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Thoughts on this old plane? (Cool story)

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Forum topic by jamsomito posted 05-26-2018 10:49 PM 660 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jamsomito

230 posts in 569 days


05-26-2018 10:49 PM

About 6 years ago my wife and I were renting a condo in a community of generally really nice people. Across the street from us was this really old couple, looked like upper 80s or 90s. They didn’t get out much but every once in a while you’d see them dutifuly getting the mail or taking out the trash. The guy moved really slow pulling along an oxygen tank everywhere.

Well, I try to be nice and talk to my neighbors and eventually became loose friends with them. Turns out this guy fought on Okinawa in WW2 and recapped the same story to me a couple of times: the day the boats came to pick them up and the war was over. I suppose if I had been through everything he was, I’d remember that day pretty vividly too.

After a while I stopped seeing him around as much and caught his wife coming home in the car once. I learned he had since passed away and promptly passed on my condolences. Later in the day she stopped over by my unit when she saw me working on some 2×4 shelves for my garage (at the time, embarrassingly, the only thing I had knowledge and skill enough to make) and offered for me to sift through her late husband’s woodworking tools since she had no use for them. Most of them were hand saws that had rusted through, a lot of junk, but this plane in an old box looked in good shape so I took it and some of the rusty saws as a nice gesture. She seemed happy someone could use them.

Truth be told I pitched the saws and had no clue how to use a hand plane so I gave it to my dad who was a carpenter by trade. He didn’t have a use for it either, but kept it for it’s antique value. Only recently have I had the ability to dig into woodworking as a hobby and I really need a way to flatten big glue ups. I really wished I had a hand plane when I remembered this one I got a while back. Asked my parents and they totally forgot about it. Eventually they found it in storage and have offered it back to me. And here we are!

I still don’t really know how to use a plane but have read a lot here and some books. I’m ready to start learning. My questions to you experts out there:

1. Any idea the age of this plane? It says Bailey on it. Number 4 smoothing.

2. It seems in good shape. Is it a decent unit or should I keep looking?

3. I wonder if having the original box would up its value at all, like I should avoid learning on it untill I really know what I’m doing. Thoughts?

Thanks for any tips!

EDIT: It just occurred to me this is a great story for the upcoming Memorial Day. I won’t forget this friend or what he did for us all.


11 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10275 posts in 1629 days


#1 posted 05-26-2018 11:01 PM

Google Stanley bench plane type study to figure age.

Yeah it’s decent.

Depends on age.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

230 posts in 569 days


#2 posted 05-26-2018 11:19 PM

Sure thing, I’ll have to do some research later. In the meantime, here’s another pic. If I recall from some prior reading, the orange Stanley logo was one of the good ones… Maybe that’s not all inclusive though.

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jamsomito

230 posts in 569 days


#3 posted 05-27-2018 12:28 AM

scratch that – apparently the orange paint on the logo showed up after WW2 which is when quality started decreasing. Some before had orange logos, but most were after.

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TheFridge

10275 posts in 1629 days


#4 posted 05-27-2018 12:40 AM

It’s still a good one with brass hardware. Should make a good user.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

892 posts in 582 days


#5 posted 05-27-2018 12:41 AM

The blade has rounded corners on top so it is a late mfg. Still a very nice plane and worth getting familiar with.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

406 posts in 1550 days


#6 posted 05-27-2018 01:04 AM

Not a thing wrong with that plane, you’ve got a great user! The saws you tossed were probably worth more but live & learn. Get some use from the plane and hold onto it with the memories – so much better than one you found on eBay or at a yard same

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jamsomito

230 posts in 569 days


#7 posted 05-27-2018 02:57 AM

@GrantA – well shoot… sorry to do the community an injustice. If it helps, they were really not in great shape. Very rusty, dull, handles were loose. Maybe they could have been refurbed.

So from some cursory sleuthing I have no idea when this thing was made. I’ll dig further when I get it in my hands. Thanks for the comments. Looking forward to getting my feet wet.

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BlasterStumps

892 posts in 582 days


#8 posted 05-27-2018 03:10 AM

most likely made between 1948 and 1961. Good first plane still.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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GrantA

406 posts in 1550 days


#9 posted 05-27-2018 03:52 AM

No worries but for future reference if they have brass half nuts holding the handle on, just those are worth a little to folks who restore saws. Handles too.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18959 posts in 2710 days


#10 posted 05-27-2018 11:22 AM

Personally I wouldn’t use the plane. Unused in the box it has some value, and vintage Stanley planes were made by the billions. They’re easy to find.

But as others have said, if you chose, with some tuning, it will make a fine user. Keep the box.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1857 posts in 2132 days


#11 posted 05-27-2018 02:05 PM

Whether to use it is up to you. Being a post ww2 with a box and if in pristine condition it might be worth $100? It will continue to go up some in value. It will make an excellent user once tuned. Nothing wrong with that vintage – iron y lever and 3 pc skew lever. I have some pre and post ww2 and they all work the same with proper tuning, but have very different collector value. Here are some plane tuning and selection blogs if you want to use it here and here. I recommend everyone have a #4.

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