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Stanley Bedrock vs. Lie-Nelson

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Forum topic by Manitario posted 06-21-2011 08:30 PM 7447 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Manitario

2397 posts in 2344 days


06-21-2011 08:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane

So, as a handplane novice (and a woodworker novice) and recently inspired by Garrett Hack’s handplane book, I was thinking about investing in a good smoothing plane. Curiously though, the #604 Stanley Bedrock planes on Ebay are more expensive than a new Lie-Nelson #4 smoother. Other than the nostalgia, and the potential appreciation in value of an antique Bedrock, why would someone choose one of these Stanley planes over a well made LN?

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil


21 replies so far

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Loren

8295 posts in 3109 days


#1 posted 06-21-2011 08:34 PM

No other reason than collector value. The L-N are every bit as good
in most respects and superior in some.

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2536 days


#2 posted 06-21-2011 08:37 PM

I have both a Stanley Bedrock #604 and a Lie Nielsen #4. My Bedrock is quite old. It has the curved sides where newer Bedrocks have the squared sides like my Lie Nielsen.

My Bedrock needs a good tune up and the iron needs sharpening so a good head-to-head comparison is not possible at this time. The only thing I can say for certain is that the LN is heavier and, in my opinion, that is a good thing.

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

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saddletramp

1087 posts in 2099 days


#3 posted 06-21-2011 09:17 PM

If you listen to Paul Sellers ( http://lumberjocks.com/topics/27774 ) and I can’t think of one good reason not too (he’s forgotten more about planes than I’ll ever know), a well tuned Stanley Bailey # 4 is every bit as good as either the Bedrock or the LN and the SB # 4 1/2 is even better. At least that’s my take on his comments.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3558 days


#4 posted 06-21-2011 10:04 PM

I happen to prefer Bedrock style planes and so that is what I buy. I have LNs and Stanley Bedrocks as well as older Stanleys. I would agree that you can take a pre-ww2 Stanley and tune it so that it will peform very well and also do it without the use of premium blades (another of Paul’s pet peves). But there is something really nice about the quality and machining of a LN plane. In addition to these factors, I feel there may be an edge from a resale perspective. You should be able to get your money out of the LN/Bedrock planes in the future.

Going the Stanley (or similar quality old plane) route will cost you less money in the long run. But you will need to know what planes to select, how to identify issues with them, and how to resolve the issues. You will also need to be able to sharpen your plane blades and have an approprate bench to use them effectively.

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

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saddletramp

1087 posts in 2099 days


#5 posted 06-21-2011 10:21 PM

Wayne, I only mentioned Paul’s views on the subject because I felt that it might be more cost effective for Rob, as a novice, to start out with a Bailey. I, as a novice, am well aware that you also, along with Mads, Bertha, Don, Div, ad infinitum are eminently more qulified than I to dispense info re: hand planes. I just wanted to point Rob to an expert opinion on a less expensive first plane.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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knotscott

7209 posts in 2837 days


#6 posted 06-21-2011 10:31 PM

At even (or close) money, I’d buy a LN, but for $30-$50 you can often get a pretty nice Bailey. If you want a mint plane that’s nearly ready to roll out of the box, LN is a great choice if you don’t mind spending the money.

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

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3558 days


#7 posted 06-21-2011 10:47 PM

Bob, I agree with you. I’m not sure if we (crew listed above) are more qualified, but certinly are more likely to open up and share our opinions. It depends on where you want to jump in. Some people may want premium stuff, like a new golfer who buys the best clubs on the day he shows up for his first lesson. Not a big issue if you have the money and are sure your going to follow-through on learning to golf. However, many times you you struggle and give up the items falling to disuse. You then end up taking a loss on the clubs. IMO it would pay off to read a few more books on handplanes and watch a few of Chris Schwarz, Rob Cosman (dude irritates me for some unknown reason) or David Charlesworth’s videos. I also belive Paul is going to teach some handplane classes in the US. Sounded like he has an interesting cirriculum where you get an ebay plane in a box and go through setting it up beginning with opening the box.

With the less expensive planes you have to know what your looking for. If you get a bad quality plane or a plane with an issue, you could likely be turned off and think that planes do not work. One advantage of a quality new plane such as a Veritas or LN is the plane will be pretty much ready to go out of the box.

On the planes, consider a 4 1/2 or 604 1/2 for a smoother. 5 for doing roughing and 7 or 7 jointer for flattening boards. There are also arguments for considering a low angle jack plane such as the LN 62 or the veritas equivalent. They are pretty versitile and you can use them for a variety of tasks. Somewhere along the line you will want to get an adjustable low angle block plane as well.

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

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CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3679 days


#8 posted 06-21-2011 10:57 PM

I’m not an expert either, but I was in the same situation as you and this was my thinking:

Did I really want to spend $200-$300 on a LN plane as a novice, when many experienced hand-planers on Lumberjocks were saying that a well-tuned Bailey #4 would do the job nearly or totally as well? What if I decided after a while that using a plane really wasn’t my cup of tea?

It’s only been a few months, and I’ve already got a nice little starter collection of Stanley Baileys in various sizes. For $20-$40 each, and some time cleaning and sharpening, I’ve got planes that not only work beautifully, but are great conversation pieces as well.

I’ll probably buy some expensive new planes some day, but I’m thoroughly convinced that getting some old planes was the right way for me to get started.

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

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Manitario

2397 posts in 2344 days


#9 posted 06-21-2011 11:27 PM

you guys make some good points about getting Bailey planes. I have my eye on a few on Ebay; I’m just wary about what I’m getting; I’ve read through Paul Seller’s posts (which are awesome); and maybe just need to take the plunge.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3558 days


#10 posted 06-21-2011 11:35 PM

Look for a Stanley plane with a 1910 patent date, either single or along with two 1902 patent dates on it. Look to ensure the plane has all parts, the blade is still long, there are not cracks or serious pitting. Broken handles and knobs can be repaired. Check the mouth of the plane to ensure there are not any chips or other issues.

Something similar to this type 11, though we had a discussion about why you would want to avoid corriguated sole planes this morning. Note how the photos show all key details of the plane. The plane can be dirty and not as clean as this one. But it shows you the kind of plane to look for.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Type-11-Stanley-Bailey-No-4C-SMOOTH-PLANE-/150620101685?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2311a85c35

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

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knotscott

7209 posts in 2837 days


#11 posted 06-22-2011 12:44 AM

Rob – If you expand your list of potential brands to include names like Millers Falls, Record, Sargent VBM, Union, Winchester, and Keen Kutter, you’ll increase you chances of getting a great plane at a great price. It’s always a matter of preference, but I’ve come to prefer some of the Record and Millers Falls planes. I’m no expert either, but did put together some info about picking old planes that might be helpful.

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

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3558 days


#12 posted 06-22-2011 12:55 AM

Knotscott, my thinking on recommendation for limiting the search type 11 to type 13 ish Bailey was tying to easily get a quality plane. One you have handled and worked with a quality plane, it is easier to find quality planes from other manufactures.

Rob, one key factor is how much research you want to do before buying your first plane. As Knotscott points out there are lots of good options if you know what your looking for. But takes some knowledge.

To augement Knotscott, stay away from Dunlap, Fulton, Handyman, 50’s and later planes of any brand…

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

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Manitario

2397 posts in 2344 days


#13 posted 06-22-2011 05:00 PM

thanks for the advice guys. I pulled the trigger and bought a Stanley Bailey #4, type 12, and a Millers Falls 90 B off of Ebay last night. Shipping was more than the plane price! Both need a bit of rust work, but the mouth seems to be in good shape on both, and no visible cracks or repairs to the body. I guess it is kind of a rite of passage to buy an old plane and restore it. Next plane I’m in the hunt for will be a good block plane with an adjustable mouth…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3558 days


#14 posted 06-22-2011 05:05 PM

Way to go. Stanley #65 for the win on block planes….. This is one I got for $25 or $30 in an antique mall…

Today's Finds

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

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Don W

17960 posts in 2029 days


#15 posted 06-22-2011 05:14 PM

so I tend to listen to these guys, but this is one topic there is not a concenses on. There are more threads than you can poke a stick at with this question. My take is this, if you are new to woodworking or hand planing, a stanley will work, if you want better (better being a subjective term meaning more expensive) and like shiney go LN, if your not into shiney and new, go bedrock. I’m a stanley guy, but its about dollars. I can buy 4 #4’s for the price of a broken bedrock.

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

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