Chapter 2: The Mythical Stanley Bailey Corrugated Long Number 2
This is the second in our series on the Stanley Bailey number 2 size planes. Hopefully you found the first presentation informative and will return for future articles on as we try to shed some light on these elusive and often misunderstood smaller versions in the Stanley Bailey line. As we dive deeper into the subject we hope to clear up some of the mysteries associated with them and have a little fun in the process.
As the title suggests, this article is about the extremely rare version of the number 2 plane, the long 2 corrugated version. What? A corrugated version of the long 2? Yes, at least one example does exist. All previous information led most of us collectors to believe that corrugated number 2 size planes were discontinued during Stanley’s World War 2 product line reductions. Sadly, a lot of great tools were dropped from production and presumably the corrugated No 2s were included. Clearly the number of the corrugated versions of the number 2 planes that show up as a whole is limited, They are very scarce but they do occasionally turn up.
Is it real or is it fantasy? We know that in the past and sometimes even today when any commodity has been deemed rare and valuable say a $50 bill, some unscrupulous individual would create their own counterfeit version to sell to unknowing collectors of money, capitalizing on this rarity, (at least in my case) The most notable, as most plane collectors will remember, was the manufacture of the “fake” number 1 size planes. Purely a profit motive in that case, but now those same fakes have become valuable in their own right. Clearly, to manufacture a corrugated version of a standard model plane these days would be relatively easy with available modern technology. However, with careful examination and comparison to a known original, fakes can be identified. It's simple to compare the distance of the corrugations from the mouth and the sole ends from a known authentic model paying close attention to the start and end points as they should be even without variation. Compare the width and depth of the corrugations also. You should easily be able to spot a questionable plane and, unless you are into fakes, buyer beware.
So now that we have talked about some of the history and the possibility of fakes, let’s discuss this previously unknown model of the 2 size. This particular example appears to have been made during the first production period of the long number 2s as was discussed in the first installment. When found in a working shop, it was in well used and extremely dirty condition. It's been examined closely by myself and a few other tool aficionados and the consensus is that it is a real factory made corrugated version of the long 2. This revelation sort of flies in the face of previously accepted convention but as with any speculative “best guess” effort you try your best to get it right and there are clearly limitations in the knowledge base regarding these planes. Stanley was a manufacturer that worked very hard to satisfy customers so it's very possible that certain dealers or individuals could special order a particular special upgrade to their new or existing planes, like corrugations. In the early days planes came with flat bottoms but could be ordered with corrugations at an extra charge. It's certainly possible that the corrugated version was a promotional idea from a customer and Stanley, never wanting miss an “exploitable” moment, obliged. This one came from the southeast United States which has not typically been a hotbed of plane counterfeiters so there just may be other examples out there disguised as common corrugated No 2s waiting to be found. So keep an eye out as you may just unearth a rare collectible. Of course be on the lookout for any corrugated number 2s that were made post WW2. You may just find another mythical plane that was not supposed to exist. Enjoy!
Long Number 2 Features (C. 1952-1955)
8 Inch Body Length From Rear Body Extension To Front Edge
Ridges Cast On Front and Rear Top Edges of Body
No. 2 Cast On Front Edge of Plane
Bailey Cast Behind Front Knob
Made In USA Cast in Front of Tote in Body
Tall Knob with Cup Cast in Body for Knob Base
Raised Base Cast in Body for Tote
New Y Pattern Frog Base in Casting
C and Number Cast Into Body and Frog
Frog Top Edges are Now Ogee Shaped
Base of Frog Has Only Rear Half Machined to Mate with Bod
Lever Caps Are Nickel Plated with Orange Background with "STANLEY" Embossed in Them
Lever Cap Hole is Now Kidney Shaped
Brass Adjuster Nuts Are Large ( 1 1/4 inch, The Same Size as Larger Planes)
Lateral Levers Have Stanley Stamped Vertically in Them
All cutters have angular tops. None have rounded tops
Sculpted Tote Shape Like Earlier Models With Thick Varnish and Flat Sides. (Rosewood)
Machined Top Edge of Body
8 Corrugations on Sole
"Click" to expand photo