The Ultimate Tool Collection

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Blog entry by Quebecnewf posted 03-07-2009 01:43 PM 2201 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In a village near where I live resides what I believe could be considered the greatest collection of tools ever amassed by one person in a lifetime.

This tool collection consists of both old and new hand tools as well as a complete collection of all the power tools one could find in any shop.

This guy started collecting tools at the age of 13 and continued throughout his life. He made a good living as a helicopter pilot and spent all he made collecting. He died at an early age from cancer sadly the same year he was due to retire from work.

He had no living relatives and left the tool collection and everthing else he owned to a friend of his in the village.

I had a tour of his shop with him before he got sick and was blown away then. Since then I have had the pleasure of spending a few hours on two occasions looking through the shop.

I have seen a lot of nice shop pics over the years and I have no doubt some people have large tool collections but this collection just blows the mind.

I came back from my latest visit and got out the Lee Valley cat. After going from cover to cover I could not find one page with a tool that is not in the collection and on some pages he has every item on the page.

If one were a full time money making woodworker you would not use one tenth of the tools in this shop.

Words cannot do this collection justice and the sad part is that the person who owns it now ( a good friend of mine) is not a woodworker.

I would estimate the entire collection given the number of old and antique tools included in it at a street value of 150,000.00


10 comments so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3887 days

#1 posted 03-07-2009 03:23 PM

any pictures?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View buffalosean's profile


174 posts in 3380 days

#2 posted 03-07-2009 03:45 PM

will your friend let you use the tools? it seams a waste for nice tools to sit around and not be used

-- There are many ways to skin a cat...... but, the butter knife is not recommended

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3705 days

#3 posted 03-07-2009 06:34 PM

Ok, you just can’t tease us like that, and not take pictures. You are hereby instructed to return at earliest convenience and take no fewer than six (6) pictures of the shop, containing every possible angle and tool within said pictures.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View Quebecnewf's profile


100 posts in 3871 days

#4 posted 03-07-2009 06:53 PM

No I have no pics. The shop itself is not large but the amount of tools in that space is staggering. He also collected magazines. He has for instance the complete Fine Woodworking from #1 up to the present. I saw some of these Stanley elaborate planes complete in the original box.
He has 3 lathes and the array of turning chisels some of these are hand made in England. There is a 4×8 section of one wall that is hung with every micrometer, caliper ruler and gauge known to man. He has a collection of wood from all over the world. This is stored in a seperate building. One of the supporting posts in the shop is hung with hammers maybe 50 or more and no 2 the same.

He collected all types of tools from woodworking to carpentry to boat building. There are for instance 2 large handled adz hanging from the ceiling. The collection of axes is impressive to say the least.

I would say the router bit collection would fill a 5 gal pail and we all know what they cost. He has a 5 hp shaper and the tooling for that fillls another cabinet. 3 bandsaws an 8” General Jointer 7 routers. The woodworking clamps would fill a pickup half full. He collected sometimes 2 of things. For instance there are 2 wormdrive skill saws one by Milwalkee and one by Skil Saw. It goes without saying he also has 2 regular skil saws also.

There is a collection of minature electric tools. I have never seen any like it. They are old models and maybe 1/4 the size of regular tools.

Those little finger planes that one uses to make music instruments. He has a drawer full of all different types.

I can assure that any woodworker that saw this collection would walk away with his her mouth open in disbelief


View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4093 days

#5 posted 03-07-2009 07:32 PM

Did the pilot do any woodworking himself or did he just collect the tools? Was it his plan to start building projects upon retirement?

It might make an interesting story for a magazine. FWW, Popular Woodworking, or the like.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4240 days

#6 posted 03-07-2009 08:25 PM

What are the friends plans for the tools? Is he to going to just keep them, or will he sell them eventually?

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3907 days

#7 posted 03-07-2009 11:27 PM

Some pics would be interesting. Curious though, why someone would collect so many nice tools and never use them!?

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Quebecnewf's profile


100 posts in 3871 days

#8 posted 03-07-2009 11:49 PM

He did some woodworking but not a great lot. His main interest was turning. I remember he would come to our small store sometimes. I don’t ever remember him leaving without buying a tool maybe a saw blade or somesuch thing.
My friend cannot bear to see the collection broken but he also like me would like to see the tools used. I do believe there is a good human interest story in that collection for one of the wood mags.

I will in the future try to get some pics. Pics of course will not do the collection justice as so much of it is stored in hundreds of homebuilt drawers.


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18265 posts in 3669 days

#9 posted 03-08-2009 01:38 AM

There’s a moral here:-)) Don’t wait to retire to do things!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3238 posts in 3706 days

#10 posted 03-09-2009 07:24 AM


I wonder if this guy (look under Collectable Tools, March 20, 2009 auction) was related to your friend’s friend? He doesn’t seem to have as much variety in tools as your friend, but he has hundeds of collectible hand tools, most of which are planes. It’s pretty unlikely he used very many of them either.

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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