Stanley Bailey No. 4 plane...restored

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Project by Tim Dahn posted 1702 days ago 7675 views 0 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This Stanley Bailey No. 4 plane has been in our family since it was new, used first by my wife’s Grandfather then her father, both carpenters. I received this last year along with a No. 6 and a No. 8 in a box of old rusty tools. The patent dates are 1902 and 1910. Now it is new again, ready for another generation or two.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

30 comments so far

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1889 days

#1 posted 1702 days ago

Wow! Excellent job. You should be very proud of it . It’s always more special when there is history behind it.

Thanks for sharing

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View DaleM's profile (online now)


903 posts in 1986 days

#2 posted 1702 days ago

Great restoration of a good user plane. Looks like you gave it enough new life to last easily a couple more generations. I got a few planes that had belonged to my wife’s father too, but none this old and I’m not sure where he got them, but I’m still glad to have them.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2251 days

#3 posted 1702 days ago

nice restore. the japaning on this one looks all intact. with it restored. it looks brand new (at least the way you photographed it ;) )

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View WayneC's profile


12255 posts in 2700 days

#4 posted 1702 days ago

Great plane, it will serve you and future generations well.

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

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 1798 days

#5 posted 1702 days ago

turned out great

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


969 posts in 1723 days

#6 posted 1702 days ago

nice restoration and great history. makes a little more than just a hunk’o metal

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 2035 days

#7 posted 1702 days ago

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. Can you give more details of the restoration. I have an old plane I’d like to get back to top condition.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1462 posts in 2167 days

#8 posted 1702 days ago

Thanks everyone, glad to share. It did turn out to be a nice user plane.

Sharon; not much japaning was left and I didn’t remove any, just added a really heavy coat of black rustoleum and 30 minute ride @250F in the old toaster oven out in the garage to bake it on.

kcrandy; Here is a good blog on the subject;

I de-rusted all the parts in citric acid.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


341 posts in 2085 days

#9 posted 1702 days ago


I am not sure why, but there is special place in my heart for planes. Yours is a great one! It will become a Family heirloom for sure!

My hat is off to you!


-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1462 posts in 2167 days

#10 posted 1702 days ago

CB; I believe you are showing early symptoms of Galoots disease, no cure and we all get it :)

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View bigike's profile


4031 posts in 1891 days

#11 posted 1702 days ago

if the other ones are in the same shape u should do a tuturial on them here on LJ about restoring them? this one came out real nice id love to know the process u went through to get it that way plus it helps me for when i start looking for a #8 stanley thats the last one i need to finnish my set but i always try to get new planes or very close to it as u can see from my avatar up in the corner of the message. blog blog blog away????

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View TheDane's profile


3659 posts in 2265 days

#12 posted 1702 days ago

Timbo—Nice work. Restoring an old tool like this gives you a real sense of pride, doesn’t it? I would bet that you’ll find, as I did, these vintage planes are a real pleasure to use.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View davidroberts's profile


1002 posts in 2088 days

#13 posted 1702 days ago

Nice restor. I bought an old #5 for pennies and thought I had made out like a bandit until I noticed someone has replaced the original handle with one that did not fit exactly. The screw holes do not line up and the tote is held (tightly) by one screw. The missing screw will cost more than I paid for the plane. Oh well.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View a1Jim's profile


112001 posts in 2180 days

#14 posted 1701 days ago

Hey Tim
A great job on a family tool.

-- Custom furniture

View Roz's profile


1658 posts in 2389 days

#15 posted 1701 days ago

Great job! It looks like new!

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

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