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Thread: My Best Stanley Plane and Newer vs Older Types

  1. #1
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    My Best Stanley Plane and Newer vs Older Types

    I've had the opportunity to 'restore' a lot of Bailey type planes over the last two years...in fact I wish I hadn't, maybe then I would've been more productive with actually building things (but that's another matter for another day). I've whittled down my bailey type planes to around 10, and most of them are from type 8 - 13, but my very best plane of the set is a later model 5 1/2, made in England, with the ribbed (and very heavy) casting. It took significantly more work to flatten the sole than for my other planes, but the plane performs absolutely beautifully now - even better than my older type planes, despite the ribbed frogs. I have a lot of the veritas planes, their bevel ups, bevel downs and customs, and the heavy casting gives this plane a similar feel in use to my veritas customs, which are some of the finest planes I've ever used.

    Makes me wonder if the obsession with solid vs ribbed frogs is overblown, and if the added contact area of a solid frog adds much benefit, and also whether the rejection of newer types by many users is justified. I realise everyone's experience will be different , but I enjoy the discussions that come from everyone pitching in their 2 cents and I always learn something.

  2. #2
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    My favorite plane is a no.3 Bailey. It is sharp, clean, and easy to use.
    It is a Canadian plane. It is a sweet plane.
    I have a full stable of Bedrocks, 604, 605, and 607.
    I also have #6 Bailey that is a good plane.
    My 5 1/2 Bailey is a plane I use a lot. It is wide and long. It's length and width make it a large plane.
    I'm taken with the Bedrock configuration, but the Bailey's perform every bit as well.
    I can't make sense of it, can you?

    I think a lot of us hand plane users can be a bit . . . . ......
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 06-25-2017 at 11:19 AM.

  3. #3
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    For me, it is a personal preference. Many of the planes with the ogee frog, type 16 and later, are fine users. My favorites are type 13 and earlier. These do not have a raised ring around the base of the front knob and can be fit with a low knob.

    My experience with some of the later Stanley planes is the quality is inconsistent. When they are good, they are fine. When they are bad, they are a steaming pile of regret.

    My planes run from type 4 to type 17 with a few holes. They are all decent users in their own right.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Amen! To all the above.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Hasin Haroon View Post
    Makes me wonder ... whether the rejection of newer types by many users is justified.

    It is most certainly not justified. I have rehabbed many hundreds of planes, and can definitively state that some of my best workers are type 19s (1948-1961).
    The logic behind this statement becomes clearer once you realize that a plane is, at its core, nothing more than a chisel holder.

  6. #6
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    The logic behind this statement becomes clearer once you realize that a plane is, at its core, nothing more than a chisel holder.
    Sometimes the core is there but the finish isn't. As time marched on Stanley castings became less refined. The major concern seemed to be lowering the cost of manufacture over presenting a well crafted finished product.

    We can be sure there are clinkers across all the types of Stanley planes. I have a strong personal preference. Maybe that clouds my opinion on later planes.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
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    Hmmm, I have every flat top bedrock from 602 to 608 with many duplicates. Collecting is a disease which in my case took away from actually using! I also have a Norris disease with must be 40 or 50 of them. They make wonderful users, but a well tuned Bailey is as good as anyone needs really. What's more I must have spent at least twice what they would fetch these days. Oh well........it's not just the power tool junkies who can waste a lot of money!

  8. #8
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    Took me a long time of sorting through stacks of planes to find what worked for me...and what didn't. I'll still rehab a few planes....but the "core" stays about the same. Jointers are type 7 or 9.....a #6c is a T-10. The Stanley #5-1/2, though is a T-17. Smaller planes tend to be Millers Falls made planes. Those tend to be type 2,3 or 4s....although a type 1 No. 11 has arrived in the shop.

    It took a while, but i settled on what works in my shop, with what I do.

  9. #9
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    It took a while, but i settled on what works in my shop, with what I do.
    What? Are you trying to be rational or something?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
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    Shhhhhhh....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasin Haroon View Post
    Makes me wonder if the obsession with solid vs ribbed frogs is overblown, and if the added contact area of a solid frog adds much benefit, and also whether the rejection of newer types by many users is justified. I realise everyone's experience will be different , but I enjoy the discussions that come from everyone pitching in their 2 cents and I always learn something.
    As a (former) mechanical engineer I agree with Patrick Leach's analysis. The BedRock design in particular and "large contact area" frogs in general are hugely overrated. Both the based casting and the frog are very rigid to begin with, so it doesn't take much contact to rigidly couple them, and it doesn't matter very much where those contact points are. The classic Bailey-pattern plane with ribbed frog is an excellent-performing design that is also very cost-efficient. The BedRock design is merely an excellent performer.

    I have all 3 families of Veritas planes as well, and like them very much. Some food for thought: Rob Lee himself confirmed on one of these threads some months back that Veritas planes are designed so that the iron contacts the bed (BU) or frog (BD) at 2 points: A line of contact just behind the cutting edge, and a smaller contact patch at the Norris adjuster's pivot point. Everything else is designed to have clearance, and you can confirm that this is the case by poking around with bits of shim stock.

    The blade/cap-iron package is much less rigid than the frog, which means that if contact area mattered at all then it would be more important for the iron<->frog interface than for the frog<->base interface. If the planes that we both believe to be "some of the finest" planes we've ever used have such sparse iron<->frog contact, then it stands to reason that the difference in frog<->base contact between Bailey and BedRock planes is utterly irrelevant.

    With that said there are plenty of people who obsessively file their plane beds and grind their irons to try to achieve uniform contact, and plenty more who swear by BedRock. Religion sometimes causes all of us to do funny things, after all :-).
    Last edited by Patrick Chase; 06-25-2017 at 4:31 AM.

  12. #12
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    The Bailey frog has the potential to seat the blade better than the BedRock frog with its open design that reduces the likelihood of central high areas.

    The BedRock design is easier to set up and adjust the mouth size. This is important when positioning a new blade, but after this is no longer of consequence.

    My favourite two Stanley's are a UK-made #3, which is used with a Clifton (hammered) O1 blade, and a vintage #62, which is used with a LN blade (O1 or W1).

    Regards from Perth

    Perth

    Derek

  13. #13
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    plane.JPG
    Whether it is a Stanley #5-1/2, type 17 to flatten a panel
    IMG_0598 (640x480).jpg
    A Stanley #8, type 7 to joint a 5' long edge
    smooth plane.jpg
    Or, a type 2 Millers Falls no.8 smooth plane to level a glue line..

    I use what I find works for the job I am doing.

  14. #14
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    I'm telling on all of you. Patrick Leach is gonna be pissed!

  15. Well my experience shows that bailey frog seating was generally appalling on UK, post 1970 planes. Sometimes as little as 10%!

    Blade support is generally the two line contact described by Patrick, and IMO this is more than adequate. The surface of Bailey frogs from that period is highly variable. Often with a hollow across the width, where the heel of the bevel is supposed to be supported. The fact that the cap irons bent the blade allowed for much sloppy frog surface machining.

    It is clear that modern bedrock seating from L-N is far superior. (I don't have old Stanley examples).

    My Stanley 5 1/2 had a sole which was crooked enough to interfere with accurate edge planing. Fixing it was very satisfying.

    Best wishes,
    David

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