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Thread: Stanley Bailey No 5 from the 60's

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    Stanley Bailey No 5 from the 60's

    So locally there is a Stanley Bailey No 5 Jack plane that honestly looks like someone took it out of the box and set it on the mantel for 60 years. The Stanley logo is colored in yellow which I thought was odd. It says it was made between 1962 and 1967. They are asking $45 for it. Is this a good buy or is this a time period where Stanley's quality went downhill? I am new to the planer game and I am more focused on buying useable tools than collector grade tools but the consensus seems to be that pre ww2 planes are the ones to buy. Opinions?

  2. #2
    Some people really get into the age and "type" of their planes and some people don't. Myself, I don't really know what "type" mine are. I have a rough idea of their age, but that is about it. Some folks really like pre WWII stuff, some like Sweetheart only, some like 3 patent dates, some like WWII the best, and some just want the thing to work well. My four favorite user planes are from WWII and just after.

    If it is in great condition, chances are it will be a good plane and will not require a lot of tuning up, a big plus, even if it is from the '60s. A plane in really good condition from then will likely work better than one from the "golden era" of planes that is beat up and in need of a bunch of reconditioning. Some might say $45 is high, but at the same time you are saving a bunch of time not cleaning up something that sat in an unheated barn for a few decades.

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    Only way to tell if it is useable is to use it (my opinion anyway).

    If you go to eBay and look at sold listings, you can get an idea of what similar planes are selling for. Depends a little bit on where you live (some guys apparently spend most of their time beating off hordes of people who want to pay them to take unused antiques). Where I live, I would think that would be a fair price.

    If you try it and don’t like it, or it will take more work than you want to do to get it tuned up, I would guess you can sell it for that without much trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Buresh View Post
    So locally there is a Stanley Bailey No 5 Jack plane that honestly looks like someone took it out of the box and set it on the mantel for 60 years. The Stanley logo is colored in yellow which I thought was odd. It says it was made between 1962 and 1967. They are asking $45 for it. Is this a good buy or is this a time period where Stanley's quality went downhill? I am new to the planer game and I am more focused on buying useable tools than collector grade tools but the consensus seems to be that pre ww2 planes are the ones to buy. Opinions?
    If you are able to handle the plane, take a small piece of wood with you to check the sole, frog and blade alignment.

    If the blade can take a reasonable shaving, remember the blade may not be sharp, from both side equally the plane may be good to go. If you are good with your eyes, site down the sole to see if there is any obvious warpage or other untoward traits.

    Depending on the quality of the casting, $45 is not a bad price in the condition you describe.

    In some years the castings look to be poorly done with very coarse molds.

    My preference is for planes made before 1929 due to my fondness for the low knob. In following years Stanley planes in the Bailey and Bedrock lines had rings around the base for the knob which required work on the knobs to fit a low knob.

    One of my later #5 planes, WW II years, has been set up as a scrub plane. It is the only plane in my shop with an ogee style frog. My preference is also for a full flat faced surface on my frog instead of the lesser surface of the ogee style frogs.

    Just because it is my preference doesn't mean it should make a difference to you when it comes to a usable tool.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 08-27-2019 at 1:55 PM. Reason: word correction
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    Only way to tell if it is useable is to use it (my opinion anyway).

    If you go to eBay and look at sold listings, you can get an idea of what similar planes are selling for. Depends a little bit on where you live (some guys apparently spend most of their time beating off hordes of people who want to pay them to take unused antiques). Where I live, I would think that would be a fair price.

    If you try it and don’t like it, or it will take more work than you want to do to get it tuned up, I would guess you can sell it for that without much trouble.
    It seems like in my area that anything good and decently priced is snatched up in under an hour, people think there junk is worth as much as gold just because it says Stanley, or the other brands are selling for just as much money as Stanley's. And anything good is at least a 3 hour drive. There is a very rusty #5 with the high knob I believe post ww2, on Craigslist right now for $50 that the seller states "should clean up". And I mean it is rusty. He said it was found in a toolbox but I'm pretty sure that toolbox was at the bottom of a lake. It's been for sale for 3 weeks unsurprisingly. I was actually really surprised at the price tag of this plane. It's at an antique store so I doubt I could try it. It's locked in a glass case. I recently bought a new Irwin Record plane after frustration in the used plane game thinking "How bad can it be?" Well, it was bad. It was promptly returned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    If you are able to handle the plane, take a small piece of wood with you to check the sole, frog and blade alignment.

    If the blade can take a reasonable shaving, remember the blade may not be sharp, from both side equally the plane may be good to go. If you are good with your eyes, site down the sole to see if there is any obvious warpage or other untoward traits.

    Depending on the quality of the casting, $45 is not a bad price in the condition you describe.

    In some years the castings look to be poorly done with very coarse molds.

    My preference is for planes made before 1929 due to my fondness for the low knob. In following years Stanley planes in the Bailey and Bedrock lines had rings around the base for the knob which required work on the knobs to fit a low knob.

    One of my later #5 planes, WW II years, has been set up as a scrub plane. It is the only plane in my shop with an ogee style frog. My preference is also for a full flat faced surface on my frog instead of the lesser surface of the ogee style frogs.

    Just because it is my preference doesn't mean it should make a difference to you when it comes to a usable tool.

    jtk
    Jim,

    Thank you again for all the knowledge. I really enjoy reading your replies.

    I may be able to bring in a straight edge to check the sole. The blade looks original and I can sharpen irons that give me satisfactory results, though someone who has been doing this for years would probably say otherwise. The casting looked nice and heavy actually, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's straight I guess.

    Please forgive my lack of knowledge but what is an ogee style frog? Is there a disadvantage to them?

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    It's at an antique store so I doubt I could try it. It's locked in a glass case.
    Most antique shops will let you examine items, they just want to be watching when you do. If you do not ask if you can inspect the piece, you will never know.

    Make sure the person knows you intend to purchase if it meets your expectations.

    Often when shopping my statement to the person in a shop is about my interest being only in looking and not buying. Usually, if they are not busy they will take something out of a case for me to inspect.

    After inspecting an item and talking with the shop person one can often get a feel for the business. If you decide to buy you may ask if the price can be brought down. Otherwise just pay up and be happy.

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

  8. #8
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    Where are you located? Would PM, but I guess you cannot PM as a member.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    Where are you located? Would PM, but I guess you cannot PM as a member.
    I'm in the northern half of WI

  10. #10
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    Was thinking perhaps a member could help you set it up. Off the top of my head I am not thinking of anyone up there though.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    Was thinking perhaps a member could help you set it up. Off the top of my head I am not thinking of anyone up there though.
    Thanks! I didn't actually purchase it yet but I am going tonight to look it over again and possibly purchase

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    So I went and looked at the plane closer tonight and I didn't walk out with it. The blade was ground on an angle and there were some scratches in the sole. In the display case it looked like it had never been used. I think both could be fixed but is it still worth the money?

  13. #13
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    Jason, i would not buy it, as there are much better planes around for the same money. By the 60s, Stanley had joined the race to the bottom, quality wise, on their planes. Their Bailey planes from about 1910 or so until maybe about 1930 appeal a great deal more to me, and I think any of the guys above would probably agree with me on that. To identify those, type in "Stanley Bailey Type Study" and use that search to look at some of the sites that come up.

    I have read that the Stanley folks that made their block planes never got the memo on quality, however, and Stanley made good block planes way past the 60s dates.

    Some of the guys like Jim and Steven will do quite well with even earlier planes, but I have more trouble adjusting them than they do. Any Bedrock, if you can find one very cheaply (not likely) will also be better than the 60s Stanley planes.

    I have a type 19 Bailey that I believe was made in the late 40s up to maybe the late 50s. It lacks the better fit and feature of the
    Bailey planes mentioned above, but the basics are still there, and it can be tuned up to a very good user. (It was my dad's.)

    The Bailey planes made after about 1930 up until world war 2 were still pretty darned good planes, but the frog where the iron rested was skeletonized, whereas the earlier Bailey planes were not. The post 1930 design was cheaper to machine and still very acceptable, but the pre 1930 design was a bit better.

    That said, you still want to check out the condition, as some alluded to above. A 1930s Bailey in good shape is a better buy than the more desirable (IMHO) 1910 to 1930 versions, if the later is a rust bucket. In addition to points made above, check out the condition of the iron. If the iron is rusted and pitted to a significant amount on the business end, you will either need to restore it or buy a new iron. If the pitting is deep enough to require a ton of work on a stone or grinder, I would walk away from it, unless the price is way down into the bottom price range, as you will likely need to cut off the iron until it is above the pitted area or buy a replacement iron.

    At any rate, I greatly respect some of the posters above, but would still advise you not to buy that plane. Again, study the type studies, and buy one of the much earlier Stanleys. Also if Steven chimes in, he can tell you about the early Millers Falls planes, and these were also very good planes to my understanding, but I don't know enough about them to buy one, so I only buy the Stanley planes since I know them.

    I would look for planes at flea markets, garage sales, and pawn shops, and you should be able to find a good candidate for that $45 or much less. You might find one on the auction site for that, and there are plenty of them there, but I think it unlikely you will get one delivered to you for that money, but if you wait long enough, you just might.

    Regards,

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 08-28-2019 at 2:24 AM.

  14. #14
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    How close are you to Stoughton WI? there is a mid west tool collectors association meeting there on oct 20 https://mwtca.org/new-tool-meeting-p...ate-locations/
    you can pick up nice stuff at fare prices.
    Here are some good links of online places with old tools for sale https://www.woodbywright.com/antique-tools
    You can place a WTB (want to buy) add in the classifieds on here. being a new wood worker I am sure some one has a good plane they would sell for a nice price. That is where I would try.

    A good working #5 should not set you back that much.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin sherriff View Post
    How close are you to Stoughton WI? there is a mid west tool collectors association meeting there on oct 20 https://mwtca.org/new-tool-meeting-p...ate-locations/
    you can pick up nice stuff at fare prices.
    Here are some good links of online places with old tools for sale https://www.woodbywright.com/antique-tools
    You can place a WTB (want to buy) add in the classifieds on here. being a new wood worker I am sure some one has a good plane they would sell for a nice price. That is where I would try.

    A good working #5 should not set you back that much.
    Stoughton is a hike but it's not a terrible drive. I will have to check that out!

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