- 5 September 2016 at 10:00 pm #139938
Hey all, I’m new here and this is my first post.
Per the title, I’ve begun the #4 journey, with less than stellar results. I probably was too cheap on eBay, but this has been a rich learning process. 1) be sure the plane comes with a blade (my seller refunded $15, so not a crisis). 2) learn about generations of planes before buying (mine is a war-era). 3) rust is one thing, pits are another (took a stone to the bottom to minimize pits – maybe I can claim pits are the modern version of corregated.
Now I have a problem which may not be repairable. After a test fit-up and multiple frog adjustments, I got a few shavings and then the cap iron screw let go. It wasn’t that it loosened up first. The threads appear to be bad on either the screw or the hole (I think both) and it won’t stand up to any pressure.
So it’s back to square one, and I need to buy another plane.
A new #4 doesn’t seem much more than the cleaner examples on eBay. Is there good reason to buy used. If so, apart from a clean bottom, getting all the parts, and choosing a generation, what advice would you have re eBay purchases.
Thanks and keep your shavings curly.
Rick G5 September 2016 at 11:52 pm #139940karolParticipant
Hello Rick, a newbie here too offering you my experience…
My first #4 comes from from a local shop, bought it brand new half a year ago and at first I thought it was a disappointment, the only reasons being that it came with plastic handles instead of wooden ones and I suspect that it was manufactured in China, which is not considered as trusted source of any produce due to perceived inferior quality of products sold here where I live… After sharpening / honing the blade and its “tune-up” according to one of the Mr.Seller’s videos it worked as expected – I could get really fine shavings with a typical “shoooosh” sound and surprisingly pristine surface of the workpiece, too. Eventually, I got used to the plastic handles. Still, I was not sure whether this planer was the “right” one. So I bought several #4s from the UK eBay recently to compare this planer with a “real” one and nearly became a junkie – I ended up with a dozen of them – various brands (stanley, record, acorn, no-brand..), in as-found condition, claimed to be 30 – 80 years old, rusted, with loosen wooden handles, even one with plastic handles (again!, unintentionally though, with no refund…) or with other faults in them as well as restored by the sellers… there was one planer only with a screw missing (the one holding the blade and the “chip breaker” together), otherwise they were all complete and usable. The result – I cannot tell the difference… as long as the blade is sharp and the planer is overall in good condition (clean, no rust, lubricated sole, etc… and complete), I enjoy to use any of them very much – either the new one or the used ones. And obviously, I bought and found wooden planes – I like to use them, too.
Sorry for such a long reply, hopefully it helps. Best of good luck.6 September 2016 at 12:42 am #139941
Thanks for your input.
Here too, people are often suspicious of Chinese product. And I’ve heard many say not to buy the new Stanely no. 4, but without offering any first hand examples to justify their POV. So I’m thinking a new Bailey might be a steal, and I can use the old wooden handles from my damaged plane if sex appeal is important.
Rick6 September 2016 at 1:27 am #139942David BParticipant
For $20 or so on eBay, I’ve found that I can expect a pretty rusted plane that may have cracked wooden parts at worst. In any event, I am always careful to make sure that any plane I buy on eBay has all of its parts included, even if I intend to use it for scrap. If there are any missing screws, blade, etc., I will not pay much for it.6 September 2016 at 2:51 pm #139952Eric LundholmParticipant
Dont throw the ebay plane away, parts are out there. ebay is a little high in price but you can find broken planes at garage sales swap meets etc. the hunt is half the fun.6 September 2016 at 5:45 pm #139954Paul DallenderParticipant
Boy am I lucky living here in the UK. If not from Ebay but from antique dealers down to car boot sales I’ve found not just a #4 but #3, #51/2, and #6 Stanley planes needing a bit of TLC admittedly but all at such reasonable prices and not one a pig in a poke.
In fact everything I’ve bought off Ebay over here (and I too have got the bug building up my woodworking kit buying everything from saws, chisels rebate planes and a multitude of other tools) have all been as described by the sellers and some as cheap if not cheaper than a new Chinese manufactured version.
I always take a careful look at the description and especially any photos and if I’m not sure about something I’ll send the seller an email and ask before making up my mind.
I can’t comment on Chinese manufactured planes and if anyone uses them and are happy with the work they can produce with them then of course that’s fine. But as Mr Sellers infers not all #4’s were made equal so I’ve stuck with his 50 years of experience and recommendation of either old Stanley or Record, built to last generations, easily serviceable and plenty still around. After all, if a plane of over 60 plus years just needs a bit of a clean up and the blade sharpening to work as it did when first made, that has to say something about the quality.
Having said that even Mr Sellers realises economics does come into it and is a champion of woodworking on a tight budget as he has shown when introducing us to the Aldi chisels or the poor man’s router and marking/beading tool. If all anyone can afford is £10 or $20 then you go with what you can get for your money. Good luck.
Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England7 September 2016 at 12:34 am #139967Dan RoperParticipant
It is possible to re=tap the threads in the plane that are stripped. Then you just need to find a bolt that will fit the new threads. The cap iron screw is nothing special. all you have to do is be able to adjust it in order to make the cap iron work properly.
Dan7 September 2016 at 6:24 am #139971
Thanks, you’re right of course. I’m just not sure I want go to the expense (new tap) and effort. I could probably fit a headless bolt to the current threads, and secure it with epoxy. Then a nut on top (besides me) could hold everything together. Buts that’s a real McGyver looking solution.
Rick7 September 2016 at 6:29 am #139972
Thanks. I haven’t been able to find anything like what you describe for near to $20 actual selling price, on eBay or Craig’s list.
And we’re all dependent on the pictures and descriptions provided. Sometimes they’re not enough to recognize a defect or shortcoming.
Glad you’ve done so well.
Rick7 September 2016 at 6:32 am #139973
Thanks for the tips. No not throwing anything away. May keep and fix or may sell of parts.
I think you’re right about the fn of the chase, but this just isn’t a good time to sink my time into much of that. And I’m impatient to start working on my technique.
Appreciate your encouragement.
Rick7 September 2016 at 6:36 am #139974
I wish I could shop where you do, or even a different part of the U.S. I’m not sloes to lower-cost venue, and I can’t make it out to Saturday swap meets. What I need to do is move to farm country and attend auctions. Maybe when I retire. 🙂
Rick7 September 2016 at 7:15 am #139975sidorenko91Participant
I’ve had great luck with Ebay. 2 No 4 s, both from the early 1900’s. Try to get ones that are just dirty looking and preferably complete. Hard to tell at first. Also, you ask the seller as many questions as you want.
I got lucky with my most recent one. I wanted a scrub plane, so I scouted out ebay for about a month. I won’t pay over 30$ for one, shipping and all. It came with what I think is an original blade. Noticeably thinner than the other two I have. Sharpens easier. It’s also lighter than the later models.
Just stay alert and you will find what you need.
I must say that reviving a 90 year old tool is very satisfying. Haven’t used the new ones. I imagine they feel fine.
Good luck!7 September 2016 at 1:02 pm #139977David BParticipant
Anything can happen with a few hours to go but here are a few possible options. Depending on your willingness to deal with a cracked tote…
This one looks promising if you’re down with the corrogated sole: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-stanley-bailey-no-4-corrugated-bottom-wood-plane-/322247453302?hash=item4b0771ea76:g:kagAAOSw9IpXx2eO
Looks to have all the parts and an extra blade and lever cap. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Stanley-No-4-Smoothing-Plane-restoration-or-for-parts-w-extra-blade-/152227676713?hash=item23717a0229:g:OWwAAOSwvzRXya8H
Good luck!7 September 2016 at 1:23 pm #139978SadlySenileMember
hi Rick sad to say I think you caught the collecting bug 🙂 Firstly the bad news… Stanley stuck with its own screw threads and they are bastard sizes (means you can’t go buy a tap for any original thread). The good news is that Stanley sells spare part kits. Usually you can buy a secondhand frog (if you lived closer I’d give you one, but its a long swim to the Philippines). The Nitty Gritty is that with all the different models there seems to be only 2 frogs for the Bailey type and the difference is in the width, 2″ or 2 3/8″. Ok, 5 and below 2″ and 6and up 2 3/8″ (except the 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 which are the larger 2 3/8″. So don’t turn down a frog from a different size if you see at a good price. You should try go to your local car repair and ask if they can heli-coil for you. That is easiest of all if they can. The plastic handles were made after a certain date to keep costs down so don’t worry about that unless you really want to say that its earlier than the 60s. Ask yourself what you want the plane to do! If it is only for planing and that is rare LOL, find where the screw should be (when adjusted) and epoxy it in. The clamp iron can still be opened for honing without turning the screw just to get you going. When you see spares at a good price then buy and replace the frog but be warned if you buy a secondhand 5 for the frog you WILL want to renovate that.
7 September 2016 at 4:07 pm #139981
- This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by SadlySenile. Reason: Clearer instructions
Thanks for the ideas, I’ll check them out.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.