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Stanley-Bailey No 7: Value?

gpwestmoreland's picture

For Mother's Day, I took my wife and mother-in-law to lunch and then to their favorite place to browse, an antique shop. After about 30 minutes I got bored and was starting to jingle the car keys in my pocket, when my wife asked me if I'd noticed the old planes over in one corner. I had seen a few overpriced junk woodworking tools in the same store a few times before, so I wasn't expecting anything. But among a group of 5 old trashed no-name planes with missing parts, was a Bailey No 7 jointer with corrugated sole, plenty used, finish worn off in front, very slight pitting, no rust, all original parts. The iron was even honed and back polished. The price tag said $50. I bought it for $40.

I bought it to use, not for what it's worth, but I am curious as to what the value would be, and does the corrugated sole make it more sought after. I used it this afternoon, works great, but have never had a corrugated sole plane before and can't tell it makes any difference. I tried E-Bay for comparisons, no luck. I can't remember the address of the other old tool sites. Thanks for any help. GP

Danford_C._Jennings's picture

(post #90607, reply #1 of 4)


Frankly, I feel that $40 for a Stanley #7C is a bit high but, that is my personal opinion. E-bay is not a good measure of value, I think that the prices get inflated through bidding.

The reason that I say that $40 is a bit high for a #7C is that they have a tendency to crack at the mouth because the sole is not as thick is a regular #7. The idea of a corrugated sole was to reduce friction which is really not an issue unless you are edge jointing 2" thick stock. If you are going to put it back in service, I hope you do, make sure that you flatten the sole starting with 100 grit aluminum oxide down to 220 grit on 1/4" glass. This is especially critical with a corrugated plane; if the ridges are slightly off it will result in less than perfect edge joints. FWIW, I purchased a type 9 (ca. 1907) #7 a few years back for $25 at an antique store and after about an hours worth of fetteling it is in "fine" condition. Not too long ago I saw a type 9 #7C for $100 dollars at an antique shop, so, obviously prices vary considerably.

Ultimately, "value" is determined by what ever is paid by the buyer. I, on the other hand, feel that my hand planes are "priceless" as they will not be sold for any amount of money. The important thing is, IMHO, is that you put the #7C to use and that you enjoy using it.


Larry_Williams's picture

(post #90607, reply #2 of 4)


John Walter's book on Stanley tools, the bible among tool collectors, lists the average value of a #7C as between $50 and $150. That's from the 1996 version of his book and most prices have risen slightly. It sounds as if your plane is complete and usable, so I don't think you did too bad at $40.

The real value of any plane, however, is it's value to the owner. If you're going to put it to use, you'd have a difficult time finding as good a plane for less.

Dustin_A_Rosenberg's picture

(post #90607, reply #3 of 4)

Go to patrick Leach's site. I can't remember it off the top of my head, but a search including blood and guts with mention of stanley planes should turn it up. He's got a flow chart on there that will specifically date your plane and give you some info on it. I paid 35 for my #7 on ebay and am pretty pleased. The replacement iron was more expensive than the plane itself.

Jeff_in_WI's picture

(post #90607, reply #4 of 4)

Patrick Leach's website.

IMHO $40. is a good price for a complete, no broken parts, cracked handles, with good iron, Stanley #7. Anyone with a steady source for this type of tool for $20, should go into the antique tool business!