Bailey #7

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Forum topic by MikeinSC posted 03-02-2014 12:36 AM 1312 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 3048 days

03-02-2014 12:36 AM

A while back I got tired of stepping around the 6” Delta jointer that I never used, so I sold it. About the same time, I started wanting to use more hand tools and have been looking for a jointer. Today, I picked up a Bailey #7 that is near perfect. It belonged to the gentlemans grandfather, then his father and was passed to him when he passed away. From what I can gather from reading, is that it was made around 1902. I think it may have been a transitional piece because it has some features from both Types 8 & 9. Paid $45.

So here’s my question about flattening the plane. I’ve read that a jointer this size doesn’t need to be flat and other writings that say it does bit is difficult because of the size.

May I have some opinions and suggestions on the matter?

Thank you.

-- I am what they call a "rookie".

8 replies so far

View lateralus819's profile


2243 posts in 2949 days

#1 posted 03-02-2014 12:40 AM

I’ve never flattened a jointer plane, and have never noticed any issues. I think Chris swarz even says not to worry about it.

Looks like a nice #7 for a great price too, congrats.

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 4863 days

#2 posted 03-02-2014 12:44 AM

I tend to prefer a jointer to be quite flat in the relevant areas, though not as much as a smoother.

How do you know that you have a problem as it is? Of the 4 I have rehabbed, I have only come across one that had any issues that were not cleared up by sanding on some float glass to remove the last of the rust.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1469 posts in 2694 days

#3 posted 03-02-2014 12:45 AM

I spent 3 weeks sanding my #7 Record flat. I should have sent it to a machine shop for grinding.
I put a plate of glass large plate down, started with 80grit self stick roll, kept at it.
Yes it should be near flat. It does not need to be perfect, but the closer it is, the better it will work.
Get rid of the rust first and see what you have.

They are very good a the job… I strop after sharpening and have found that’s the key to pain free work with a handplane.

-- Jeff NJ

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65 posts in 3048 days

#4 posted 03-02-2014 01:36 AM

I haven’t used the plane yet so I’ve got no idea if it’s out of whack or not. I guess what I’m looking for is should it be as flat as my jack plane or not. I don’t have anything long and flat enough to put sandpaper to it just yet. I don’t think my level is better than actually seeing shiny metal appear as it goes across sandpaper.

Thanks for the info. I’ll knock the rust off the sole but am resisting the urge to make the thing super pretty.

-- I am what they call a "rookie".

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 4863 days

#5 posted 03-02-2014 03:42 AM

A jointer should probably be at least as flat as a jack, if you are using the jack-jointer-smoother sequence it is doing more precise work.

I would clean it up and put a sharp blade in it, and see if you can take blade-wide shavings of the thickness you need to do the work, roughly 0.005”. If you can, it is flat enough.

View MikeinSC's profile


65 posts in 3048 days

#6 posted 03-02-2014 03:45 AM

Thank you

-- I am what they call a "rookie".

View mikeevens45's profile


68 posts in 2636 days

#7 posted 03-02-2014 04:35 AM

sandpaper stuck on your table saw bed…that’s how I did mine

-- as technology progresses, wood workers seem to regress...all my power tools and my favorite is a chisel and a hand plane

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4419 days

#8 posted 03-02-2014 07:04 PM

Take a 24” (or longer) straight edge and go diagonal on the sole. That will show you where the sole is flat and where it isn’t. As long as its flat at the first 1” or so of the toe, the areas just in front of and behind the mouth, and the last inch or so, you’re good. If the sole is low in other areas, it will NOT affect performance. If you want to get it dead flat, you can glue some sandpaper down to your table saw or another flat surface and start working it, but that’s going to take forever and its actually pretty easy to take the sole out of square. Your best bet would be to reach out to Table Saw Tom (Tom Bussey) and get a price for him to machine it for you. He does amazing work. His price generally includes flattening the sole, making sure the sides are square to the sole (only important if you’re going to use it for shooting) and he flattens the back of the iron. You got a very good deal on a nice plane, BTW.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

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