LumberJocks

Stanley Bailey no. 4 smoothing plane

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by stefang posted 06-07-2009 03:47 PM 9300 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View stefang's profile

stefang

13334 posts in 2030 days


06-07-2009 03:47 PM

Would like any positive or negative opinions about my recent plane purchase. Please don’t hesitate to be brutally honest ! (I’m not a sensitive soul)

I have been reading about the various plane makes. I needed a decent smoother, but wasn’t willing to buy anything I would have to import to Norway due to the price doubling with the cost of transport and import duties. That left only three choices, Ananti, Stanley Handyman, and Stanley Bailey.

I chose the least of three evils and bought the Stanley Bailey. I paid about $119 for this plane. I know, I know, it probably costs about half that in the States or the U.k. So far I have only looked at it, but have found the sides to be square, and the mouth is a perfect 90 degree angle to the sides. On the minus side, it has plastic totes, which are going to turn into wood PDQ. I do intend to fully tune this plane up before I take it into use, including lapping the sole, smoothing the frog top and bottom, smoothing the bed, and flattening the chipbreaker edge. Did I forget anything?

I thought it might be fun to write a blog on the tuning and tote changing so we can see if the result makes it a plane worth having (against all the odds). Looking forward to your comments.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.


30 replies so far

View marcb's profile

marcb

762 posts in 2369 days


#1 posted 06-07-2009 03:57 PM

The modern stanleys (ignoring the new premium stuff they recently released) take some tweaking but will get OK results in the end.

Ultimitly you have to make decisions based on what is availible where you w
are.

You have a good plan of attack. Google David Charlesworth Somewhere there is posted an article by him which details how he tweaks out planes for use.

If the sides are square the mouth tight and the sole flatish thats 1/2 the battle. The frog seating and the blade seating are the only things left.

The tote and knob are projects for when you have time as they don’t affect the cut, just the feel in the hand and durability.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112363 posts in 2273 days


#2 posted 06-07-2009 05:00 PM

Hey stefang
I don’t know about in your are but in the states I think I would buy a used stanley on e bay were a #4 stanley
in very good condition goes for $25-$45 plus shipping.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5517 posts in 2071 days


#3 posted 06-07-2009 05:47 PM

I bought this more recent Stanley #5 for ~ $20 in the US. Shipping to the UK might be ~ $20 on a #4, and there are many very nice examples in the $25-$50 range on Ebay.

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

View stefang's profile

stefang

13334 posts in 2030 days


#4 posted 06-07-2009 06:17 PM

Thanks guys for what would normally be sound advice, but in addition to freight, I would have to pay high import duties even though it’s used. So I would wind up with a similar plane three or four weeks later at still a high price and it wouldn’t necessarily be in good condition. Any comments on the quality or lack thereof of the Stanley Bailey line?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2891 days


#5 posted 06-07-2009 06:30 PM

I own a number of Stanley planes. All older ones and all but my dad’s original 2 were bought on ebay or at flea markets for between $5. and $90.
I find them to be all I’ll ever need and they have needed only minimal tuning to get them right. My absolute favorite in a Stanley Gage #4 self setting plane. It just whispers through the cuts.
The bedrock #4 is next. Why spend twice as much for a Lie-Nielsen when it’s a copy of the bedrock? Yes, they’re prettier, but I don’t think they work any better, and I like the trade-off of having a piece 75-100 year old woodworking history over pretty. (Just my opinion, Lie-Nielsen fans…don’t send me any nasty notes)
My old Millers Falls low angle block plane, 56b, is great as well.
I know this got off track, I tend to ramble at times.
Please keep us posted on the tuning process & handles. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View stefang's profile

stefang

13334 posts in 2030 days


#6 posted 06-07-2009 07:47 PM

I would love to own a high quality plane like LN or Veritas, but I always weight what I expect to get out of it against the cost. Why buy a Lexus when Honda is good enough? I’m only using it for small projects. I have a Stanley #5 which I bought about 30 years ago, but my smoother has been an Ananti which I picked up super cheap and tuned. It’s not as bad as you might think, but not a good as you might hope, so therefore the new Stanley Bailey. I also have a stanley block plane which I really love. It does about everything I want it to. I am hoping the new plane will be a step up from the Ananti. I wish I could take advantage of EBay, but I don’t get the price advantages like you guys do. (see my comments above).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2089 days


#7 posted 06-07-2009 09:42 PM

Stefang…
$119 for a #4 seems to be VERY HIGH to me. I would gladly help you to find a plane if you can take that one back.
I recently bought a chanfer (Stanley #72) in Europe, chiping costs were $45 USD, so I underestand how high shipping charges could be when buying overseas.
I totally agree with the Toyota’s comparison, but Lie Nielsen and Veritas Planes are an excellent place to put money…..I’m an Ebay trader and this tools are simply “cash”!

Stanley planes are great planes, I buy and sale from 1910 pattent -Sweet Heart- and oldies. isa very decent tool, works perfectly and doen’t need extreme tunnings if it’s not going to be used to build a Table for Isaac Newton.

I like also RECORD planes, in my opinion (mine!) they are better planes than Stanley’s, plus UK is closer to your place.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14905 posts in 2372 days


#8 posted 06-07-2009 09:50 PM

While all you plane experts are online, what is your opinion of a Stanley #7C?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2089 days


#9 posted 06-07-2009 10:02 PM

Topamax,
Excellent plane, very versatile for many tasks….When a “Back bevel” is applied to the back of the iron, works good with figured grain. I preffer that “C” over the “flat” one, much nicer in my opinion, again I like 1910 and oldies

and yes, I’m another slave.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View degoose's profile

degoose

7038 posts in 2050 days


#10 posted 06-07-2009 10:06 PM

I have an old Pope no4 and after much tuning works nicely for me. Not is the same league a LN or Veritas but for me it OK.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5517 posts in 2071 days


#11 posted 06-07-2009 10:23 PM

Like Moai, I’m also a fan of the Record planes, and have actually bought a few and had them shipped from England. Check Ebay UK…

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

View stefang's profile

stefang

13334 posts in 2030 days


#12 posted 06-07-2009 11:34 PM

I feel as though I live on a different planet than all you guys. Thank you for your offer Moai, but I think I will keep this one. I would have preferred a record plane which I understand is a cut above the Stanley Bailey, but they aren’t sold here in Norway. I tried searching the Norwegian websites and couldn’t find anything except Stanley. With a population of a little over 4 million people there isn’t much of a market here.

I had an interesting experience a few years ago. I was in a store that catered to hobby woodworkers (gone now). and I saw a cardboard box filled with older stanley no. 4 planes. I thought maybe they were being sold cheap or something, and eagerly asked if I could buy one. They told me they had been delivered by the woodshop teacher at the local school to be sharpened. I wondered what was to be learned by students using tools that they didn’t know how to sharpen by a teacher who also didn’t know how to sharpen them!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2089 days


#13 posted 06-07-2009 11:45 PM

....or lazy students & teacher!
Recently, I have been fascinated and more an more interested with “Dutch” wooden planes, like Ulmia, E.C.E, John Weiss and others…..I think is another great option to save money on shipping. We have been educated with the steel plane in mind, and often asiciate a wooden tool with lesser quality, but that conception totally changed in my case the same day I tried a wooden plane.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View stefang's profile

stefang

13334 posts in 2030 days


#14 posted 06-08-2009 12:45 AM

I certainly agree with you Moai. One point that many overlook when it comes to wooden planes is the weight factor. A metal plane gets pretty heavy when being used over longer periods by an old guy like myself. I’ve made a couple of wooden planes. One was a rounded bottom plane which was not too bad and the other was a jack which didn’t turn out too good because I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I’ve been taking smart pills, so I’m going to have another go at it in the near future.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiwi1969's profile

kiwi1969

609 posts in 2138 days


#15 posted 06-08-2009 12:50 AM

I,m guessing thats a new plane not second hand? $119 is about right for a new stanley, thats average in Oz if I remember right. I have a #5 and a #3 and although they,re are ok they ain,t the best and I regard them as a stopgap until I get a better set. The depth adjustment broke on the #3 after a week of use. Also why don,t you look for E.C.E planes there, they,re made in germany so they must be easy to find in your part of the world and would be a much better option.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

showing 1 through 15 of 30 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase