We went to a auction this evening and among other things I won the bid on a
It seems to be in decent shape, except the blade which looks like they tried
to plane nails with it. The base has some rust but not to bad. On the front
of it below the knob it says Bailey # 4. Hoping someone can suggest where to
get a replacement blade and info or a link to a site that would explain what
the different # of planes are used for.
Information on Stanley hand planes can be found at:
The blade may only need to be sharpened. You can try the "Scary Sharp"
If you do need a new blade I suggest getting a Hock blade from Ron Hock:
Ron Hock blades have a loyal following. they also have a few vocal
critics. the main points go like this: his blades are harder and
thicker than the stock blade. this allows them to hold an edge longer
and have less vibration than a stock blade. they also have a sort of
blacksmithish look to them, a bit less polished and and requiring a bit
more time in the initial setup than some other blades on the market.
or so I gather from what I read. I've never used one.
The blades he makes himself are unfinished from heat treat. Since the
buisiness has grown, they contract out many, if not most, of the blade
making to a, I believe, French company. Those are fully surface ground after
heat treat. I have three and all are ground. I get mine at the local
Rockler. All Hock blades they carry are fully ground.
I have two old stanleys that I use, a #5 and a #7. I have the original
blade from the #5, but needed to replace the #7. I replaced it with a Hock.
Gives great results, and I have no regrets about the cost of the
replacement. What is $47 when the blade should last another 50 years like
the one in the #5?
All that being said the blade in the #5 is sound and I have no intention of
I once found a Hock blade on extremely deep discount at Woodcraft
(regularly in the $50 range for $9). Anyhow, thinking it was the right
size for my Miller Falls Jointer (equivalent to a #6) I bought it.
Took it home to find it was too large and was for a #8. What to do -
of course, buy a #8...so I got an 8C on ebay that had a good original
blade. Scary sharpened both the Stanley and the Hock blades, finishing
them both on a 6000 waterstone. The Hock looks and feels more
substantial, but in use I don't see any real difference. Probably
don't have the experience to say which holds its edge better, but no
difference that I can see in chatter.
Now you have to decide whether you want high-carbon or A2. I have an old
high carbon, and it's great, but all the new stuff seems to favor A2.
Fettle that frog and mouth carefully and there won't be a rattle left in the
plane. Start here http://www.amgron.clara.net /
You can go here and get a Hock blade ($31) for your #4 with free
shipping. No affiliation...satisfied customer. I have one in my Stanley
#7 and am very satisfied.
Stanley "Sweetheart" cutters, the ones with the heart-shaped emblem
are prized. They were laminated, the cutters were low-carbon steel
with a thin layer of high carbon steel below the holes. That means
when honing them, most of the metal being removed is the softer
material so they hone faster.
The Hock blades are thicker, which should make them more resistant
to chatter, but a well-tuned older (WWII or earlier) Stanley/Bailley
with a sweetheart blade won't chatter anyhow.
This isn't really answering your question, but here's a couple of links I
found useful when I first started acquiring planes.
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