Transitional Bailey plane with Metal plate

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Forum topic by brianl posted 04-11-2011 04:30 AM 1747 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 3280 days

04-11-2011 04:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane bailey transitional

My father recently picked up a transitional bailey for me at an auction. I’ve never seen one like this before: it has a metal plate that was attached to the bottom. When I removed the plate, I saw that there were two series of holes drilled into the base – both of which were stripped. I filled them with epoxy putty.

I started to put the plane back together and noticed that the blade (even at its highest setting) reaches out at least a 1/4” past the bottom of the sole. I’m wondering if someone reduced the thickness of the sole or did something else weird.

Anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? Any recommendations?

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

6 replies so far

View Drew's profile


46 posts in 2887 days

#1 posted 04-11-2011 05:43 AM

Lets remember wood shrinks as time go by. plus it get worn away as well…. most likely the reason for the metal plate.
perhaps it just needs another layer of wood then return the metal plate.

-- If A equals success, then the formula is, A = X + Y + Z, Where X is work, Y is play, And Z is keep your mouth shut." -Albert Einstein.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 3079 days

#2 posted 04-11-2011 04:53 PM

I have never seen one with a metal plate. I would assume that was added by a previous owner.

I agree with Andrew that the sole probably shrank due to much use. You could go with his idea of adding a new block of wood to the bottom. However I wouldn’t put the metal plate back on. The whole point of the transitional planes was because many craftsman preferred the wood soles over the iron ones. It may also be hard getting that metal plate flat. I would leave it wood sole if it was mine.

Another idea would be to copy the sole and make a whole new one and then just reattach the metal top. Might be a fun project.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2892 days

#3 posted 04-11-2011 05:17 PM

That’s really neat & I’ve never seen it before. I agree with the guys above & think the mouth widened over a long period of use (which makes it a more attractive plane to me). It shouldn’t be to difficult to attach a new base, maybe boxwood? If you’re getting ambitious, you could even fingerjoint/dovetail the new sole on like the ECE planes. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View WayneC's profile


13783 posts in 4296 days

#4 posted 04-12-2011 03:58 AM

I’ve seen a few planes like this. I’m thinking the plate was added as part of a restoration project to close the mouth of the plane. If you look at the leading edge of the mouth you can see it is not straight. It would be impossible to get nice shavings with a mouth shaped like that.

I agree with Bertha. Flatten the bottom and add wood to allow for a new mouth opening. Another option might be to insert a block of wood to create a new mouth.

If you can find it at a reasonable price, Dunbar’s book would be very useful.

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

View brianl's profile


108 posts in 3280 days

#5 posted 04-14-2011 03:36 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I did some quick measurements – the body will need to be 18” long, 3” wide, and 2” deep. I looked around online and I can’t find anyone that sells beech that is 12/4 (2.25” thick). Anyone know of a place that does so?

Or, do you think I could get away with gluing up two 5/4 pieces? Gluing up a plane body just worries me for some reason…

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

View WayneC's profile


13783 posts in 4296 days

#6 posted 04-14-2011 04:44 PM

LOL – Karson probably has a stack of 12/4 beech in his shop. I would think it would be fine to glue it up. Did you find the original measurement or are you working off of the current body?

Also you could try

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

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