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Thread: Stanley Jack Plane Prices

  1. #1

    Stanley Jack Plane Prices

    What is a reasonable price for a vintage Jack plane in good condition? I've been looking at the usual sources for these, and it seems all over the place. It also seems like the Type 11 is "the one to get" but why? Does it make that much of a difference between the various types? I understand the lateral adjustment wasn't present on the earlier types. It seems ridiculous to me that a vintage Bedrock Jack would cost more than a brand new LN, but then again I don't put too much "value" into a tool being vintage.
    New Canuck Workshop

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Chevy Chase, Maryland
    11 doesn't mean jack ...

    Any jack from around 1880 to 1940 will likely serve you well. The lateral adjust is nice. Tote shaping is easy enough to change with a rasp if you prefer the more oval earlier ones to blocky later ones. Bedrock is a completely unneccday cost, but sometimes common 5 bedrocks that are user grade can be stumbled upon for maybe $75. For a good clean say 1910 to 1933 user, I wouldn't pay more than $50, and $30 is more than enough in most cases. I've bought several on eBay in this range - all were fine. Indeed, some I bought for "parts" when they showed up turned out to be too good to part out! I just clean 'em up and give them to relatives and friends who express and interest. Happy hunting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Philadelphia, PA
    I 2nd Sean's response $30-$50. Type doesn't really matter. Even the post war (type 18 and 19) are perfectly good user planes. Also, some people like the war time planes (Type 17 I believe), because they generally have a noticeably heavier casting then other types. They also tend to be pretty reasonably priced since as they often have a plastic (instead of brass) depth adjuster, that turns some folks off. Check out - they currently have a few no. 5's posted for under $50.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the info. I'm guessing Jim Bode and Patrick Leach are on the high side here then? Just wary about the random eBay planes. I've bought from Walt before, but the last time I tried to buy a jack plane (and a pretty sweet looking 10" brace) they got lost in the world of sticky fingered postmen.
    New Canuck Workshop

  5. #5
    Post a want add for a "current user stanley" between type 10 and, say, 14 in the S&S (i guess that'll cost you $6).

    I don't know much about leach, his prices have always been above what I'll pay, but I have never looked at Bode's prices and thought anything was worth close to what he asks (or quite often remotely close to half).

    Sandy Moss (sydnas sloot) is a guy I would go to if you want something from a dealer. I have dealt with him several times, and he is accurate and more than fair on his pricing compared to most dealers.

    If I had an extra 5, I'd sell it to you cheap.

    I got two square sided Bedrocks (one needed a tote, the other one was redone) for $75 and $65, respectively, in the last two years (sold one already). Don't pay a lot for a bedrock 5 if you want one, you should be able to find one for less than $100, but at the same time, for using a jack, I've never noticed any advantage to having a bedrock. Actually, I don't know that I've ever noticed it with any bedrock. LN planes are a serious step up in quality from any of the stanley planes. If the proportion of bedrocks and bailey planes was 50/50, i don't think bedrocks would be so pricey.

    A 5 would be at the bottom of my list to get from LN because it's not a hard plane to find and the improvements in their planes don't really do you tons of good on a plane that's not intended to do accurate or precise work.

  6. #6
    Thanks Dave. I've been keeping tabs on most of the usual suspects in the used tool market, but just wasn't sure with the huge disparity what I was missing.

    I'm aware of the general thoughts regarding No. 5 in the overall scheme of work which is why I haven't plopped down the cash for a LN or LV.
    New Canuck Workshop

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1 on Sandy Moss -- I've always found him to be a good guy to deal with.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    It seems ridiculous to me that a vintage Bedrock Jack would cost more than a brand new LN, but then again I don't put too much "value" into a tool being vintage.
    I will sell you two at that price. You can sell one and keep the other and have the one for nothing.


    Oops! I read that too quickly. I have a couple of Bailey style planes.
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 05-05-2011 at 6:06 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
    I should add that I've had good luck with walt, too, I don't want to leave walt out - but didn't mention him because he's already mentioned as sort of being out for now. I've bought tools from other guys, but I can't recall all of their names.

    Clint Jones, who has been out of selling tools for a little bit is another fellow I have bought a lot from. He posts on woodnet sometimes as Leonard Bailey.

    If there are things about a #5 that might make them a collector's piece (perfect correct wood, 99% japanning, dead mint matching iron, good decal on tote, etc) and worth what some of the higher price dealers charge (by chance, no guarantees that you aren't just paying more for no reason), they are things that won't help you as a user.

  10. #10
    I only own one Stanley bedrock but it is a #5. I have ~3 other #5's (and would be willing to part with one or two ). And I must say I prefer the bedrock to my other Stanley #5's. It just seems to stay in the cut better. It could be my other #5's are lemons but I don't believe this is the case. I also have 2 LN's to compare them to (#4 and #7).

    That being said I would still buy a cheap one if you need to save money somewhere. Save your money for a good jointer and smoother.

    Oh... and I only paid ~40$ for my bedrock (it had previous users initials and a broken horn on the tote). So as others have said you don't need to pay a ton for them.

    Warning: this advice may be worth less than you paid for it .
    Last edited by Salem Ganzhorn; 05-05-2011 at 6:24 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    I just scored a #6 that is in amazing shape for $45 delivered on eBay. I have not tested it yet; I need to touch up the blade so that I can shave shave hair off my arm; even if poorly.

    I thought that I was purchasing a #5, did not really want another #6. If I keep it, I will probably use an improved blade / chip breaker by IBC (Rob Cosman endorsed). I have extra blades from Hock for a #4 or #5, but not for a #6.

    What advantage does the high end plane provide? Thicker blade and better chip-breaker for me means that it performs better especially on tougher to plane wood. You can always add an after-market blade / chip breaker if you see a need. I also found that my Lie Nielsen planes simply adjust more easily. On the old stanleys, some adjusted well, some not so much.

    I purchased one of those new expensive "high quality" Stanley shoulder planes and adjustments are horrid and some parts arrived in need of repair (if I had checked it immediately rather than waiting a few months, I would have simply returned it). Stanley service was non-responsive when I contacted them and I did not want to simply send it in without chatting with them. People on the forum provided advice on how to repair the primary defect myself using files, a hacksaw, and a Dremel tool. Lie Nielsen service is highly responsive but the plane costs perhaps $50 to $100 more. You don't expect service on a 100 year old plane so that is not an issue. I purchased a used stanley because I wanted a knock around #5 and for $50 as opposed to $350 it was worth a test.

  12. #12
    I've never looked at the 'types' of my Stanleys and all have turned out to be decent users. The prices on Craigs list tend to be a little better, since the market's a little less liquid. A new blade can make most plain janes work like champs.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    I also found that my Lie Nielsen planes simply adjust more easily.
    Aside from the fact that they're flat, won't move over time (most stanleys are probably done moving, though), are ductile cast and they already have the fat iron and chipbreaker...

    ... i think the adjuster is actually the nicest thing about them in use. It is finer and smoother than the stanley adjuster. Not that you can't do just fine with the stanley adjuster, the LN one is just better.

  14. #14
    I've spent my fair share of $$ with LN and LV. I have a LN block/smoother/jointer and LV skew rabbet/router/scrub. My first (and only) vintage plane was a Stanley No. 50 plow plane which I purchased since there isn't a comparable modern alternative. The LV plow only cuts up to 3/8" despite being based on the Record 044. I've read and been told not to bother spending the coin on a jack plane from LN or LV since it's primarily responsible for roughing (unless it's your only plane). So that's what brought me to scouring the world of "classifieds" for a jack. I'm a bit OCD at times, so it makes it a bit tough to pick up a complete "user" plane which often seems language for any or all of "busted tote, lots of rust, maybe some pitting and stumpy blade."

    Given the price, and potentially the effort required to get one up and running I feel like I might just be pushed into buying a new one... I was pretty soured by the effort required to get a vintage 1 1/2" Stanley No. 720 chisel up to snuff. The things people use chisels for...
    New Canuck Workshop

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Chevy Chase, Maryland
    I think the "primarily for roughing" thing is not really accurate. A Stanley 5 is not much different than a 4 or a 7 or a 3 etc. It can be tuned just as much, and it can do just as fine work. It will smooth and it will joint. The place where LN stuff really shines in my experience is in smoothing difficult woods - high angle frogs and high manufacturing tolerances that allow for fine mouths and fine adjustments. Vintage Stanley will do 95% of routine tasks every bit as well as LN's. And that's true for any number plane. LN tolerances, thick blade, and fine adjustment etc. make it wonderful, but not necessary most of the time.

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