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I don't know how many Planes Stanley must have made, but it seems like I am always running across at least one at every garage sale and flea market. Sadly, not all of them have been nicely looked after over the years and between rust, broken and warped bases and broken wooden handles, many are not worth bringing home except as a collectable piece, but their are exceptions. As much as I love Lie-Nielsen planes and their excellent quality, sometimes it's nice to rescue some of these old planes too.
On a recent tool swap meet adventure I found ... in excellent shape ... a Stanley Bailey #3 Plane. It really caught my eye because it is narrower than the other Stanley planes I have and something about it caught my attention. The price was only $20 for this little gem, at that price I figure I could afford to just bring it home and leave it as an ornament in my shop if nothing else.
After disassembling the plane, I could see it really was in pretty good shape. I set the blade, chip breaker and lever cap so I could concentrate on the base. The base of a plane needs to be ...