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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to start learning how to use hand planes and am looking for some to get started with. Based on my research, I think I would like to start by finding a #5, which I understand are relatively common.

I'm hesitant to trust eBay, because I'd rather touch something before buying it. Have people had good experiences buying planes of eBay?

I've also been hitting up estate sales and craigslist here in the Seattle area without success. I did find one Stanley Bailey #5 at an antique dealer, but they were firm on a price of $145, which seemed high based on what I had been hearing of planes going for on the secondhand market.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on the types of places I might try to look.

Thanks.
 

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EBay can be mixed. I have purchased some decent planes and some not-so-decent.

$145 is a crazy price for a No. 5 in my opinion.

Craigs List and local flea markets are common places to look.

Check the Classifieds forum on this site. BZawat has a recent thread where he mentions he will soon have a No. 5 available.
 

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I find it easy to find planes but hard to find them at a reasonable price at times. I looked at 4 today alone, mostly garbage. But if you keep looking, I'm sure you'll find one. I sent you a link via PM to one I have on ebay right now, if nothing else, watch and see what it goes for and that might give you a value point.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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I'm just north of you and yes they are hard to find on CL, but just keep looking. I found 2 #5's a few months ago for $45 for both and they are in great shape.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the ideas. I think I will keep trying those sources. I'm not in any particular hurry, so I have time. I did find a Stanley No. 6 being offered for about $50. It looks like it's in pretty good shape, but I've been having trouble determining whether that is a good price. Does anyone have a source for determining baseline values?
 

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Does anyone have a source for determining baseline values?
Too many variables.

The value of a plane depends on where you are located, but more importantly the condition of the plane.

Anything broken? Anything look like it needs to be replaced? Anything missing? Are all the components original, or relevant for the type?

I have seen No. 6 planes I would be willing to pay $50 for, and others I would not be willing to pay $5 for.

My first few rust buckets were all intact, but the more I picked up planes to restore, the more I found missing items, bad hardware, blades needing to be replaced, etc.
 

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+1 to everything Dave said. I think something like an old plane is truly worth whatever you are willing to pay for it, and that's bordering on the esoteric. I have really good luck at Flea Markets, and where I live(Louisville, Ky), there are lots and lots of Flea markets. Just yesterday, I paid 15 for a Bailey no.5, but passed on several clone block planes in the 10 dollar range. As a rule, I set a 20 limit, but that is because I have what I NEED, so anything else is superfluous. There are items in my "quest" list that I would shell out lots more money for, but until they turn up, I don't think about it much. As far as condition, it's generally determined by what the plane is destined for. In your case, you are buying users, so as long as the iron is good, the sole is flat, the knob and tote are in tact(or easily repairable), and all adjustments can be made smoothly, then it's a good plane. For a collection or a showpiece, those parameters are significantly different. And of course, there is a lot of grey area between those two points. Put up a want ad on CL, watch for woodshops selling off equipment, talk to locals with similar interests. You'll be amazed once you open the floodgates; I have more woodworking gear than I ever thought possible.
 

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18 TH. Century Furniture
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Planes & Tools

Patrick Leach and Superior Works is the man and the place to buy reasonably priced tools. Google him as he has a listing of tools that comes out the first of each month. You need to sign up for his list. Nice guy. Tools are correctly described. Prices are reasonable.

David Turner
Plymouth, MI.
 
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