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A Collection of No 2 Bailey Planes
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These were obtained from a fellow who's father had owned them before him. He was looking for a new place for them to be displayed.
These are representations of early 20th Century Bailey bench planes c1910-1918. The frog, lever cap, iron and cap iron are from an original but the bodies are cast brass or so it seems.
The origins of the castings isn't known but likely produced before the 1960s. Both are usable and perform magnificently.
The No 2 has a shadow of a break or crack across the top of the left cheek. Apparently the original had been broken or broken and repaired and the new brass casting reflected the crack.
A nice example of a very little used type 16 ish. It has apparently spent most of its life in the box.
With a little bit of refreshing, it works as well as it looks.
Still works like it was new.
Note the early "H" pattern cast for the frog seat
Slightly different design than on the larger type 1 Bailey planes. No evidence that I've found to suggest why.
All the typical characteristics of a type 1 Bailey plane
Another beautiful example of a Bailey type 2 No 2 that was produced through the collaboration of Leonard Bailey and Stanley R&L.
Bailey held the patents to his planes, obtained earlier, before the merger with Stanley.
The solid cast lever cap and depth adjusting knob are unique to this type plane, though the solid depth knob was used for a number of years after.
Performance second to none, even 175 years old.
1869 Leonard Bailey sold the assets of his company to Stanley, including existing inventory. To integrate the stock of wood bottom planes under the Stanley R&L name, each was stamped on the front with Stanley's "Eagle" trademark as in this case. This is technically a Bailey Boston type 1 but the Stanley stamp makes it a type 2. This practice was discontinued after 1869 when Bailey's inventory was exhausted and Stanley began making them.
The earliest Bailey Boston planes sported the solid cast lever cap and banjo shaped spring
The "football" shape Bailey trademark and the solid brass nut with the Bailey, Woods & Co with Woods name removed, along with the banjo spring lever cap were all characteristics of the type 1 Bailey Boston planes produced by Leonard Bailey prior to the 1869 sale to Stanley.
This is an example of the post manufacture Stanley Rule & Level Eagle trademark stamp that was installed during the transition in 1869. An early owner's name has been applied on the upper left corner, (among other locations) probably to prevent theft or aid in identification.
Type 2 planes were the first production model made by Stanley Rule and Level after purchasing Leonard Bailey's patents
Arguably, one of the most attractive planes ever produced, this early type 2 No 2 has real grace and style
Type 2 planes would be the last to have a solid back lever cap. After Leonard Bailey sold his interests to Stanley, the castings would have a "hollowed out" back which is still used today.
Type 2 planes also had solid cast brass depth adjusting knobs with patent dates stamped into the surface of the casting.
Stanley never produced a type 3 with the "funky" one size fits all frog. Probably a good thing as it might have doomed the size. In about 1878 Stanley did change the frog receiver to the same style as the larger planes, "U" shaped back, straight front. With the exception of the grooves that were later milled into the frog receiver platform the basic functional design didn't change again until the 1950s.
The No. 2 planes changed little in design from the first production over the next decade while the larger sizes were modified regularly.
Early Pre-lateral No 2 size transitional c1882
Stanley R&L patented the lateral lever on October 21, 1884 and added them to their bench planes in 1885 or so. In 1888 Stanley patented the round disk or "wheel" 2 piece adjuster which then replaced this one.
Interestingly, Stanley had patents for a number of lateral adjusters but only two apparently ever made it into production. The others are lost and forgotten.
The Bailey line was and still is considered the benchmark for planes and with performance like this, one can see why.
Type 6 planes were produced around 1888-1892 and had the first round disk lateral adjuster
The "S" cast into the body, frog and lever cap was speculated to designate that the parts were cast at the Sessions foundry in New Britain.
It hasn't been determined what the "B" cast into the body, frog and lever cap stands for but it's most likely an initial of the foundry in which they were made.
While the No 1 and No 2 size planes didn't follow the same production/design changes as the larger planes, they did share some of them. Planes produced from around 1909/10 through the end of WWI around 1918, were considered at the time to be "state of the art". Clearly their performance was not lacking.
Type 12 planes c1919 or 1920-22, the first in the Sweetheart series.
Note the 9 corrugations vs. 8 typical for Bailey No 2 planes.
As was the theory, corrugations were an attempt to reduce friction between the wood surface and the plane bottom. It also made the planes a bit more costly and more desirable as collectors.
Stanley applied a sticker to the totes for a few years in the late 1920s. These are the only planes known to have had this application.
Restored to a usable condition from a rusty old hulk.
Complete restoration project including new japanning
Another type 13/14 No 2 with the trademark Stanley tote sticker c1928-1930
Many of the larger Stanley tools produced during the late 1920s and early 1930s sported the sticker, especially the planes.
The tote sticker seems to have disappeared from Stanley's line of planes in about 1933.
Type 14 No 2s were the first series to sport the "Stanley Orange" background on the lever cap.
The Sweetheart era came to a close in the USA about 1932. The SW logo was phased out but continued to appear on Canadian made planes for several years.
Type 15 planes were the last series of SW era planes, at least in the US. The SW planes are considered by some to be the zenith of Stanley plane production. Arguably,, type 16 planes produced during the Great Depression were probably the best designed planes that Stanley ever produced. Modern copies use the type 16 as a template, a testament to their overall superior performance.
For a short time in the early 1930s Stanley inexplicitly overpainted the black japanning on the frog sides with "Stanley Orange".
Depression era planes are considered as perhaps the high point in Stanley plane production with 70 years of patented design improvements.
Very nice and lightly used corrugated type 16 c1933-41.
A nickel plated frog? If true, very rare and unusual. No evidentiary information on Bailey frogs ever being nickel plated has been located.
Under contract, Stanley produced a number of configured planes for special organizations like prisons and schools. This example, with a hard rubber tote is embossed with "BofE" for Board of Education.
This hard rubber B of E tote was likely produced for a large school district with an active trades training program.
War era planes were less well machined, with single piece steel rods for the stained or painted hardwood tote and knob and unembellished lever cap.
While the length of the plane changed, so did the other less visible casting characteristics. The frog receiver was modified to the same "Y" shape as the larger planes and the "keyhole" lever cap was replaced with the "kidney" shaped style making the No 2 more similar in appearance to its larger siblings. The link will take you to a time-line study of the "long" No. 2 planes.
Type 20 planes marked a significant change in the No 2 design after nearly 80 years. The main casting was lengthened to 8 inches and the plane took on more of the characteristics of the larger line. There were 4 distinct production periods between 1955 when the prototype was developed and 1962 when the the size was discontinued. This example is representative of the 2/3 production period c1956-1959 with traits from both periods.
As production came to a close on the No 2 size Bailey planes and in keeping with the changes in the other sizes Stanley began painting the bodies blue, abandoning the 100 years of black japan varnish and lacquer. Production of the No 2 size would end in 1962 though existing stock would continue to be sold.