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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could someone help me understand why a new Stanley #4 sells for $180ish and used Stanley Baileys sell for roughly $20-$40 on ebay? Is it risky to purchase a plane without being able to hold it and inspect?

Secondly, I don't currently own a hand plane and from reading the forums it seems that the #4 is a good first purchase. My objective for the plane is to help me 'smooth' out edge joined boards. Is this an appropriate purchase for this task?

Thanks !
 

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The reason to use a hand plane over a ros is clear. A plane will work faster at removing material, as well as leave a smoother surface. From what I have heard about the new stanley planes, they aren't up to par for the cost. You'd be better spending the cash on an old stanley from craigslist or ebay and putting a hock blade in it, or spend the money on a lie nielson or veritas plane. A #4 smoother is the right choice for smoothing out a planed board
 

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Certainly there's some risk in buying a plane sight unseen, but there's also risk in spending a $180 on a new one with inferior metallurgy and less precision machining. $40 should buy a very nice example of an older Bailey from a reputable seller. Ask questions and look over the pictures for cracks and breaks...barring major damage, the vast majority are pretty easy to whip into shape. I'd also expand my search to include Record and Millers Falls planes.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks

Hi George - The reason for not using my ROS is probably a technique problem on my end. For whatever reason the ROS finished boards feel a bit wavy under my hand if I have a ganged together several boards. I haven't done a lot of it but my experience has left me with a product that I am unhappy with. I wouldn't choose to use a hand tool over a power tool as I am still working on my patience with completing the project.

thanks Julian and Scott, I think for $40, I can take a little risk given your comments. and that is a handsome collection Scott :)

now to go find that sharpening book ;)
 

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You can usually find them at flea markets too. I got a #5 Bailey two years ago for 20 bucks:eek: and the seller threw in a 10" drawknife just to get rid of it:thumbsup: I got out of there before he could change his mind.
Where in Nebraska are you located?
 

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An example of a few of the planes I have picked up at a flea market. I also have others, that are in peices and being brought back to life :thumbsup:
Left to right $7, $6 & $8. 2 Stanley Baileys and one unknown - made in germany.
So, they are out there, you just have to keep an eye out for them :yes:

Rick
 

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That Bailey I mentioned came from the Steele City flea market down by Fairbury that's held every fall. Also the one coming up a Brownville I believe it's end of June is another good one. Got a big old #8 Bailey there last year for 20 bucks, took a little time to clean up but you can joint boards with it just as good as a power jointer You're about 30 miles from me just east of Lincoln on Hwy 2. You might want to check out Big Red Sawmill at Palmyra. Good quality and prices on native wood.

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the tips Roger. I know Brian S. a little (big red sawmill). I noticed he is upgrading his sawmill and trying to sell his old one. It is listed on our local craigslist for $14k. I used to get lumber from him until I finally got a few walnut logs from a property we have in Iowa. He hooked me up with some Siberian Elm. If you haven't seen it, the wood is absolutely riddled with tiny knots everywhere, the affect is beautiful. That said I had to plane 130ish bf of the stuff in my dewalt thickness planer. It was a trying period of time for me and the planer but the wood is spectacular.

I purchased (didn't receive yet) a #4 Stanley Baily on ebay. I also ordered The Complete Guide to Sharpening on amazon. What is worse is I was rummaging through some boxes with a faint memory and found that I had a #5 Stanley Bailey already. How crazy is that?

So now my next project is to discover how to restore to working order both of the planes. I don't have a lot of interest in having them look like artwork but I am very interested in learning to hand plane boards, especially if the end product is superior to what I am getting now.
 

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Used hand planes

I would think buying a used hand plane is like buying a used treadmill- chances are if it's a decent plane and they're selling it, it probably hasn't been used much (like that treadmill)!

Good shopping. :thumbsup:

Lloyd

www.kerrywoodworking.com
(home of the Kerry-All Pouch)
 

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I have to disagree with you bondfan. I have a few old planes that show that they were used by a professional, and not from a handy andy. They were well taken care of, but the blades were almost sharpened to the end of their life. It all depends on where they were stored, and if they were abused or not.
 

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Could someone help me understand why a new Stanley #4 sells for $180ish and used Stanley Baileys sell for roughly $20-$40 on ebay? Is it risky to purchase a plane without being able to hold it and inspect?

Secondly, I don't currently own a hand plane and from reading the forums it seems that the #4 is a good first purchase. My objective for the plane is to help me 'smooth' out edge joined boards. Is this an appropriate purchase for this task?

Thanks !
Berandor
If you are going to be doing joinery I would suggest getting the longest plane you can - a jointer up to 36 inches, then a fore plane about 24 inches and then a jack of about 18 inches. They ride over the high spots to slice them off and then you go to the next smaller. Put the boards together, back to back. Any error away from square will cancel when you open the boards to join them.

If you use hide glue (especially hot) and if the edges are properly jointed, you can apply glue to both edges, put them together with a small rubbing motion. When the glue "grabs" stop rubbing and prop the boards against a straight wall and walk away. No clamps and the joint should be stronger than the adjacent wood!

No noise, no dust!:laughing:
 

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Not major changes in designs of woodworking planes have occurred but metallurgy has improved somewhat, and the steel used in new plane blades is generally better than the old stuff.
Martin - The technology in alloys has changed, and there are more choices.... both good and bad. I'm sure market leaders like Veritas and Lie Nielsen use the best they know of within reason, but that doesn't mean that the cheaper planes choose to use the best technology....I'm positive that they don't. Inexpensive modern planes use inferior metals and inferior processes because they consider them to be "adequate". Compare almost any part of a new Groz, Footprint, or even a new Stanley Sweetheart to the parts used on a plane made between 1920 and 1940...everything from screws, levers, caps, adjusters, soles and totes is either thinner, sloppier, softer, lower grade, cheaper, or all of the above. Things used to be made to last...unfortunately, the standards are simply lower than what they once were.
 

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It has been said that there is no tool like an old tool!:yes: Unless you are going top of the line modern, I would want to have the plane in my hands before I part with hard-earned dollars. Unfortunately, there are folk who are not as honest as thee and me. Sad but true!:eek:

While materials science has made leaps ahead of what Mr. Bailey had, does not mean that the lower end manufacturers use the knowledge. That said, there are very good wooden planes made in Germany and Australia. Highland Woodworking had some good reviews of some Bailey-style planes made in India.

Hand tools are very personal things and the grip length, diameter, weight, etc. are all things to be considered in what feels good to you. But, if you are going into hand planing, make sure you have a solid, heavy work bench that's the right height! Too high or too low will kill your back in no time!
 

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Why would you not just use a randon orbit sander?

Or is it that you want to do the job without machinery?

G
There are few people that hate effort as much as I, or people that like machinery, but since I got a good plane, the ROS doesn't get used much frankly. plane is faster, and puts on a better finish. And Random orbits aren't very good. DA sanders all the way.
old planes are definitely the way to go. Get a stanley bailey. if the blade is gone, get a hock blade and their chipbreaker. you'll be good to go and be way better off.
 
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