Bench plane delima?

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Forum topic by mupperm posted 05-05-2012 11:42 PM 1666 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2247 days

05-05-2012 11:42 PM

I have come to the conclusion that i will be purchasing a #5 Bailey or 605 bedrock Jack plane. my thought were if i am going to have to spend some time tuning up a new lower priced one why not get great old one to put that same time and effort into one.
so my question is this there is a great price difference between the two models I am leaning toward the bedrock but is it that much better than the Bailey? I know condition everything on price but what should be a ballpark figure on a Bed rock?

thanks for you time

-- Mike, Central Ohio.

18 replies so far

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3780 days

#1 posted 05-05-2012 11:49 PM

The Bedrock was actually over hyped when it entered the market. It was supposedly the super plane when compared to a Bailey. Truth is….... they both work get the same results.

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2626 days

#2 posted 05-06-2012 12:13 AM

Bedrock 605, you are looking at the low end of $75 to high end $130ish. But deals can be found…good luck.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2595 days

#3 posted 05-06-2012 12:17 AM

I like the bedrock series, but a decent#5 performs just as well. I will have a few #5s listed all restored, sharpened and tuned.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2980 days

#4 posted 05-06-2012 12:35 AM

I agree with the above comments. I have both regular Bailey type planes and a Bedrock. As much as I like my Bedrock, I believe it is no better than the others when they are tuned as they should be. If your budget is more conducive to a regular Bailey type, go for that, you won’t be disappointed.

-- Mike

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2979 days

#5 posted 05-06-2012 01:48 AM

Unless you get bitten by the plane bug, I’d just get the Bailey. Use some of the left over money to get a nice new iron for it. Many people make new plane irons, but if you purchase IBC, Lie-Nielsen, Veritas, or Hock you won’t be disappointed.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View BubbaIBA's profile


387 posts in 2404 days

#6 posted 05-06-2012 01:58 AM

There is no difference in quality of work between a Bedrock and a Bailey but you will pay twice as much for a Bedrock as for an equal condition Bailey.

The only useful advise I have to add to what the others have posted is: Look for planes made earlier than WWII in fact my cutoff is 1933, type 16. Type 15 and earlier Baileys are every bit as good as the same Bedrock. If the leaver cap hole is kidney shaped forget it, Stanley started making changes to their planes beginning with the kidney shaped leaver cap hole and the ogee shaped frog that turned them from “tools to tool shaped objects” from the type 16 and on.

BTW, don’t shy away from type 9 (1907) and earlier Baileys just because they do not have a frog adjustment screw. The frog adjustment screw is a bit of Bedrock sizzle than made it to the Bailey steak and adds little to the usability of the plane.

The mailman delivered a perfect type 13 4C today. I paid $25 USD plus $12 USD for shipping, not a bargain but a fair price for a good Bailey. A little clean up, a new Hock iron and chip breaker ($38/28 USD), and for about a total of $103 USD I will have as good a #4 as you can buy and I include LN, LV, and Clifton. If you want to cheap out, forget the Hock iron and chip breaker, sharpen the Stanley iron and tune the OEM chip breaker, you will have a very good plane for less than $40 USD.

View mupperm's profile


10 posts in 2247 days

#7 posted 05-06-2012 10:21 AM

this helps out, i do have a couple bids on planes but nothing more than 15.00 yet are there any books or information on models or editions. “such as type 16,&15” and what to look for in each edition?

-- Mike, Central Ohio.

View BubbaIBA's profile


387 posts in 2404 days

#8 posted 05-06-2012 12:57 PM

Go to &

hyperkitten is a good source for planes as well, many times it will be less expensive for a good plane than eBay. Until you know what you are looking at you will end up kissing more frogs than princes when buying off eBay, unless you are very lucky.

View jumbojack's profile


1677 posts in 2652 days

#9 posted 05-06-2012 02:56 PM

My early early struggles with planes not withstanding, I have found through trial and error (many) THE most important thing about planes are the iron and chipbreaker assembly. This of course falls into the tuning aspect of plane use. The chipbreaker and iron must mate perfectly. When I got into sharpening (that took a while) I realized that most planes will do an adequate job when the iron will nearly scare the hair off your arm. What ever plane you end up with, learn to sharpen the iron beyond what you THINK is ‘sharp enough’.
The sound and feel of a curl coming off your material cannot be described.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2405 days

#10 posted 05-06-2012 03:09 PM

Get an old #5, get a blade sharpen properly. Use it as a learner plane. The tuition cost should be < $30

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3387 days

#11 posted 05-06-2012 04:26 PM

IMHO, there are two primary differences between a Bedrock and a Bailey. First, the frog of the Bedrock seats MUCH better than on a “regular” Bailey. On a Bedrock, the body is basically a flat piece that has been machined for the frog to rest on. Second, on the flat sided Bedrocks, you can adjust the frog forward or backward without removing the blade. Granted, that’s not a big deal for most of us, but it does matter to some. As for price, around my area, I would get $150 for a 605 that is tuned and ready to go to work. I’d sell a #5 for $40-$50 depending on type.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#12 posted 05-06-2012 05:08 PM

Ditto what BubbaIBA said. Get your standard #5 and tune it up right, and you’ll probably save $100 over what you’d have to pay for a Bedrock. My only difference with his comments is that I’m personally good with the everything up to and including the Type 16. I find Type 17 is when they really started scrimping due to WWII, and they never got back to the same quality. So, IMO, don’t necessarily let the kidney shaped hole in the lever cap be a kiss of death for you.

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

View BubbaIBA's profile


387 posts in 2404 days

#13 posted 05-06-2012 07:43 PM

I will agree, type 16s are not too bad but it is much easier when buying on eBay to just skip any kidney shaped leaver cap….plus, 16 and on frogs will not fit earlier planes making them near worthless as parts donors. YMMV.

Here’s a photo of my latest, a type 9 7C and a type 13 4C, less than $100 USD in the pair and they are as good as any new plane you can buy.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#14 posted 05-06-2012 08:13 PM

Some of the Bedrock copies by Lie Nielsen and other
makers are a little heavier than the originals. The concentrated
mass helps them approach the quality of cut of the dense
old infill smoother, but at a lower cost of course.

In terms of performance a regular old Bedrock is only
marginally heavier than a Bailey, not enough to make
much difference in results. In practice the adjustable
mouth feature is just not very useful as usually we
just leave a plane set up for fine or coarse work. If you
only have one plane and need to switch the mouth
open, the big low-angle block jack planes offer this
feature much more conveniently. Some people love
the low angle planes. I don’t find them very useful

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2595 days

#15 posted 05-06-2012 09:53 PM

I like the pre-kidney shaped hole the best, but I don’t discount the ones with it. I have found a few with it that are keepers for sure.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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