Handplane Restoration #11: Stanley #4 Type 3/4?

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Blog entry by WayneC posted 04-27-2007 07:06 AM 6095 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Stanley Bailey #3 Type 10 After Part 11 of Handplane Restoration series Part 12: Stanley Bailey #4 1/2 Type 19 »

I’ve been having blogging withdrawals and was hoping to get started on my next plane restoration. Tonight, after I was able to free myself from my last meeting of the day, I inspected the #4 I had set aside for restoration. As you can see from the photo’s this plane is pretty rough.

Stanley #4 Front

Stanley #4 Side

Stanley #4 Sole

This plane was in a box of planes I bought at an antique store for $50. There were a good 15 planes in the box and lots of other Misc tools. The owner had it in the back of the store and wanted to get rid of it. Some days it pays to ask about what your looking for.

I had been looking for a good number 4 for a while, but had not found one that I really like. I thought I would restore this one and wait for the right one to come along.

I dissassembled the plane and the following are my notes:

  • The rear tote is pretty crudely shaped and appears to be home made. I was also unable to free the rear post from the bed of the plane.
  • The lever cap is missing its spring and has damage to the lower end of the cap. The cap also has a U cast in it. There is damage to the lower part of the lever cap. It does not have a spring.
  • The body has a #4 cast into the toe of the plane. No patent dates. Perhaps 65% of the jappanning remaining. Significant rust under the frog. Does not appear to be pitted.
  • I could not find any markings on the blade. Most likely due to rust.The blade and chip breaker would not come apart.
  • The frog is attached with round head screws that appear to have washers attached to them. It has “Stanley” stamped into the lateral adjuster. It does not have a frog adjustment screw.
  • The blade asjustment knob is marked Bailey Patent Aug 6 1867 and Aug 31 1858.

Here are some photos of the plane apart.

Frog and blade



After looking at the plane, I decided that I would not restore the plane. It is either an early plane or one assembled from a variety of parts and I do not belive in restoring very old or rare planes. I looked in the type study and had a hard time pinning down the specific type of the plane. The Type 3 or 4 is a guess.

The plane has a number of condition issues. I will continue to look for a good #4. I think I will target a #4C either here locally or get one off of ebay. Speaking of ebay, I am still waiting on the 5 1/4 I won last weekend. The seller did not take paypal and I had to send a check via snail mail. I’ll take some photos when it arrives.

Have a great weekend.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

8 comments so far

View Wooder's profile


163 posts in 4186 days

#1 posted 04-27-2007 12:51 PM

Wayne, I think maybe your are correct not to prusue the restoration of this plane. I does appear to be an old one.
I gotta tell you, when I bid on the bay for something I use the “PayPal Only” click on the side of the list of items page. That way I don’t have to deal with anything but PayPal.
BTW I’ve only received maybe 3 planes that I considered “not a good deaL” on ebay. I’ve been quite pleased with 99% of them.
What’s your veiw of that?

-- Jimmy

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4174 days

#2 posted 04-27-2007 03:13 PM

I’m a big fan of eBay. The main thing to keep in mind is that you have to be informed. You have to know what it is you’re looking for and you have to know what it is you’re looking at.

The first part is self-explanatory. If you’re just looking for a “hand plane”, then you’re going to have to sift through a lot of junk and stuff you don’t want before you find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a Bailey #4C, then you’ll have much better luck.

On the other hand, sometimes you have to try and expand your search with different variations to make sure someone hasn’t listed it under a slightly more obscure heading.

The second part is where people get caught up in buying something other than what they think they’re getting. I’ll never bid on something that doesn’t have good quality pictures of multiple angles of the item. If I don’t see what I want to see, like the area near the mouth of the plane or a backside view of the frog adjuster, then I’ll ask for a picture of it. If they’re not accommodating, then I simply won’t bid.

I tend to not go off of the seller’s description of the item, especially if it has anything wood as a part of it. 95% of eBay sellers are wood-ignorant. If it’s lighter in color, they’ll call it pine or oak. If it’s darker in color, they’ll call it walnut.

Speaking of not knowing… 99.5% of eBay sellers don’t know a dove tail from a box joint. Some day I’ll have to post some pictures of the first thing I ever bought off of eBay. It was a walnut (the seller actually didn’t call it walnut on this one, or it would have cost a lot more than the $47.82 I ended up paying for it) dovetailed tool chest with two inside trays set at different levels that slide on rails.

I had to sift through a ton of those stupid box jointed packing crates to find that gem.

It doesn’t really matter to me if they take paypal or check. It’s all money and its all coming from the same bank account.

The third thing to keep in mind, in my book, is how much you’re willing to spend. I generally make one and only one bid for an item. I’ll figure out how much I think it’s worth and then how much I’m willing to pay (sometimes a different number, isn’t it?), and then I’ll put in a bid for the highest amount I’m willing to pay for that item. If someone out-bids me, then they obviously wanted it more than me, didn’t they? That’s cool. It’s eBay. Something else will come along soon enough.

My latest eBay addiction: Lignum Mallets

Maybe I should write up a blog on that… You don’t want to know how many of them I have in my shop right now.

-- Ethan,

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4097 days

#3 posted 04-27-2007 10:14 PM

I like to use ebay as well. I use it to find specfic items and will normally work with the seller if it is an item I want. Given this I normally spend more on planes I puchase ebay than I do at the local antique store or flea market. Also, I am trying to avoid becoming a “Collector” if I can. I’m trying to assemble a full set of planes that cover the spectrum of general use.

So far I have puchased 4 planes on ebay. None of these were “cheap” compaired to what I normally pay at the local flea market.

A very nice Bailey 4 4/12 smoothing plane
A very nice Record T5 Technical Jack Plane
A good Bedrock #5 Jack Plane
A Sweet Baley 5 1/4 Junior Jack Plane (waiting for it to arrive)

Like Ethan, I working through some speciality tools. Pinch dogs and old screwdrivers at the moment. I also got some great cross pein hammers a while back.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4174 days

#4 posted 04-27-2007 10:29 PM

I noticed your turnscrew in one of the pictures above.

I’m jealous.

I’d like to have a set of turnscrews – it doesn’t even matter to me if they’re new or old. Unfortunately, most of the turnscrews I see on eBay are across the pond. There are a few companies out there who have a set of them for about $60. I wouldn’t mind finding it a little cheaper…

-- Ethan,

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4097 days

#5 posted 04-28-2007 02:03 AM

I have noticed the same thing about ebay. I’ve been keeping my eyes out for turnscrews and also starting to pick them up when I come across them. There is a big flea market here in town and I go by there on the weekends every once in a while to look for tools.

I’m also looking for some of the cabinet makers screw drivers. I loved to find an old set.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 3496 days

#6 posted 11-16-2011 07:56 PM

It is possible that you have several different genres of parts in that plane. I dont think its a type 3 or 4 as the frog has to be at least a Type 5 since there is a lateral adjustment lever.

-- Regards, Norm

View willie's profile


533 posts in 2454 days

#7 posted 11-20-2011 07:21 AM

I still like the old fashioned way of buying tools face to face. Garage sales, auctions, newspaper ads, and pay in cash. So far, 100% satisfaction, no complaints, instant gratification!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View drfunk's profile


223 posts in 2677 days

#8 posted 11-20-2011 08:14 AM

This fits the description of a type 6 perfectly. Not particularly rare or valuable. For me, unless it had some sentimental value, I personally would pass on restoring it – but I have more money than time and not much of either.

I have a type 7 number 5C that I was sure I was going to restore for a long time, but at some point I realized that Stanley made SO MANY 4’s and 5’s that I wouldn’t get much gratification out of fixing it.

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