Cheapest plane on the bay......

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Jameshow

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As an experiment I brought the cheapest plane I could find on eBay.


I paid £8.49

What's it like??

Well it's a bailey pattern plane.
It has had little in the way of machining looks like a belt sander perhaps.

Large swirls in the iron and cap iron and frog . Thick paint on the casting. Wooden handles which I wasn't expecting...

Sole was hollow in the middle behind the blade to all the way to the back. Took a great deal of w+d paper to get reasonably flat.

Blade wasn't sharp but sharpened up ok not sure how it will hold an edge.

Cuts ok perhaps not as fine as the faithfull or Stanley planes I gave but cuts ok.

For a scrub plane or site / educational plane it would be fine.

Worth spending more on a faithful record s+j if a daily driver....

Cheers James
 

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G S Haydon

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They can be made to work. It's such a forgiving platform that even a crude Bailey will work.
For the price, you can pick up good a second hand Stanley for between £15 £25 which is a much better option.
 

Jameshow

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I quite agree that a Stanley is a better option and a more satisfying purchase.

I like old planes to the hymns if Wesley of which he wrote 1300+ do we sing all of those no.... The best remain. Same with planes those which have been used sharpened cherished remain. Much like classic cars too I suppose.

I do think the OC standard at Stanley / record in the firat 3/4 of last century would have been A1 .

Cheers James
 

Jameshow

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I'd bet that's a sobo plane... Same as a faithfull spear and Jackson, record (new), draper amongst others. Possibly axi rider..

Cheers James
 

Just4Fun

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I have a couple of Silverline #4s which I bought on Amazon for £10.52 each and I see no significant difference between these and my old Stanley #4. They all sharpen nicely and take a nice shaving. I can't comment on how long they hold an edge as I have not made any attempt to measure that and have noticed no difference. The possible criticisms of the Silverlines (which look like they may be sisters to the plane you bought) are:
  • The sole of 1 of the planes took a bit of flattening. Manageable but took a bit of time. (I didn't flatten the other because I use it as a scrub and it is flat enough for that).

  • Individually the planes are fine but they are not identical. Perhaps this reflects the level of QA. Maybe in other cases the variation might cause a problem, but mine are both fine.

  • The lateral adjuster seems more flimsy than on my Stanleys and my other Bailey-style planes. That is a "feel" issue rather than a performance issue, at least so far. Maybe they will not last but have not failed to date.
 

Oraclebhoy

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What ever you do, when you buy it from eBay, DON’T tell the wife.
I bought a second hand Jack plane and she kicks off as she bought me a no3 Stanley as a valentines present.
Tried to explain that they are for different jobs so I will use both.
I even used the “you have a size 4 knitting needle, you then buy a size 6 knitting needle, they are both the same thing, why do you need more than one? Because they are for different tasks” but at that point for my own physical safety I decided it was time to walk away and play on the PlayStation
 

Just4Fun

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I bought a second hand Jack plane and she kicks off as she bought me a no3 Stanley as a valentines present.
This just doesn't ring true unless you have a very different breed of wife to me. My wife doesn't have a clue what tools I have, would not know what a no3 is, and certainly could not tell one plane from another. Overall I think I have the better end of the bargain because extra tools sneaking in are never noticed but I have to admit a wife who buys tools as valentines presents doesn't sound all bad.
 

Oraclebhoy

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She has this simple view on things, she can have multiple versions of the same thing but I can only have one even if it is actually different.
when it comes to tools, one tool should be used for multiple tasks, if it’s hard then it can be used as a hammer or chisel.
flat head or Philips screws only in her book. No such thing as pozi drive. I won’t let her touch my screwdrivers as she destroyed the one she had.
 

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Phil Pascoe

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My wife thought I was extracting the urine when I first explained that there is a diffence between a Phillips and a Pozidrive and that they come in different sizes. She is good when it comes to my buying tools though, she knows I don't buy them (only) for fun.
 

D_W

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I only saw about 30 seconds of that video, but the maker was fascinated with the quality of the machining on the bottom of the frog. That's a waste of time. How much cast contact does someone think they're really putting a crushing force on with the frog screws? It could be a few nail heads and not have failure issues.

The real issues with most of those planes is that the adjusters are rubbish, and don't match with the cap iron, and the cap irons may not match with either the adjuster or the screw coming up through the plane.

On a perfectly machined frog, there are very few points of true contact. If we think that we have uniform contact on metallic surfaces with a couple of hundred pounds of force at the most, we're in the weeds.

I just tried to set up one of those planes or something similar - marked "buck brothers". It had terminal issues, but none were due to roughness other than the fact that the sole was hollow along the width (but absolutely flat front to back) about 5 thousandths. 5 thousandths is a huge amount. I filed it out and then finish lapped it only to find that the adjuster could not work in any way that the cap could be closer to the mouth than 3/16ths of an inch. The plane is rendered useless then because it cannot control tearout.

The adjuster was very light weight aluminum alloy or something and couldn't move the iron when the lever cap was tight, at least not well, and when the lever cap itself was tight, it was aluminum alloy and could not provide enough tension to the cap iron to keep the iron stable on the frog. All issues totally unrelated to cosmetics.

The cap iron was poorly made at the lip, but easily modified. The only thing useful on the plane was the blade, as any hardened blade can be made useful by accommodating it with sharpening (as in, if it's soft, don't put it in a guide and finish it through 30k shapton - give it a middle stone and buff it so that the weak apex doesn't remain).

In the end, after modifying the cap screw so that I could get the cap forward close enough to control tearout on the "buck brothers" version that looks like this plane, the adjuster was completely out of play and the lever cap was no good.

I that lever cap is heavier cast (even if it's zinc or something) than aluminum and has better stiffness, maybe it will be OK.

Sole has to be flat, everything has to screw tight, iron needs to be sharp and mated to the cap, and the cap has to be able to get to the tip of the iron without being out of the adjuster range - those are the key things for a bailey style plane.

(i've had some old ones that had twist or a lot of wear, too, but the last two new planes I did had more overall flatness issues - both hollow one way or another. bad enough that they wouldn't have worked well as smoothers. The stanley mexico with plastic handles was *miles* ahead of the buck brothers, and is entirely usable once fixed - but could still be a risk. The last late sheffield plastic handle stanley that I got also had a problem with the adjuster (it was 1 1/2 times as thick as the slot in the cap iron and the cap slot had to be filed open just for the iron to be able to get down to the frog. It teetered at least 3/32nds off of the frog as it came from the factory).

I'd rather have a later model vintage plane at cost neutral - I always like to think I can fix anything, but some of these off brand bailey pattern planes have issues that would really require things like making an entire cap iron and completely replacing the lever cap. The stability issue I mentioned above was gone by using a stanley lever cap instead of the aluminum one that came with the plane. If someone tried to file the frog or whatever to fix it, they'd see no improvement.
 
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