# Identifying Stanley Bailey No. 2, 3, or 4 from a picture if you can't see the number

 Forum topic by Brett posted 09-09-2011 09:11 PM 1879 views 0 times favorited 7 replies
 Brett636 posts in 1437 days 09-09-2011 09:11 PM Most of my hand planes have been purchased online (out of necessity—-I live in a newer part of the U.S. that doesn’t many old tools laying around). I’ve asked my brother to let me know if he comes across any old Stanley hand planes (he lives in an older part of the U.S.), and today he sent me a picture of a pre-WW II Stanley Bailey, but I can’t tell the size (the No. is obstructed by the knob). I can easily tell a Stanley Bailey No. 4 from No. 5, 6, or 7 even when I can’t see the size number on the plane, but I sometimes have trouble telling a 3 from a 4 or even a 2. I know that 2s are rare, so mostly likely if I can’t tell, it’s probably a 3 or 4, which are not at all rare. Has anyone come up with some ways of identify a 2, 3, or 4 from a picture when you can’t see the number and there are no other scale markers? The “aspect ratio” (length divided by width) of these three sizes are all very close to each other (4.31, 4.57, and 4.50), so that’s not much help. -- More tools, fewer machines.

## 7 replies so far

 WayneC12302 posts in 2852 days #1 posted 09-09-2011 09:15 PM I normally ask the seller for the length and width of the plane. -- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov Brett636 posts in 1437 days #2 posted 09-09-2011 09:28 PM Unfortunately, my brother can’t ask the seller (the plane he photographed for me is being sold at an antique store at a state fair). -- More tools, fewer machines. WayneC12302 posts in 2852 days #3 posted 09-09-2011 09:53 PM Do you have a photo? If so, post it. If he is picking it up, you could have him take a tape measure. #1 – 5 1/2” Long and 1 1/4” Wide #2 – 7” Long and 1 5/8” Wide #3 – 8” Long and 1 3/4” Wide #4 – 9” Long and 2” Wide -- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov Brett636 posts in 1437 days #4 posted 09-09-2011 10:03 PM I could post it, but I’m more interested in learning how to fish than being handed a fish. -- More tools, fewer machines. Don W15584 posts in 1322 days #5 posted 09-10-2011 02:17 PM Brett, I’ve put together some blogs may help. Specifically a reference list I try to update from time to time. Included is the most important site you’ll need if you haven’t already found it, www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html -- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com CharlieM195815822 posts in 2973 days #6 posted 09-10-2011 02:41 PM I “hunt” for planes on eBay all the time. The simple answer to your question is that you cannot tell the difference with any certainty just by looking at a photo. The angle of the photo, focal length, aperture, lighting… all these can change the appearance of the plane. I’ve seen photos that I was sure were #2’s, only to read the description and see that they were over 9” long. -- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood" BrianBrian1 post in 1141 days #7 posted 11-13-2011 09:38 PM This website does a good job of listing the differences between the different types. I picked this up the other day…from what I can gather it’s a type 2 which were made between 1869-1872.