Advice on handling an eBay tool purchase that was missing parts

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Forum topic by Brett posted 05-03-2011 04:43 PM 3165 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2710 days

05-03-2011 04:43 PM

Two questions:

(1) I purchased a Stanley Bailey No. 7 hand plane on eBay recently for a good price. When I received the plane, it was missing the cap iron screw (which holds the cap iron to the plane iron). The plane was completely assembled in the eBay photos, so I couldn’t tell that the screw was missing.

I don’t think the seller was necessarily trying to be deceptive, but since the plane was advertised as “like new” and “gently used,” I’m wondering whether it is appropriate to request either a partial refund so I can purchase a replacement screw, or if I should just learn from this and move on.

(2) Also, the depth adjusting nut is not all brass (the threads are brass, but the knurled disk is plastic). I realize that I may have a WWII era plane (I haven’t ascertained the exact type yet) and the depth adjusting nut may have been original, but in case I decide to replace it with an all-brass nut (for looks), are the depth adjusting nuts from all Stanley Bailey planes interchangeable or can I only replace it with a nut from certain types and sizes?


-- More tools, fewer machines.

19 replies so far

View SergioC's profile


82 posts in 2694 days

#1 posted 05-03-2011 05:01 PM

I would definitely pursue the first item with the seller. If it was in the picture and listed as complete, it should be included in the purchase. I would be firm on this. As a last resort, use feedback and send a complaint to eBay. I would start by contacting the seller.

Sorry, no help on #2.

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2710 days

#2 posted 05-03-2011 05:07 PM

SergioC, when the plane is completely assembled (as it was in the pictures), the cap iron screw is not visible—it’s covered by the lever cap. I should have been a little clearer.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View HerbC's profile


1764 posts in 2886 days

#3 posted 05-03-2011 05:25 PM


I’d still pursue the seller for the screw. After all “like new” and “gently used” should NOT mean that a part is missing…

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#4 posted 05-03-2011 05:40 PM

1) tricky call. You can escalate it through ebay’s resolution process. The
seller probably doesn’t know a lot about planes and thought it was
complete. Ebay has a resolution option for orders shipped incomplete
or not as described.

You’re within your right to return the plane for a refund. If you want to
try to hold the seller responsible for a missing internal part… well, that’s
a tricky one, especially since you got a bargain on the plane and you’d
be incurring non-recoverable costs of your own by shipping it

You can buy a screw for a couple of bucks or take one off a donor plane.

The seller may have a donor plane screw if he or she deals often in planes.

2) I have a jack plane with a plastic adjustment knob. My guess is it’s
from the 1960s, but I guess it could be a wartime, brass-shortage

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#5 posted 05-03-2011 05:43 PM

I just looked it up. Plastic adjuster knobs are WWII vintage. I’d leave
it as is, personally, unless the knob was broken.

The plastic may be bakelite – I’ve never checked but that’s a war-era
product and kind of interesting stuff.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2702 days

#6 posted 05-03-2011 05:46 PM

I don’t think a plastic knob would have been used during WWII. Think about the plastic objects you have seen from that time. Things were not built during that time unless it was for the war effort. It is later than WWII. Of course you said the war and that was the last declared war but there have been other wars. I wouldn’t think that was something from the 1940’s.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2720 days

#7 posted 05-03-2011 05:51 PM

You sure it wasn’t buried in the packaging? I’ve received planes with bizarre packing methods, cap iron screw wrapped individually in taped paper, etc. I’m sure I’ve got an extra laying around. I’ll check and mail it to you if you like.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4245 days

#8 posted 05-03-2011 05:56 PM

The adjusting knob could very well be WWII era. It’s not necessarily plastic, but could be hard rubber, or bakelite, as Loren suggested.

You can go to this website with your plane in hand, and get a pretty fair idea of when it was manufactured.

As for the missing screw: It wouldn’t hurt to ask the seller about it. Maybe he has another plane he will take it from to send to you. But if not, I wouldn’t make a big deal over it. They are easy and cheap to obtain.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3912 days

#9 posted 05-03-2011 06:02 PM

Here are a couple of sites for Stanley Plane Identification and Parts, hope this helps you.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2710 days

#10 posted 05-03-2011 06:06 PM

I’ve been looking at the eBay photos of my plane, and I’m thinking that’s it’s just a standard, WWII Type 17. The base lacks the raised rim at heel and toe, but I understand that that feature wasn’t necessarily present on No. 7 planes made during WWII. If made during WWII, that could mean the plastic depth adjusting nut is standard (as shown here: for that type.

I’ll check the packaging at home, just in case the cap iron screw is there, somewhere.

I guess the depth adjusting nut could be Bakelite. I made products with Bakelite on summer job about 25 years ago, but I remember it being a hard, dense substance. The adjusting nut looks and feels more like a modern, shiny, soft plastic, but I could be mistaken.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View wingynut's profile


1 post in 2607 days

#11 posted 05-03-2011 06:32 PM

as a seller on ebay if i sold that item i would offer you to return it with a refund or offer part of your money back. If you cant see something in pictures always ask the seller a question before bidding. that insures both you and the seller are on the same page.

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2710 days

#12 posted 05-03-2011 07:15 PM

Are the cap irons screws standard for most Stanley Bailey planes?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2907 days

#13 posted 05-03-2011 07:39 PM

Cap Iron Screws are pretty standard. I know I have extra ones if you want one. I even have a number 7 I can check it on to see if it will fit. I would sell for the price of shipping only.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2710 days

#14 posted 05-03-2011 08:00 PM

Dan, you have a No. 7? Hmmmm. Funny, that. :)

Thanks for your offer. I’ll let you know.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2720 days

#15 posted 05-03-2011 08:02 PM

LOL, Dan probably has seven of them. I’ve even got two!

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

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