Bailey Type Study

The chart below provides a brief summary of the key distinguishing changes identified in Roger Smith’s widely publicized Type Study of Bailey Iron Bench Planes and my own research over the past several years.   I have edited the study considerably to the key distinguishing points in order to have an at-a-glance table.  I have found that this generally provides enough information to get started when dating bench planes.  For more detailed information on Bed Stamping, Frogs and Receivers, Lateral Adjustment Lever stamping, and Lever Cap design, please check the Bailey Identification page.

Please note that all type studies are approximate as production variations throughout the manufacturing years were quite common.   Also keep in mind that Type Studies are present day references, time-lines that map changes in the design and features of tools manufactured in the past.  Understand that neither Stanley nor any other manufacturer followed type studies.  They didn’t exist at the time.  In fact, it is only in the last 30 years or so that type studies have been assembled through historical research and the physical inspection of hundreds or thousands of tools made over the years.

Bailey Distinguishing Features By Type



Type 1 Cap has banjo-shaped spring, solid nut w/Bailey, Woods & Co. Boston


Type 2 Rect spring, Bailey’s Patent Aug. 31, 1858, Aug. 6, 1867 on nut


Type 3 Recessed nut and lever cap, frog smaller & seat has vertical rib


Type 4 T3 frog abandoned, flat seat, foundry numbers 73, 71


Low Knob

Type 5 1 Piece Lateral Lever with 2 Dates, Hole in Iron Moved to Top


Type 6 2 Piece Lat Lever w/ 3 Dates, Grooved Frog Receiver, Adj Nut LH Threads


Type 7 S Foundry Mark, # Spaced Apart at Toe


Type 8 B Foundry mark, 1 Date (7-24-88) on Lateral Lever


Type 9 Straight Frog Rib – 2 Pat Dates Behind Frog, No Frog Adjustment Screw


Type 10 Arched Frog Rib – 2 Pat Dates – Frog Adjustment Screw, S or T Logo


Type 11 3 Dates Behind Frog, T or V Logo


SW Era

Type 12 3 Dates Behind Frog, High Knob, 1-1/4″ Adj Knob, SW Logo


Type 13 1 Date Behind Frog, Notched Logo on Lever Cap


Type 14 1 Date, Raised Knob Ring, Made in USA behind Knob


Type 15 No Dates, Bailey Behind Knob, Made in USA at Rear


Type 16 Raised Rib Toe/Heel, Kidney Hole in Lever Cap, Ogee Shaped Frog


Type 17 Heavier Casting, Rubber/Steel Knob, Painted Hardwood


Type 18 Diagonal Knurling on Depth Adj Knob, Painted/Varnished Hardwood


Type 19 Y Shaped Receiver,Stanley stamped Vertical on Lateral Lever, Heavy Varnish


Type 20 Blue Japanning


11 Responses to Bailey Type Study

  1. Jim Johnston says:

    I have a rather odd plane I sort of inherited when I bought an old house. Just under 14 inches long and a tad over 2 1/2 inches wide. Cast iron body with no markings other than an underlined 6, the tote sits close to the back and the knob sits around 2 1/2 inches from the front. No other markings on any part of it, except the blade which has a logo that reads “Bailey Tool Co.” on top and “Woonsocket, R” underneath, with what appears to be a halberd between the two. Below this logo is “Pat. Mar. 14 1871.”

    The frog is odd, in that is doesn’t look like any frog I’ve ever seen, has two grooves on its front which fit two nubs in the body. Their is no lateral adjusting lever and the adjusting nut also doesn’t resemble others that I’ve seen. Neither the frog nor the adjusting nut have any markings or information.

    I’ve tried researching this plane, but have gotten nowhere. Can you help me?


  2. Joey says:

    Have Stanley bailey 4 1/2 BAILEY stamped behind knob 4 1/2 in front MADE IN USA towards back 10″ long 2 7/8 wide STANLEY stamped on frog pat no 1918750 on back w a U and a 1 ? Date


  3. Mike says:

    I have a Stanley Bailey 4 1/2. Bailey behind the knob but “Made in England” behind the frog. Raised ring under the knob, black japanning. I haven’t seen any reference to the Made in England behind the frog. Thoughts


    • Bryant says:

      Not uncommon at all. The Made in England planes were produced from the late 1930s on.

      Type 1 1937-1939
      Type 2 WW2, hard rubber adjusting nuts
      Type 3 Postwar – steel bits
      Type 4 Ribs appear on the beds (about 1972)
      Type 5 Beds are marked 12-00X?
      Type 6 1983-present. The G12-00X planes


  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I have a Bailey #4 that I’m very certain is a type14 because it has the “No” and the “4” on either side of the front knob. “Bailey” is cast behind the front knob and “Made in the USA” cast into the toe. As I’m sure you know, this was the only type with this casting. What I find strange is there is no patent date behind the frog. Any explanations?


    • Bryant says:

      The Type Study is just an approximate delineation of features and age. Strictly speaking, yours is more like a Type 15 and falls within the early 1930s time frame.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: