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Thread: How can I fix a loose handle on a Bailey #5?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt

    How can I fix a loose handle on a Bailey #5?

    I have a Bailey #5 which has a sweet feel to it and I would like to use it, but the handle keeps coming loose. Took it apart today and found the following:

    The handle is held by two screws, call em front and rear. The front one, closest to the frog is a short screw, but the previous owner - some Ebay lowlife, had wrapped aluminum foil around the screw to try to give it some purchase in the hole, which seems to have decent threads, although with a bit of rust. When I take the foil off, the screw fits very loosely and will not tighten. Do I have the wrong screw here? If so, how would I go about finding the correct screw? The screw is brass, by the way.

    Now to the rear screw. Its composed of a rod threaded on both sides, which screws into a hole in the plane tightly. On the other end of the rod there is a knob that screws onto the rod and has a straight slot for screwing down tightly. There are (suspiciously to my thinking) two washers on the knob end, apparently to raise the handle up to the correct angle. Is this right?

    So, what should I do? Look for a better brass screw and hope that solves everything? Try some loctite? Buy a replacement handle kit?

    I'm interested in restoring the plane, but its just a #5 and not worth a lot of $$ or time.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Nova Scotia's beautiful south shore
    That front screw should be steel, not brass. Stanley is notorious for using odd thread pitches, so it may not be an easy hardware store replacement.

    The washers under the barrel nut are normal. I guess they are more properly called shims as they allow you to tighten the barrel nut and keep it flush (or nearly) to the top of the tote.

    Bending the brass rod can also snug up the tote, but I don't know the procedure for that.
    All the best,
    Ian G

    **Now holding auditions for a catchy new signature**

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Forest Grove, Oregon USA
    The treaded rod, as long as it tightens and like Ian says is about flush with the top, is great.

    Like Ian mentions, Stanley used odd-ball threads on most planes. If you find about the same vintage plane in poor condition you can probably rob its screw. I would simply drill and tap it out for a standard screw.

    Take care, Mike
    Wenzloff & Sons Sawmakers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    The 'front' screw is an odd size. You might be able to get a 6mm X 1 or a 6mm X 0.9 to work. Some of the Stanley threads have close equivalents that are metric. Certainly not historically correct, but they'll (sometimes) work.
    Jim D.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    If the long threaded rod in the rear of the handle is too long, you can grind a bit off the end, and it will tighten up just fine. What was alread said about the front bolt sounds right. Good luck and enjoy. A well fettled No. 5 is a terrrific tool.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt


    Thanks all! Boy did I luck out! Took Jim D's advice and tried a 6mm screw - snug as a bug in a rug. Added another washer/shim for the rear bolt and I am good to go. Not authentic, but I'm lookin for a user anyhow. Whole repair came to less than 50 cents U.S.

    What a great stock of knowledge we have here! Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eastern Iowa
    Looks like you have your problem solved.
    I just wanted to say I come across a lot of planes and I've seen probably just about everything in and under there; in the ones I've...........accumulated. Washers work good and I've even heard of somebody using springs to allow for movement of the wood. I've never had to go to that extreme but I know it's been talked about.
    Sounds like you found a toe screw. If you want an "original", send me your address and I'll mail you one. I'm sure I have more than a couple around.
    Oh, and if you're needing another plane, I can probably supply one of those too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Although the problem is solved, I'll still add a bit for reference. I've replaced totes on several planes, and always seem to need a longer rod. The rod is some weird size like 7/32-20, just a hair too small for 1/4-20. I use a bottoming tap to ream the holes out to take 1/4-20 allthread, nothing to it. I used a brass screw on my #5 too

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