hand plane identification

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Forum topic by Muddler posted 11-11-2007 02:43 AM 31474 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Muddler's profile


32 posts in 4275 days

11-11-2007 02:43 AM

Hi guys,

I was wondering if anyone can help me out in trying to identify an old hand plane I’ve recently aquired. It’s a Stanley Bailey style, about 9 1/2 inches long so I’m guessing it’s a #4 type. The only significant marking is behind the front knob – “MADE IN USA”. the knob and tote look as if they had some reddish stain or paint on them at one time. The adjusting nut looks to be steel rather than brass. Most of the parts look modeled after early stanleys based on “Patrick’s Blood and Gore” page, but I know there were plenty of knock offs. I unfortunately do not have the iron – which probably has all the info I need stamped on it, of course. The area where the frog attaches to is an “H” shape. On that rasied area that the frog attaches to is a “C 73”, on the back of the frog is a “C 44”, and on the back of the lever cap is a “C 116”. There is no raised lip around where the front knob is seated. Based on that description does anyone have a clue or a suggestion of a resource to identify this plane?



-- ...straight lines or tight lines, either will make me happy! Muddler

12 replies so far

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4266 days

#1 posted 11-11-2007 04:00 AM

I’m not the source of all knowledge on handplane id’s but have seen quite a few through my past tool collecting days. Sorry, yours doesn’t ring a bell. Maybe a pic would help, but I’m guessing it’s not too old. But hey, you don’t have to put that “brand” of blade in it to use it. The right size current replacement blade will work.

-- Paul, Kentucky

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4136 days

#2 posted 11-11-2007 04:45 PM

I don’t have a source for identification but these are very common, I’ve got a block plane with the “Made in USA” marking. You’re correct that they are a knockoff of Bailey planes. They could have been made by any one of the other tool makers for who knows what retailer. As far as I know Stanley type irons work as do Hockand LN. Probably no reason not to make it into a user.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Muddler's profile


32 posts in 4275 days

#3 posted 11-11-2007 06:01 PM

here’s some pics that I should’ve added originally. I was hoping that the “C” letter before all of the code numbers would’ve indicated something to you guys, but I realize that there were so many different companies and so many knock offs that identifying this plane might be tricky. As best as I can tell from “Patrick’s Blood and Gore” page, there were some early Stanleys that didn’t have the “No. 4”, “Bailey” or Stanley” markings on the base or the lever cap. It also mentioned the “H” shape to the base below the frog and the numbers “73” or “71” for the earlier planes before the patents. Again, I know this is likely a knock off, but the more I tried to research this the more it got confusing:

despite the make and age of this plane, it’s priceless to me. It was my grandpa’s plane that my mom found in my grandparent’s garage recently. My grandfather passed away about 13 years ago and was sick for many years before he passed. He was my favorite grandparent, and the one that used to let me tinker around with him in his shop when I was very young. I credit my addiction to sawdust to him. As best as I can figure, the plane hasn’t been used for about three decades. despite some nasty gouges in the sole, there is little rust or pitting on it and it is almost dead flat. there is still plenty of japaning left, and it seems that the rust is mainly on the surface. The handles and frog unscewed easily as if it was used just a few months ago. The tote is split in the middle right above what looks like a previous split that had been fixed. I figure to use epoxy to fill the gaps and hopefully make a stronger bond (any suggestions welcome if you don’t think that is a good idea). I’d like to keep the original knob and tote – there’s something to be said for touching and using the same handles that my grandpa used. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t know enough to look for the cap iron and blade, and I’m betting there might be more maker info stamped on either of them. I plan to rummage around in their garage soon to see if I can find those two pieces.

As I was taking it apart, there were a couple of wood shavings under the frog. Kinda got me a little choked up…


-- ...straight lines or tight lines, either will make me happy! Muddler

View mot's profile


4918 posts in 4210 days

#4 posted 11-11-2007 09:22 PM

I just wanted to look at the pictures all together….sorry.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Muddler's profile


32 posts in 4275 days

#5 posted 11-11-2007 10:32 PM

ebanista – the break in the tote is a little jagged, but I was considering just using TB3 like you said. the screw that holds it on the plane body actually pulls it together well and I was thinking about either gluing it and screwing it right down to the plane for clamping pressure or getting a lag bolt and large washers to hold the pieces together. i guess if if fails, I can go back to the epoxy idea. And don’t worry – I won’t clean it up too much :)

hey Tom – I was reading the tutorial about embedding the pics, but I am using flickr and couldn’t find how to get the HTML tag. How’d ya do it?

-- ...straight lines or tight lines, either will make me happy! Muddler

View knothead's profile


163 posts in 4122 days

#6 posted 11-11-2007 11:20 PM

I purchased this same plane at the local antique shop – I gave $8.50 for it. It seems to be about the same size as a #4 Stanley – they felt it was worthless because it doesn’t say Stanley on it anywhere – although you would swear it is a Stanley Plane – seems to be a near exact copy. Anyway Mine had the iron which I could not be certain is original but all it says on it is “Made in USA” (Real Helpful Huh?) It was the first old plane I bought and I spent a little time on it cleaning it and lapping the sole and sharpening the iron – I figured it would at least be a good teaching tool to start with.

Since I bought that little plane I have spent a good bit of money on ebay to build a set of planes to use – I’m more of a user than a collector. Anyway after I began to use this little smooth plane it has come to be my “Sweetheart” it is an absolute pleasure to use since I reconditioned it and it will be in my shop till I’m gone. You indicate that yours has some sentimental value then I say clean it up. tune it and think of your grandpa with every shaving you and he make together with that little plane.

I know that doesn’t help in your identification but I just couldn’t resist especially after seeing the pictures- sometimes there is real quality without a name brand attached.

-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

View handsmadeforwood's profile


26 posts in 3286 days

#7 posted 11-18-2009 08:47 AM

hey muddler, I’m new to this forum and came across this topic on google, and found it interesting because I happen to have a plane, that on the “H” it’s stamped C-73 and, on the lever C-116 but what confuses me is the fact that I have two plan beds, that are the exact same, the one I know is a stanley because of the lever, whereas the other lever is just blank… but if you found any more info on the plane I would love to hear what you found out!

-- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Twitter: handsmade4wood Facebook: Website:

View Muddler's profile


32 posts in 4275 days

#8 posted 11-18-2009 04:01 PM

wow handsmade, it’s funny to look back at this. This post was over 2 years ago – and it was the plane that started me on quite a hand plane journey. if you’re interested in just how obsessed with planes I’ve become, check my blog out:

that plane is a Stanley Defiance model – post WW2. it was one of their economy models. the frog is pretty substandard, unfortunately, as far as planes go. I found that a new Hock iron and cap iron helped improve it’s performance a great deal, and it works pretty well on soft woods like pine now.

thanks for the stroll down memory lane :)


-- ...straight lines or tight lines, either will make me happy! Muddler

View james3one's profile


58 posts in 2946 days

#9 posted 10-23-2010 09:41 PM

Just incase you’re still intersted, I picked up the same plane at an estate sale today. Same markings etc. However the plane iron is in place and marked with the name Eclipse. Still looking for info but there seems to be some connection to Stanley and Defiance. The quality is better that most knockoffs. I’ll be tuning this one up. I make a point of acquiring tools for use.


-- James, Tulsa OK,

View WWJunkie's profile


1 post in 2657 days

#10 posted 08-09-2011 07:40 AM

I too have a similar plane, but the letter/number combo under the Frog is C72 & C115 on the lever. I am guessing this is probably a #3. It was painted red. More similarities is the Tote was broken in almost the same location, just a little lower. I squared-up the split and glued it back togehter. I was able to flatten the sole fairley well, despite a few pits which will remain. I have not been able to use it yet because it needs a new plane iron and cap, the originals were really bent beyond repair. It was my search for finding the manufacturer and a possible plane iron and cap which led me to this post. And like you, this was also one of my grandfather’s hand planes given to me from my parents. I sure would like to get it working.

View WayneC's profile


13776 posts in 4271 days

#11 posted 08-09-2011 07:44 AM

Tom you awake? Buddy? lol

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

View bandit571's profile


21522 posts in 2857 days

#12 posted 02-07-2012 09:41 PM

Starting to rehab another one of these. Seems to be in better shape. Lever cap is stamped115, and the stamp under the frog is C72. No sign of any red paint on this one, blade ( a Tapered one) and the chip breaker are still in good shape. On the underside of the chip breaker is an “O” stamped into the metal. Adjustor wheel is a nice rusty steel wheel. A look at this little plane

The red one is from Great Neck, back in the 80s

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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