Stanley Bailey, blue finish, not a Bailey?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 03-24-2011 10:27 PM 8374 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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660 posts in 2646 days

03-24-2011 10:27 PM

I bought an moderately old Stanley plane that was in good condition except for a thin, bright red layer of rust. The rust came off easily with Evapo-Rust, and I’m starting to fettle the plane. I thought the plane was a Bailey type 20 (because the base is blue, not black), but now I’m not sure. Did all Bailey plans have “Bailey” on the base? The frog on mine does not have a frog adjustment screw. Does the details mean it is not a Bailey? If not, what kind of plane is it? (If it’s not a Bailey, it’s not a big deal since I paid just $11 for it.)

-- More tools, fewer machines.

8 replies so far

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2646 days

#1 posted 03-24-2011 10:29 PM

Also, the knob and tote are black-painted wood, not plastic.

Here is an eBay auction (not mine) of a plane that looks just like mine, except that the plane pictured is slightly bigger (maybe a No. 5 size, where as mine is a No. 4 size):

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3339 days

#2 posted 03-24-2011 11:32 PM

I had one that was very similar, but possibly newer….I don’t believe it was a Bailey. It’s more likely a Stanley econo plane of some sort. If it works, use it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View swirt's profile


2640 posts in 2935 days

#3 posted 03-25-2011 07:08 AM

Not likely a Bailey. Stanley Handyman had painted wood tote and knobs As did some of the other lower end Stanley planes from the 1950s and up.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3155 days

#4 posted 03-25-2011 03:58 PM

As I recall, Stanley started using blue paint instead of black Japanning in the ‘60s. The lack of the Bailey stamp would lead me to think it’s one of Stanley’s 1960s and later budget planes, worth about what you paid for it.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3038 days

#5 posted 03-25-2011 04:07 PM

Record planes, which were made in England, where Stanley imitators with blue paint. I have 3 in my collection. All them have the name “Record” clearly stamped in them. They also have “Made in England” stamped into them. All 3 of my Records have plastic handles. Record started making planes in England shortly after Stanley’s patents expired.

Note that the blue plane that Knotscott provided a picture of does not look like any Record plane that I have seen other than the fact that it is the same shade of blue that Record planes are.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2646 days

#6 posted 03-25-2011 07:06 PM

Will using the hand plane give me trouble, or should it be adequate for planing?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2740 days

#7 posted 03-25-2011 07:27 PM

Clean it up, flatten the sole – if it needs it, sharpen it and should work. Some of the cheap ones may not hold the blade firm (which could be a problem to solve) or have a soft blade that won’t stay sharp (which can be replaced).

Record made very good planes until they sold the company, the newer ones tend to have a warped sole. I have an older one that is dead flat and is a dream to use – only sharpened it twice in two years.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3339 days

#8 posted 03-25-2011 10:05 PM

It’s certainly worth giving that Stanley a try. At worst, it’s an excellent $11 introduction to planes. At best, it might work surprisingly well…blade edge, tuning, and setup are key to any plane’s performance.

AFAIK this plane has nothing to do with Record, though the older models seem very much alike in many ways. (it doesn’t show up well, but the back of the Bailey #5 doesn’t have the v-ribbing that the non-Bailey Stanley has)

Here’s a look at the back of an older Record 05-1/2 plus a couple of similar era Bailey’s:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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