How much should one pay for a Stanley/Bailey #4 now a days?

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Forum topic by WoodWorkJosh posted 12-10-2015 04:32 PM 1818 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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539 posts in 1071 days

12-10-2015 04:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stanley 4 planes hand tool price question plane

Hello I’m new to Lumberjocks and new to woodworking with hand tools. I’ve been browsing around on ebay for a Stanley #4, but the prices fluctuate so much. I was wondering what I should be paying for a Stanley #4 plane? How much is too much? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

13 replies so far

View TiggerWood's profile


271 posts in 1778 days

#1 posted 12-10-2015 06:34 PM

There are too many variables to say for sure. I buy old rusty ones for $5 to $10 and restore them. If you just want a user, I don’t think anyone should pay more than $60 no matter how pristine it is. $30 for one that doesn’t need any work done to it seems reasonable.

View WoodWorkJosh's profile


539 posts in 1071 days

#2 posted 12-10-2015 09:43 PM

Thanks for the response, I agree, but there are tons and tons of #4’s where they want $100’s of dollars for just plane jane Stanley/Bailey #4’s. I will have to look hard to just find one cheap. I don’t mind restoring one.

View HokieKen's profile


6580 posts in 1310 days

#3 posted 12-10-2015 09:58 PM

It’s harder every day to find a decent deal on planes on e-bay. You can’t even buy the junkers at a decent price unless they’ve got a busted sole or are missing parts. I wouldn’t pay more than $40 for a #4 that’s ready to use or $20 for one than needs more than 2 hours work to get it cleaned, sharpened and fettled. And those costs include shipping. Needless to say, I haven’t bought a plane off of e-Bay in quite a while.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View WoodWorkJosh's profile


539 posts in 1071 days

#4 posted 12-10-2015 10:02 PM

I hear you, I’m only going to look for a little while on ebay for one. I just found a WoodRiver #4 1/2 that I fell in love with, so I’ll probably just go with that. Great plane for the price in my opinion.

View JayT's profile


5926 posts in 2383 days

#5 posted 12-10-2015 10:05 PM

Contact fellow LJ, DonW. There’s several of us on Lumberjocks that do a fair bit of rust hunting and restoration, but Don is the most active. He is always finding, restoring and selling planes. You’d be assured of getting a complete plane that way at a fair price.

Here’s his website listing what he has for sale, but if you want/need something else, just let him know.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View WoodWorkJosh's profile


539 posts in 1071 days

#6 posted 12-10-2015 10:06 PM

Thanks a bunch JayT.

View Luke2220's profile


24 posts in 1716 days

#7 posted 12-10-2015 10:37 PM

On e-bay its probably going to be around $40.00 or better depending on condition of the plane. However, if you go by the local flea markets/antique stores you might be able to get your hands on one for about $20 – $25

View Babieca's profile


178 posts in 1676 days

#8 posted 12-11-2015 02:13 AM

I’ve found that Etsy often has better prices on tools than ebay, though you don’t get the same selection there. Might be worth checking out.

View BurlyBob's profile


5934 posts in 2437 days

#9 posted 12-11-2015 02:44 AM

I agree anything over $40 better be something special. I got luck this past summer and picked up a #8 type 17 for $35. So they are out there you just have to look for them.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18988 posts in 2739 days

#10 posted 12-13-2015 03:06 PM

It really depends on what you want. If you can find a completely restored and tuned Bailey #4 for $60 or less, I suggest you buy it, if completely tuned is what you’re looking for.

Some of it has to do with location. Some areas do not have as many vintage tools for sale. If you’re going to pay $40 or less there is a good chance you’ll have work to do, no matter where you live.

I do believe tuning a plane is one of the best ways to learn how a plane works however. There is plenty of how to sites and videos and plenty of LJs willing to help.

Price depends on a lot of factors. Condition, vintage, and how informed the seller is. You can also find much better prices on brands other than Bailey that are just as good (and better according to some).

Good luck in your search and let us know how you make out.

And thanks for the plug JayT. Its much appreciated.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View rwe2156's profile


3134 posts in 1652 days

#11 posted 12-15-2015 01:19 PM

I hear you, I m only going to look for a little while on ebay for one. I just found a WoodRiver #4 1/2 that I fell in love with, so I ll probably just go with that. Great plane for the price in my opinion.

- WoodWorkJosh

Check on that. I went the Ebay/rustoration route ended up with $100 in several planes after blade upgrades. Problem with Ebay planes I’ve been surprised more than once after opening the box (&^%$ I didn’t see that crack- oh its right there in the description – but I thought that was a different one….!)

Be sure to flatten the blade iron first. I’ve got a couple WR’s the #6 needed more time than I anticipated to get flat. Once you get it done its done.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View WoodWorkJosh's profile


539 posts in 1071 days

#12 posted 12-15-2015 01:32 PM

I just received my WoodRiver #4 1/2 yesterday. I flatted the blade, and check the sole and sides for flat and square respectively. The sole was dead flat right out of the box. I am really impressed with this plane so far. I am able to take see through shavings in white oak. I also have some northern white pine and it takes see through shavings as well. I wanted to test it out in hard and soft wood. I have to say I think I found my #4 1/2, but I’m still on the hunt for a scrub plane and a 5 1/2. Thanks to everyone for their responses, it was a big help.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2541 days

#13 posted 12-15-2015 02:29 PM

For those other planes you’re looking for, keep an eye on Craigslist and at local antique stores. I picked up two #4’s and a #5 from Craigslist as a set for $25. My #7 ran me $35, was in great shape.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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