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Are Bedrock Planes Overated???

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Forum topic by JohnnyQ posted 06-03-2011 07:36 PM 12373 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JohnnyQ

12 posts in 2603 days


06-03-2011 07:36 PM

These days I am spending all my money on diapers and formula for my twin girls so a planer and jointer is not in the budget. I wanted to start working with planes so I have been following the offerings on ebay and doing some research. One comment I found was that the bedrock planes are overated. It does seem they sell for more then the bailey’s. Is the extra cost for a bedrock worth it?


47 replies so far

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Don W

17962 posts in 2030 days


#1 posted 06-03-2011 07:52 PM

for straight usability, probably. The bedrock planes are more because there are less of them. Read about them at supertool . You can find keen kutters, some craftmans, unions, sargents, and several other cheaper planes that will plane just as well. They are just not worth as much to resell. There are others just as good, like Millers Falls that will cost almost as much.

There are also cheaper “models”of each. Such as stanley’s handy man and defiance brands. Most can still be tuned to plane very well.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#2 posted 06-03-2011 07:58 PM

No, not overrated. That’s the easiest answer I’ve ever had to give here!
They are built on an improved frog design that others have successfuly copied (Lie Nielsen). I don’t know about production numbers but their price reflects their superiority over non-bedrocks.

Take this over to the LJ thread handplanes of your dreams and watch the ruckuss you can start.

My two cents at least, and I have MANY of many makers. Bedrock is king.

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

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2537 days


#3 posted 06-03-2011 08:00 PM

The bedrocks are worth more because other people are willing to pay more. However, if you look at a bedrock and a bailey side-by-side you will see very little difference. There is something different regarding how the frog is attached to the base. That is the only actual difference in construction.

IMO, you cannot sense any difference in the way they work. I have a Bedrock 604, and comparable Bailey 4, a newer Lie Nielsen 4 and a Record 4. If properly tuned, they feel and perform the same. The Lie Nielsen and the Record feel just a little heavier, but that is based on feel. I have not put any of them on the scales.

The Bedrock and the Bailey feel to be the same weight and just slightly lighter than the L-N and Record.

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

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#4 posted 06-03-2011 08:04 PM

^I respect Rich a ton, and I couldn’t disagree more.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

17962 posts in 2030 days


#5 posted 06-03-2011 08:07 PM

I’ve been through the diapers and formula dilemma, so let me expand my answer a little. I’ll by every bedrock I can get a good price on, but I don’t buy anymore diapers, I have user planes already, and I can afford to wait. If you have a choice, 2 stanley’s or one bedrock, go for the 3 older craftsman.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#6 posted 06-03-2011 08:14 PM

Wow, we couldn’t be on more different pages here, but the diapers/formula analogy is fantastic! :) Before anyone else says, “it depends on what you’ll be doing with it”, I’ll say it depends on what you’ll be doing with it. I’ve got a 604 and 1/2 dozen well-tuned 4’s and I can definitely tell the difference. Now a 607 and a pre-lateral 7, that’s a little different. I’m not suggesting paying $500 for a 604 (which is a buy-now price I saw the other day, lol), but like Don says, if you can find one at a reasonable price, it’s the low end plane to have (infills, Holteys, and Marcous being the high end, of course). I don’t get all frazzled and Twitter my friends when Lie Nielsens name comes up but it’s not a bad choice either, considering the recent bedrock prices.

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

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Don W

17962 posts in 2030 days


#7 posted 06-03-2011 08:32 PM

I feel a little funny disagreeing with Al, for one he knows more about planes than I ever will and two, he wears womens underwear, but I look at it like this, is a delta unisaw better than the old craftsman 113 series I use, answer is yes. Do I need a Delta unisaw, answer is yes. Can I afford a delta unisaw, answer is maybe, am I buying a delta unisaw, answer is not right now, I paid $60 for my craftsman. It does what I need it to do. Is bedrock better, well, let say ├┐es”for the sake of argument, will a Stanley look a-like do what you need it to do. You’ll need to decide.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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Loren

8302 posts in 3111 days


#8 posted 06-03-2011 08:32 PM

I’ve owned a few and almost never touch the frog adjustment –
it was a gimmick as far as I’m concerned, to create a higher-end
line for people who want “the best” – about 10-20% of the market.

The Bedrocks are a bit more massive than the Baileys and this helps
the cut since concentrated weight leads to better, though more
tiring, planing.

The newer Bedrock copies tend to be heavier than the originals
due to more massive castings. I have a L-N bronze smoother and
while it is a great, heavy plane, the difference in performance
is largely a matter of the good iron. I had a Bedrock smoother
too and I think it was about a pound less than the L-N and worked
pretty close to just as well.

Baileys are fine for all work. They really are. Fine tools are nice
to own and use, but in terms of bench planes, being able to
sharpen well is more relevant to getting excellent surfaces and
joints than the brand of plane.

View Dan's profile

Dan

3630 posts in 2343 days


#9 posted 06-03-2011 08:41 PM

I am going to agree with Don here. If your on a tight budget then there is no reason to buy the Bedrock planes. I have never actually used one so I cant tell you if they are overrated or not but I can tell you I plane wood just fine with the Stanley Bailey style planes. You can get Stanley Bailey planes for rather cheap or you can do as Don suggest and check out some other brands like Craftsman. I own two Craftsman planes and other then Rosewood and brass screws they are pretty much the same as any Bailey plane.

If you had the money I would say go for Bedrocks, I am sure they are great planes. You can work just fine without them though. The more important thing you will need is the ability to sharpen the blades. The blade does the work, the plane just helps hold it.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3560 days


#10 posted 06-03-2011 08:41 PM

I like the ability in Bedrocks and LN’s to be able to adjust the frog position without having to remove the blade/chipbreaker. That is the main difference from an operational perspective. From a design perspective, the frog makes better contact with the body of the plane and is supposed to reduce chatter.

http://www.supertool.com/stanleybg/stan15.htm

I have 3 Bedrock planes 603, 605, and 608. All 3 have Hock blades and Irons in them and I feel they preform similar to my LN 4. If your using a pre-war Stanley I would say performance is similar given the same blade/chipbreaker setup. Like Al, I like the look of the Hock Blade / Chip breaker.

IMG_1286

For reference. WW2 era Stanley Bailey #4 1/2, Lie-Nielson #4, Stanely Bedrock #3, Lie-Nielson #2 and #1.

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#11 posted 06-03-2011 08:45 PM

I’m not even sure we’re disagreeing, Don:) I’m a vintage JET guy myself and I absolutely love your saw.

To play devil’s advocate with Loren, Blood and Gore( this guy is serious about his material, so I’ll provide the entire link: http://www.supertool.com/stanleybg/stan15.htm) says this…

In a world where good enough usually ain’t good enough, Stanley decided to produce another series of metal bench planes, called Bed Rock planes. These planes are, for all intents and purposes, nothing but a variation of the more popular Bailey series. They all have an adjustable frog, the brass depth adjustment knob, the lateral lever, a lever cap, rosewood knob and tote, etc., just like the Bailey’s. The key difference between the two designs is found in the way the frog mates with the bottom casting. For such a seemingly minor difference, the Bed Rock planes were offered at a premium over the Bailey’s, and it was a design that never seemed to be very static nor nearly as popular as Stanley’s wildly successful Bailey line.

I like the round sided Bedrocks better than the stylish flat ones, so I must be a REALLY stupid consumer:) I don’t fuss with lateral frog adjustments either and I’ve admitted it often. I feel like with the bedrocks, I need to RE-adjust the frog less over time. They feel to mate the sole better in my experience. They feel more stable in my hand, although the difference is weight is not great. All I can say is that I’ve done many side-by-sides in my shop, both with Hock combos, and the Bedrocks work better for me. Is it minimal? Perhaps. Is it worth the premium? To me it is.

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

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#12 posted 06-03-2011 08:49 PM

608 Wayne, really? You need to stop showing me that thing ;) I need to get a 62 just to compete around here.

If I missed the part about “new to planes” or “limited budget”, it goes without saying, buy a Stanley, Record, Clifton, Craftsman, MF, etc. There all great performers. But are Bedrocks worth the price, if you have it, my answer remains “yes”.

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

View parkerdude's profile

parkerdude

182 posts in 2914 days


#13 posted 06-03-2011 08:52 PM

I’ve read this thread with some interest, and come away with just 2 concerns.

To Don W…

1. That Al wears woman’s underwear.

2. That you know.

Good read!

later,

-- dust control

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2537 days


#14 posted 06-03-2011 08:55 PM

You’ll find a lot of discussion about bailey versus bedrock planes at various locations on the internet. The link that Bertha provided above is something that I read over a year ago. I found it a few minutes ago and I was going to post it, but Bertha beat me to it.

FWIW – The only bedrock I have has the round sides and I think that means it is at least 100 years old.

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

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#15 posted 06-03-2011 08:56 PM

^Parker, I’m laughing so hard right now. I like to sneak little gems like that into my posts to see if anyone ever reads them. “blah, blah, blah…oh look, a picture of a tool…I wonder what else is going on…click” :)

This is so totally unrelated (no thread hijack) but did anyone see that episode of Dirtiest Jobs when that construction worker had a thong hanging out? I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.

Sorry, carry on, bedrock planes.

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

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