Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bob's illustrated Type study of Bailey bench planes. Part 1 The collector's models years

I decided to break it into two parts, this being too long.

Part 1 The collector's models years. Type 1 to Type 7
Part 2 The user's models years. Type 8 to Type 19

This I intend to be a living document. I will update it as new or better photos and features becomes known or available.
Thanks for your help in this matter.

Most features are primarily as found on the No 4 Smoother planes. The No 5, 6, 7 and 8 planes being longer had their plane Nos cast at the heel versus the toe when Bailey appeared (in part 2).
No 1 is excluded, No 2 and 3 follow pretty well the same features except were the lack of room precludes some casting marks etc.
No 4-1/2, 5-1/4 and 5-1/2 falls somewhere in between, as they were introduced later along this type study.

Compiled from various sources on line, Notably from Walter, Leach and Sutherland. Pics are mine except as noted. Line drawings from Walter's book.

Text is based on original(s) with my own observations added. Rebuilt and updated Jul 16

Read this before using...
Wow, hard to believe I started this back in April...

TYPE 1 Boston Bailey 1867-1869

Trademark on Iron & Cap iron

Pics from Ebay

Solid brass Adj. nut  has right hand tread. Early adj. nut may be two pieces construction. Name WOODS is always removed

Pic from Ebay

Lever cap is solid underneath and has a Banjo shaped spring 

Pic from Ebay

Sides of planes are higher with the center of the round more toward the front than on later models.
Pic from Ebay

Bead edge at base of Rosewood knob

Pic from NH Plane parts

Rosewood handle (tote) has a distinct & graceful shape

NO Model Nos cast on bed

Top corners of frog are rounded

Round head screws (have a dome to it, later they would be flat)
hold the frog. You can see the screws in question on frog pic above

No 5 to No 8 sizes have squared edge on front of raised receiver for tote

Notice square receiver front under handle (tote)
This is a No 8 Type 2

Tip of Y lever that engage the slot in cap iron is rounded and appears hand filed

Frog receiver is shaped like the letter I

Fillet cast on each side of high cross rib in front of mouth

TYPE 2 Stanley 1869-1872

All features of Type 1 except;

Early models of this type do not have Bailey's name on adj. nut

Most models of this type have Bailey's name on adj. nut

Spring under lever cap is now rectangular

No 4 Type 2
Pics from Ebay

No 8 Type 2, notice the bead detail on the front knob
Pics from Ebay

TYPE 3 Stanley 1872-1873
Major changes

All features of Type 2 except;

New trademark on irons

Pic from Bob Kaune

Center of the rounded sides is now further back

Special frog piece attached to a vertical rib
Probably designed by Bailey because it is similar to his "Victor' planes in Hartford.
A total redesign of the frog, where it became smaller and is held to the bottom casting by a vertical rib between the sides of the casting.

This feature has been observed on sizes from No 3 to No 8 only.
All frog pieces are of the No 3 sizes. This was probably an attempt to make interchangeable parts for most of the bench planes, instead of having a frog sizes to each size of bench planes. A lot of these planes are broken at the vertical rib so it was a weak design and it was soon abandoned.

Whether or not this was an experimental short run production has not been determined., however, enough specimens are known to warrant listing in this study.

This series of pics from Ebay.
Victor variant??

Adj. nut is now recessed. Bailey's patent date are stamped inside

Pic from Ebay

Lever cap now has a recessed back

Old style, solid in the back, on left
New style recessed in back, on right
Pic from Ebay

Fillet eliminated at base of cross rib in front of mouth, rib is now lower

Change in handle design

TYPE 4 Stanley 1874-1884
Major changes

All features of Type 3 except;

They are now equipped with the standard full frog as in type 2

Pic from Ebay

tip of Y lever is no longer rounded

Frog receiver is enlarged but still low and milled low. The number 73 is often cast in bed behind frog receiver is apparently just a foundry's casting code, because No 2 planes of same vintage have the number 71 cast there.

Still No Model's Nos
Pic from NH Plane parts

Flat head cap screw now used to hold the frog. They used to have a domed head, now flat.

Flat top frog screws make their debut
Pic from Ebay

No 5 thru No 8 have rounded edge in front of raised receiver for tote

No 5 Type 5
Notice the round end on the tote receiver in front
Pic from Ebay

TYPE 5 Stanley 1885-1888
Major changes

All features of Type 4 except;

New trademark on irons in later specimen of this type

Pic from Bob Kaune

Model's Nos now cast on toe in front of knob. No 2 thru 8

Notice close spacing

No 5 thru 8 had Model Nos in front also
Pics from Ebay

Top corners frog are no longer rounded, the whole top is rounded

First lateral lever with patent date 2-8-76 and 10-21-84

Type 5 frog
Pic from NH Plane parts

TYPE 6 Stanley 1888-1890

All features of Type 5 except;

New style lateral with circular disk (two pieces construction)
Now with 3 patent dates 2-8-76, 10-21-84 and 7-24-88

Notice Pats Nos and were located
Pic from Ebay

Frog receiver has  now two grooves cast across top in line with frog screws holes

Pic from Ebay

Model Number now cast with larger spacing

Bead eliminated at base of knob. Was there since Type 1

Sides wings noticeably lower

Changes in handle design

  TYPE 6A Stanley 1891-1892

All features of Type 6 except;

New trademark on iron manufactured in 1892. That is the relocation of the hole from the top to the bottom of the slot
 New iron design, where the circular hole is now located toward the cutting edge, instead of the top. Stanley claimed:

"The improved form of this Plane Iron renders it unnecessary to detach the Cap Iron, at any time, as the connecting screw will slide back to the extreme end of the slot in the Plane Iron, without the danger of falling out. The screw may then be tightened, by a turn with thumb and finger; and the Cap iron will serve as a convenient handle, or rest, in whetting or sharpening the cutting edge of the Plane Iron."

There you have it, in all its gory, why the circular hole was re-positioned, after it being at the top of the blade for some 100 years. At least that's how Stanley described the change. However, the patent drawing for the change shows what I believe is the real reason for the change - the circular disk, on the lower end of the lateral adjustment lever, loses its ability to engage the slot provided for it (in the cutter) when the iron is nearly used up. By relocating the circular hole toward the bottom of the cutter, the iron can be used right up to the slot, without sacrificing the advantage gained from the lateral adjustment lever.

"Nib" casting marks on castings;

On bed just behind frog receiver

Underneath frog at front

Underneath lever cap

  TYPE 7 Stanley 1893-1899

All features of Type 6 except;

Bailey's name and patent dates eliminated from adj. nut and cap iron (see Type 1)

Ad. nut in most planes of this type have left hand threads

Notice this is the first time we mentioned the Left hand threads rotation? That because it remained unchanged at being RH Thread since Type 1
What this mean is that "most" of all the brass recessed nuts with no patent dates should be LH Threads

Trademark with Patent date on all irons in planes of this type.

Spacing of number markings (E.G. No 4 to No     4) now one (1) inch

'S' markings on castings. Code letter for Session Foundry, subcontracted by Stanley for their castings. Found on bed, frog and sometimes lever cap, same locations as the raised dot . See Type 6A


Next part The users models, Type 8 to 19

Bob, taking a breather, that post was getting a tad long...


  1. Dang Bob - that's a lot of work putting that together. Great pictures and great information. I'll have to bookmark this and the next post for sure.

  2. Picture 6
    Interesting, with this you can mate the adjustment button with the Y lever to eliminate one source of slack.

  3. Hi Bob,
    wow. This is once again a post with loads of information.
    You have my full admiration. That is a lot of work and I'm always impressed how and were you got all this.