Bailey Identification

The following tables provide a summary breakdown of identifying characteristics and markings of the Bodies, Frogs and Receivers, Lateral Adjustment Levers, and Lever Caps on Stanley’s Bailey line of bench planes.  Features are broken down by type.[1]  These tables provide a helpful quick reference guide for identifying type.  Please see the full Type Study and Plane Chart pages for additional information, including dates.

Stanley Bailey Plane – Identifying Characteristics

Bed Markings & Identification
Type 1-3 No Marking
Type 4 Many have a foundry number (“73”, “71”) cast into the bed behind the frog
Type 5-6 The plane model number added; smaller planes at the toe, #5 and up on the heel
Type 7 Numbers spaced further apart, ‘S’ foundry mark stamped behind frog
Type 8 B’ foundry mark behind frog
Type 9 2 patent dates behind frog: MAR-25-02, AUG-19-02, ‘Bailey’ at toe, straight frog rib
Type 10 2 patent dates behind frog, rib at frog seat is now arched
Type 11-12 3 patent dates behind frog; MAR-25-02, AUG-19-02, APR-19-10
Type 13 1 patent date behind frog: APR-19-10
Type 14 1 patent date behind frog. MADE IN U.S.A. cast at toe, raised ring for knob
Type 15 MADE IN U.S.A. behind frog, BAILEY cast behind knob
Type 16 Raised, broad, flat rib cast at toe and heel
Type 17 Heavier, thicker castings
Type 18 Return to normal castings
Type 19 Y shaped frog receiver
Type 20 Blue colored japanning
Frogs & Receivers
Receiver Frog Back Frog Adj Lateral Screws
Type 1-2 “I” Shape Round No None Round
Type 3 Vertical Round No None Round
Type 4 Flat Round No None Flat
Type 5 Flat Arched No 1 Piece Flat
Type 6-8 Flat-2 Grooves Arched No 2 Piece Flat
Type 9 Straight Rib Arched No 2 Piece Flat
Type 10-15 Arched Rib Arched Yes 2 Piece Flat
Type 16-18 Arched Rib Ogee Yes 2 Piece Flat
Type 19-20 “Y” Shape Ogee Yes 2 Piece Flat
Lateral Lever Markings
Type 5 1885-1888 One piece construction w/ 2 patent dates: 2-8-76 & 10-21-84, no Stanley mark
Type 6-7 1888-1899 Two piece with disc and 3 patent dates: 2-8-76, 10-21-84, 7-24-88
Type 8 1899-1902 One patent date: 7-24-88
Type 9+ 1902-1947 No patent dates on adjustment lever
Type 19 1948-1961 Stanley engraved vertically on lever
Lever Caps
Back Hole Logo Finish Cam Edges Notes
Type 1 Solid Keyhole None Nickel 1  3/16 Rounded Banjo Spring
Type 2 Solid Keyhole None Nickel 1  3/16 Rounded
Type 3-11 Hollow Keyhole None Nickel 1  3/16 Rounded
Type 12 Hollow Keyhole None Nickel 1  3/32 Sharper
Type 13-16 Hollow Kidney Notched Nickel 1  3/32 Sharper
Type 17-20 Hollow Kidney Notched None 1  3/32 Sharper


1. Smith, Roger, Patented Transitional & Metallic Planes In America, Vols. I & II, 1992

25 Responses to Bailey Identification

  1. Felix says:

    Hi I have a Stanley Bailey No 3
    Made in USA
    On the black cast there are 2 letters: 4 and U
    I do not have any other numbers on it.


    • Bryant Rice says:

      Not a lot to go on, but assuming it’s actually a Stanley and not a mixed parts plane, it’s a Type 15 or later.


  2. Matt says:

    Could Stanley have made a type 7, 4 1/2 that didn’t have an s stamped in the cast body?


  3. Matt Wallace says:

    Thanks for the reply! Could I send you some photos, in itser for you to tell me what you think?

    Thanks again!



  4. Ed says:

    Have a Stanley Bailey #5 that appears to by a type 14 with a V cast under the tote. Any significance?


    • Bryant Rice says:

      Hi Ed. I’ve seen an A down there under the tote before, but not a V. Either way, it’s a pattern number and pretty much meaningless today.



  5. David Roberts says:

    Was the kidney-hole lever cap introduced with Type 13, or introduced with Type 16? Thanks


  6. Joseph Aiello says:

    I have a brand new – never taken out of box Stanley Bailey 12-017 22 x 2 3/8″ plane in perfect condition. What is it worth to sell and do you have any info on how rare it is or when it was made? Guessing the 80’s..


    • Bryant Rice says:

      Joseph, I don’t have much experience with the modern Stanleys, but can tell you they are not rare and tend to be of less value than the older ones. I would think one new in the box might bring around $50 to $75 on eBay, but that’s just a guesstimate.


  7. Frank says:

    I saw 2 planes today for sell the one a Shelton i bought but the other which looked a number 5 with the most worn out blade i ever saw and it was a S. W. blade however no visual marking . my ? then did Stanley make a plane without identification.i do not understand what is meant by type as i just refer to my planes w/ the no. on them.


  8. Ross says:

    I have a 4 1/2 without a patent date on the frame . Was this common ?ro


  9. Leonid says:

    I have an unidentified #5…1918750 pat on the lever cap,NO date,stanley usa only…the tote and front knob sit on top of a casting…the front of the frog has a U stamped into it on the left hand side..Kidney shaped cap hole..and the screws that secured the knob and tote are NOT BRASS (first time i have seen it)..i dont think it has any finish because it was UNCOMMONLY rusted all over…its going into an electrical;rust removing bath (first time i am doing that)…my wild guess is a #5 type 17 1940s…the missing brass makes me think WAR YEARS….the brass depth adjusting knob also has me baffled (WAR NEED??))…..i need help..its beat to hell so i am derusting cleaning and acquiring an (proper depth adj knob) going to sharpen and p[ut it all back together and see if i have anything good..PLEASE HELP if anybody knows


  10. David Roberts says:

    Hi Leonid and Bryant:

    Just a quick comment regarding Stanley wartime bench planes. I recently acquired a Stanley #5 1/2 Type 17. It has the prototypical construction details of a Stanley wartime plane, although wartime planes can contain a hodge-podge of parts. I was fortunate enough that the plane was in “new old stock” condition, which implies all original parts. Not to many wartime collectors, to my benefit, ha. I appreciate the heft of the wartime planes, and I’m a WWII buff, and a user first, collector second. On the back of the lever cap, bottom middle, between two ribs, the patent number is cast in the configuration shown below:


    A “U” is cast in the top left hand corner and “5” is cast in the top middle, just below the lever cam spring clamp. The lever cap has a kidney-shaped cap hole and the background color in the notched rectangle on front is standard Stanley orange, old but very well preserved. The tote and knob screws are of steel, and the tote toe screw is a Phillip’s head. The ogee-shaped frog has no markings, casting, etc., of any kind, and no hole, tapped or otherwise, for the frog adjusting screw. No frog adjusting screw hole is present in the bottom casting.

    I’m no expert. I can barely spell Stanley. Just wanted to chime in with some additional information regarding Stanley wartime bench planes. Hope this helps with your plane type I.D.

    Merry Holidays!


  11. Scott Keys says:

    Did Stanley make planes for other companies? I have a “Richards-Conover” plane that in most ways appears to be a #7, type 6 – 8. I’ve been unable to figure out if they copied the design, or if Stanley made it for them. Here’s a couple of pics, if that helps:



    • Bryant says:

      Hi Scott. Stanley did make planes for a lot of other companies, but not for Richards-Conover as far as I know. I believe Union made the Rich-Con planes, which is more consistent with the twisted top of the lateral lever on yours.


  12. Vince says:

    Did Stanley make non Bailey no3 type 13 1925-28?

    Background: I’m looking at buying my first set of Hand planes and found this No 3 online, but it doesn’t specify Bailey or not. Also looking at a No 6 wartime plane. Seller wants 130$ (canadian) for both shipped and are in great condition.


    • Bryant says:

      I don’t believe the Four Square or Defiance planes they made were marked Bailey, but am not 100% sure. Nevertheless, $130 Canadian ($104 USD) seems very high for a #3 and #6.


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