Bent iron and lever cap that won't clamp, any hope?

A while back I rolled the ebay dice on a set of a #4, #5, and #6 Baileys. The #4 and #5 are in pretty close to working order, the #6 has some issues. It's got a type 11 base with a type 13-15 lever cap that has some issues. It did not take me long to discover that with the cam locked down I could still easily pull the lever cap off with just finger pressure. From there I noticed the iron was bent such that there was a good 1/16th gap with the cap iron at the back. Also some I'm sure well meaning fellow had ground the front edge of the lever cap. However he apparently did not see the need for having his eyes open when he did so judging by the end results. (He also applied the same technique when sharpening all three blades, but that is another story)
I was able to get the iron in the vacinity of straight putting it in the vise and using a length of 2x4 with a slit in the end to bend it, but it still rocks a bit on the frog when mated with the cap iron, and I can see a lot of light between iron and frog if I shine a flashlight through the mouth. The lever cap holds a bit better after this, but I can still pull it back with little effort. I wasn't sure how much the mangled front edge of the lever cap was affecting anything as the bottom of it was still flat, but i straightened it out. This didn't seem to affect the clamping pressure. However in the process I noticed that the lever cap is warped slightly.
I'm not sure exactly why I'm not getting any clamping pressure. I tried putting on the lever cap from the #4 and I was able to get it clamped tight, I had to back out the screw almost a full turn to get it on. It was either bottomed out or in as far as the rust on the screw will let it in with the proper lever cap. I can understand that the iron may still be part of the problem, but it's just too easy to lock the cam down and I don't know why. Is it the warp? Is it because the guy ground down the front edge? I'm not sure how much he took off as I don't have another cap of that size, but it's the same length from the hole to the front edge as the #4/#5's
What should be my first step? The iron has an inch left on it, I would like to save it but I'm not sure how much straighter I can get it. The lever cap isn't original so I don't have a problem ditching it if need be, but its patina does match the rest and I have these both as users and for display. If it can be saved I'd like to save it. At this point I'm just trying to get from falls apart when looked at crosseyed to serviceable, I'm not looking for poetry in motion.
-Leuf
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That's a good way to put it. I just rolled 'em on a #8 jointer that was represented to be "complete and in good working order". When I got it, it was the right age and had all the parts, but "good working order" was a stretch. It had a 1" crack in the base and the plane iron, frog adjustment and tote had all suffered from a big drop on the concrete. This was old damage - no shiny metal or fresh wood showing. I was pissed. So now I'm following the ebay rules - contact the seller and talk it over with them. Nothing short of a full refund will satisfy me. If I don't get cooperation, then I take it up with ebay.
I am hoping the seller thinks highly of his seller's rating. He was proud of the 100%. I'll put a big fat blemish on it, if he doesn't come through. I'm thinking that buying planes from ebay is not such a good idea.
Bob
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wrote:

Ouch. When I was looking I made it a point to ask for one if a picture of the sole with enough detail to see any damage wasn't provided in the listing, or at least to have them look it over and specifically say there weren't any cracks or chips. It's amazing how many planes are listed where the seller doesn't show the bottom, it's like it never occurs to them that it might have something to do with how the plane works. You can generally tell the sellers that know what they are talking about from the ones that don't. It's harder to pick out the frauds, but pictures don't lie. There was a little less in the way of pictures than I would have preferred which was why I considered it a dice roll, but I feel like the seller was honest about the condition as far as they knew. In fact the handles aren't really as bad as he made them out to be, they aren't pretty but they're functional. It would be easy enough to overlook the other issues unless you were really looking at it, but someone who knew what they were talking about should have noticed something was amiss and mentioned it.

I wouldn't let one bad experience sour you on it, especially before the situation has been resolved. I've gotten a total of 4 planes. If all I have to replace is a blade and a lever cap to get them all working then I'm still way ahead of the game. Hopefully your seller will take care of it, let us know what happens.
-Leuf
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You are so right. Actually, the picture on ebay was poor quality. I was so hungry for a #8 that I went for it anyway. The seller responded superbly. It was obvious in my interaction with him that he is not a professional plane seller. He immediately gave me a full refund and told me not to bother returning the plane - just keep it. He believes the damage was shipping damage and has filed a claim with the shipper. He asked me to keep all shipping materials for a while in case the shipper wants to examine them.
Bob
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wrote:

Sounds like time for a new iron, maybe a new cap iron.
Apart from the Sweethearts, Stanley irons are nothing particularly special. A Samurai replacement (best I know) is still affordable and a much better piece of steel. I also like Cliftons for heavier use, but they're thicker and usually need some mouth work.
Clifton make a good cap iron - the two-piece nose.
I've generally had good luck with eBay planes - a few duds, but only really one where I feel it was mis-described. There are always plenty out there - just buy the ones with the good photos where you can actually see the condition. I'll buy a cheap 10 1/4 without seeing it that well, but for a #5 then I can easily wait for a better listing.
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Sat, 23 Oct 2004 10:56:07 +0100, Andy Dingley

I'm dealing mainly with pine and oak for the time being, who knows what lies in the future, but for the time being the stanley blade would be sufficient. Plenty of other things I could spend $30+ on. I think the hock and veritas blades are more in my price range if I do end up replacing it, maybe I can find room on the christmas list. In the meantime I'm going to keep my eye on ebay to see if a suitable lever cap turns up. And here I thought I was done searching on there..
-Leuf
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Leuf, see this seller's stuff, lots cap irons and blades at decent prices and shipping costs. A lot of it is mixed up into the wrong catagories (for a strategy) so you'll need to click through it all to find what you're looking for. eBay seller search: a-20
Alex
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Well I'll be darned, he's got a #6 lever cap of the right vintage mislabeled as a cap iron. I'd have gone right by it, thanks!
-Leuf
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Alex
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Outbid by exactly one cent. That sort of karma makes me stop and think. I went and tried putting a washer on the lever cap screw and that worked. Ugly though. So I took an 1/8th off the screw and all is well now, at least well enough to give it a test run once the blade is sharpened. It's still a little out of whack though, when I start to lock the cam the whole lever cap slides back a bit for some reason which means that the head of the screw is only bearing on the sides of the slot, which probably isn't good for the lever cap.
-Leuf
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I see you didn't get it, very sorry I was hoping you would win. But that kim_517 must have some good intuition to get it by one penny. Keep searching!
Alex
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