 apiece”. No pictures, no other description, nothing. JACKPOT!!! I email the guy asking what type of handplanes he has, not expecting a coherent answer in the slightest. The guy writes back: ”Bailey No 7 and a No 5 with no markings other than size.” Well, haven’t I been pineing (pining?) for a Bailey No 7? Doesn’t this guy live in the next town over? Couldn’t I meet him tomorrow to take it off his hands? Cue the hallelujah chorus.
That night, I am not kidding, I had a nightmare that he sold it to someone the next day before I could get there. I awoke in a cold sweat. I checked my email just to be sure there wasn’t a Dear John letter in it from the guy. Thank God, safe and sound. I resolve to be 5 minutes early to the guy’s house due to this bad omen. I worried that maybe he had meant $10 or $100 and that maybe he had made a typo in the listing.
The day of reckoning arrives, and I commute to this man’s house. When I got there, we actually had a nice conversation about his work. He had been a shipwright, and this plane had been his grandfather’s. He had neglected it, and didn’t seem to know much about wood planes. He certainly had never used it.
Okay, you’ve waited long enough. Here’s the grand reveal:
I paid him a dollar, and gave him two more for a small spokeshave he gave me, and left. I considered buckling the No 7 up for the drive home.
Here are a few more pictures, then I’ll give my thoughts on the plane at the start.
So there it is. A couple things:
1. The frog is missing the lateral adjustment lever. In fact, the top of the frog looks broken off. Will have to be dealt with.
2. The patents (2) stamped in the bed are from 02. I’ll safely assume 1902. In 1802 we were still cro-magnons and in 2002 who uses handplanes anymore what with the iPhone app that does it? A little research determines that I have a Type 9. Maybe this thing is worth $1000 as a collector, but I don’t care. I also doubt it. This is meant for shop use as my shop is too small for a power jointer. Maybe next house will have a bigger basement.
3. Top of tote is broken off, but would still be useable in a pinch.
4. Bottom has potential to be pitted. Ruh-roh. Not too badly though hopefully.
That’ll do it for the first part of this blog series. I hope you follow along with me as I go through making this a user again. Maybe someone will find something useful in my ramblings. Until next time!
Bailey (why do you think I am hoping for a collection of Baileys?)
-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.