Hand Plane experts, I need YOU! What should I look for in an Ebay Hand Plane? #6 or #7

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Forum topic by KenBry posted 03-02-2012 05:15 PM 2744 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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468 posts in 1869 days

03-02-2012 05:15 PM

I need the experts help here. I need a plane that will flatten my bench top. (when I build it). I don’t see the point in buying an ubber expensive Lie Nielsen while I would love to have it. So I am looking to E-bay to find a good used plane. I don’t mind putting some effort into squaring it up a little and sharpening it.

What should I be looking at? I see Stanley/bailey, stanley/bedrock, sargent, and so on.

I don’t mind spending a little bit of money to get a plane that will do the job and do it well.
Effort = results, More Dollars = less effort (in theory) LOL

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

9 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2373 days

#1 posted 03-02-2012 05:20 PM

This No 6 looks like a pretty decent deal. It appears to be a type 12, which is a good plane era for the Stanley Baileys.

The Bailey’s are the standard bench planes made by Stanley. You can get them for relatively inexpensive and they will clean up to be great user planes. The Stanley Bedrock model are a step up from the Baileys, but the only significant difference is how the frog attaches to the sole. They are going for a premium these days, and unless you can get a great deal on a Bedrock, I’d just recommend the Baileys.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


930 posts in 1777 days

#2 posted 03-02-2012 05:22 PM

If you’re willing to do alot of setup, just about anything would work, BUT that’s probably not the best idea to get the worst thing available cause it’s cheapest.

And I guess it just depends on just how dead flat you want your table top to be, the longer it is, the hard it will be for the plane to get off of a line, which is why they make really big ones, but then if your table is only like 2 ft long, then your probably don’t want a 24” jointer.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2373 days

#3 posted 03-02-2012 05:36 PM

Also, check out this link:

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Don W's profile

Don W

17880 posts in 1989 days

#4 posted 03-02-2012 06:24 PM

If you really just want a user, go for a non-stanley. A Millers Falls, Sargent, Wards Master, Union, Ohio tools, etc. They tend to go for a little less and are typically the same plane, often made by Stanley.

Here is what I look for in a user. Older style. Key hole, not kidney shaped in cap, Adjustment screw for frog, lateral adjustment.

Its hard to tell on ebay, but the newer planes have thinner blades. Not like hock – stanley different, but handyman – vintage stanley different. The vintage stanley blades are fine. The thinner style I don’t care for. If its cheap enough though you can buy a new IBC for around $30-$40.

Ebay prices have gone crazy in the last few months. Good luck

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View KenBry's profile


468 posts in 1869 days

#5 posted 03-02-2012 07:12 PM

Brandon, Looking at the chart in your 2nd post, should I lean to the planes that fit in the Green catagories then? I know normally Green means go and red means No-Go… But in that chart I am a bit confused.

Guys this is all great info, I really appreciate your help.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View BluesBlooded's profile


2 posts in 1710 days

#6 posted 03-02-2012 07:34 PM

Depends on how much money your are willing to pay.

When I looked for a number 6 on ebay the nice one would go for around 80$.

Then you dont know what you get and you have to work on it to make it true and you may finally replace the blade that will short you another 40$ or if you go with the IBC blade and cap iron replacement, you will have a premium blade for 80$

I myself stopped bidding on ebay and finally bought a brand new woodriver v3 #6 . They are Stanley Bedrock replica. Mine was perfect out of the box. I paid 185$ and got a month free handtool workshop online video from Rob Cosman.

I really enjoy the plane and would buy one again anytime rather than get one on ebay. They are on sale right now for 170$

-- Andre - Sherbrooke, Qc

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2373 days

#7 posted 03-02-2012 07:37 PM

Ken, Green means go. Red means no. Read the entire post on the link I sent you, he’s got some great info on what to look for in vintage Bailey planes.

Don mentioned other brands. I’d also mention Keen Kutter, which has quality planes, some of which are actually Stanley Bedrocks, just re labled. If you find one that says K5, K6, K7 etc. that’s an early Bedrock plane. If it says KK5, KK6, KK7, it’s not a bedrock plane, but still a very good plane. If you’re looking for a sargent plane, I’d recommend getting one that is marked VBM, whcih is a very solid plane series.

As always, if you find one you like, feel free to post it here and ask the LJ community for their opinion. I’m sure nobody here would bid on it—at least I hope not.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2420 days

#8 posted 03-02-2012 07:38 PM

It doesn’t really matter that much as to the make. I don’t think I would go for a #6 in this case. A #7 or #8 would be a better choice for flattening and jointing. Length is your friend for that. Bedrock’s are pretty but overkill in most cases. The hardware store “house brands” are your best bang for the buck. They are generally made by good companies and just lack the big name. Lakeshore, Bluegrass, and others. An adjustable frog (higher end planes) is a nice feature but I don’t worry about it that much other than on a smoother. The one deal breaker: if you see a stamped metal frog, just keep moving along and pretend you didn’t see it unless you are a collector just trying to fill in that one teensy gap in your collection. If you know how to set up a plane and tune it up and are not put off by the possibility of a little metalwork, I would even go as far as to say grab one of the Anant’s or such.

I have a hard time getting that excited over consumables. If the iron isn’t pitted and long enough, use it. If not, either replace with a stock one (They are good enough) or upgrade if it fits the budget. Any of the higher end replacements are great and the nuances between them are pretty esoteric. You really can’t go wrong with any of them.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3382 days

#9 posted 03-02-2012 07:51 PM

Call this guy. .
Josh Clark.
I just recently bought a #7 Stan. from him. Just a good cleaning and sharpening. Got a really good plane for relatively few bucks. He’ll also give ya some good info if needed.
Oh. EXPERT? Not, but I use my planes.
An expert is a guy with a briefcase, and is 20 miles from home.


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