Stanley Bailey #6

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 04-18-2012 04:00 PM 3182 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

5953 posts in 1748 days

04-18-2012 04:00 PM

I bought this plane ~14 years ago from an old tool dealer while on a quest for a Millers-Falls boring machine (a quest which I gave up on). I used the plane to surface all of my pine timbers and it worked very well.

The Front of the body/sole says Bailey, the back says No. 6, and the lever cap says Stanley and the bottom of the base is fluted.

As part of my new shop set up and organization, I’m tuning up and sharpening all of my chisels and planes.

Can anyone please tell me….

What is this planes intended use?

Why is the bottom fluted?

Is this plane worth anything (Jappaning is ~ 70% and all parts appear to be original… handle has a repared split)?

Thanks in advance for any help.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

5 replies so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13569 posts in 2038 days

#1 posted 04-18-2012 04:08 PM

Per old Stanley propaganda, it’s ‘simply a short jointer’ many craftsman carried for that task because it was shorter and lighter than either the #7 or #8 jointers. (much of this per Patrick Leach’s site, Blood and Gore). I used mine in that capacity, for shorter edges. It’s too big and heavy for working the faces of boards, in my view.

The flutings make it a 6C (Corrugated), and that was an attempt to minimize friction of the plane’s sole by reducing contact surface. It really doesn’t do much, in reality. Worth? $50 – $75 on a good day, depending on Type. Older types being more ‘valuable.’ But there are plenty out there on ebay and such, you can always check closed sales for that info.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3638 days

#2 posted 04-18-2012 04:16 PM

+1 for everything smitty said.

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

View Dragonsrite's profile


136 posts in 2816 days

#3 posted 04-18-2012 04:18 PM

I’ve on;y been working with the bench plane for about a year, so I am no expert. I can direct you to this site which will give you a little bit of information as to the uses of the Stanley-Bailey #6. The #6 & #6C are “fore planes” (you have the 6c … the difference being the corrugated sole; the flutes … a 6 is flat).

As I understand it, the corrugations were a marketing “gimmick”. The theory is that there is less friction with a corrugated sole and, therefore, the plane is easier to use. From all that I’ve read, there is no real difference.

In my experience the value would be minimal. I’m sitting on two 6 and two 6c planes and I never went out of my way to find one.

I hope this helps a little. I’m sure the more expert LJers will chime in and confirm or deny what I’ve written here.

Edit: yeah, what Smitty said as I was checking my spelling :-)

-- Dragonsrite, Minnesota

View Don W's profile

Don W

17875 posts in 1987 days

#4 posted 04-18-2012 05:04 PM

Ditto on what Smitty said. The #6 is a pretty common and useful plane. I will use it for smoothing a larger flat surface on occasion, but as Smitty mentioned, I use it for jointing shorter pieces. I actually use mine more than I thought I would.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2112 days

#5 posted 04-18-2012 05:08 PM

Smit’s on it. I really like the #6 over the #5 for the extra width and heft you get. Behind my #7, it’s probably the plane with the most use in my shop. I’m never jointing anything really wide, so I usually stick to the #7. The #6 excels at cross-grain flattening on a skew. It’s a very stable plane and with the proper cut, can make quick work of an uneven surface. In sum, it’s a fantastic plane. Not worth a ton, but fantastic nevertheless.
Edit: for jointing, I don’t like the corrugation. It’s hard enough learning to joint without having grooves to tip into. For general jacking/foreplaning, I don’t think it makes much of a difference. There might be some negligible decrease in resistance but I think it’s mostly a gimmick. Properly waxed, the C and non-C feel the same to me.

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

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