LumberJocks

Ponderings #12: Coming to Terms

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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 02-08-2008 04:09 AM 945 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Fortunate for my Wife! Part 12 of Ponderings series Part 13: Who am I? Why am I here? »

Four eBay listings in two days. All have gone right in front of my eyes. Most for just a hair more than I had bid just at that moment. The sad thing is, I was settling for most of these tools. That’s right, they weren’t exactly what I wanted. The handles looked good, the blade looked good, they were pretty rust free…and yet, I didn’t want them.

Why? Well, they were in good shape, that’s why. Earlier today, I said on a forum, “Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust.” Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That’s how I roll! But seriously, the point is, I’ve found that I enjoy getting these old, beat up tools and discovering the greatness. I remember the feeling inside when I found out my Warranted Superior saw was actually a Norvell Shapleigh saw, and was dated from 1902-1911. That, to me, was about as good as it gets. Then, to watch the rust disappear under my careful work is something else to behold.

I started with rehabbing old tools as a means to an end. I needed tools, and here were tools that no one wanted, so I could get them cheap. I just needed to do a little work. Sweat equity is easier for me to part with than cold, hard cash. I didn’t expect the reward of finding another hobby in the process. Make no mistake, fixing up old tools IS a hobby in and of itself. Even after I get enough to do what I want to do woodworking-wise, I still intend to fix up old tools. It’s truly a joy to take a fine tool and breath new life into it.

However, I’m still stuck looking for a vintage dovetail saw that meets my specifications (though Patrick Leach may be able to help me out with that…I should know tomorrow sometime). Even after the dovetail saw, I have a few other saws I’m looking to pick up to complete my set. The problem is, the rust hunting in this neck of the woods is pretty sparse. I hit the flea markets yesterday hoping to find some rusty tools of quality, but the only thing I found was a Millers Falls breast drill that the lady wanted far more for it than I was willing to pay. So far, the antique stores aren’t much better.

Don’t get me wrong, I mostly just venting. eBay has seemed to dry up on the things I’m looking for, but it’ll probably come back around again. Maybe around Christmas time when people are trying to bring in some extra cash. Who knows. However, I refuse to get down about it. There’s zero point to it, and it’ll just make me mad all over again ;)

I’m sure I’ll find what I’m looking for. I got this far thanks to the net, and I’m sure I’ll complete the collection thanks to the net. At times, it almost seems like a higher power is deciding where and what I should buy, and that’s pretty comforting actually. I know I’ll get what I’m meant to have, which bodes well for my woodworking! At worst, I’ll just cough up the money for Mike Wenzloff's fine saws. Oh darn ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!



9 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3282 days


#1 posted 02-08-2008 05:02 AM

Tomcat keep on with your tool quest. If you weren’t successful on some bids I really wouldn’t worry about it too much. I have often wondered what goes through the minds of some of these bidders. I have seen used items go for more than the item is new and then you have to add the cost of shipping. I have bid on and won a few items but have lost many. I refuse to get caught up in auction fever. If I don’t get the item at my price I simply let it go and wait for another one to bid on. Do I have regrets that I didn’t bid higher? The answer is of course, we all do when the bidding is over. I can remember one wood auction for 600 feet of cherry that went for less than a $1.00 per bf and the person selling it was located about 15 miles from me. I lost the bid by $50.00 but I stubborn enough that after I set my high price I simply refused to budge.

Just be patient you will get to where you want to go in time.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Eric's profile

Eric

875 posts in 3243 days


#2 posted 02-08-2008 08:12 AM

I agree, hang in there. Just when you least expect it, there will be an amazing tool zipping through eBay that all the old users and collectors seem to miss because they’re off at some annual tool swap meet or something. Or maybe the seller misspells it in the exact way you do, so only you find it. Ha!

But don’t sell out and try to top the high bid you had already set for yourself.

-- Eric at https://adventuresinwoodworking.wordpress.com/

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3256 days


#3 posted 02-08-2008 12:18 PM

The thing is, I’m not all that upset anymore about it. Now, it’s more of a case of understanding that eBay will not meet my needs at this point. It really hasn’t for a while now. I picked up a couple of hand drills and a Norvell Shapleigh’s plane recently, but those weren’t what I was really wanting…the elusive vintage dovetail saw!

It’s really OK though. I shouldn’t use just one source as my only source. To many cool things will sneak by if I do that, you know?

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3620 days


#4 posted 02-08-2008 12:25 PM

sounds like “the Universe” knew what you wanted and didn’t let you waste your money on something that wasn’t the right fit.

It sounds like you need stuff that people think they should just throw out. Garage sales and flea markets may get you some treasures.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3256 days


#5 posted 02-08-2008 12:33 PM

You’re right Debbie. I need the junk that others think aren’t worth their time. I need stuff that the collectors don’t want, and even a few of the users will pass on! Unfortunately, the flea markets here are a waste of time and gas for old tools. I’m actually planning on heading to one of the larger towns in the state just to hit their flea markets and see what goodies I can find :D

As for garage and yard sales, I don’t know why, but I’ve never seen old hand tools at these things. I have no clue why. I mean, this town has been around for over 150 years. Somewhere, there should be some old tools, you know?

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3620 days


#6 posted 02-08-2008 12:42 PM

that’s interesting.. I frequently find a box of “junk” tools …but maybe they don’t have old junk in them, just junk junk…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3256 days


#7 posted 02-08-2008 12:48 PM

I think it’s just an anomaly of this particular area. There has been this odd idea here that things should be shiny and new. What? You have a historic home in good condition that once housed a detachment of Sherman’s troops during the Civil War? Eh, that’s OK…but what we really need is a new parking lot! <sigh>

I’m left wondering if, especially during the 70’s and 80’s when it was at it’s worst, some folks just tossed their old tools and now have nothing left for me to find. Awfully inconsiderate really. They should have just KNOWN I was going to want that stuff ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3620 days


#8 posted 02-08-2008 01:00 PM

one of my clients was having to go through an aunt’s house after she was put in a nursing home…. she said that the house was FULL of everything that had ever belonged to the aunt, her deceased husband, AND his parents and perhaps grandparents… there was every style of iron ever made; there was at least 6 china cabinets filled to the brim… every drawer, ever nook was filled with something (organized but filled).
I got all excited at the idea of treasure hunting.
She was disgusted.
They had an antique dealer go through and take what he wanted (surface finds) and the family took what they wanted and the rest went to the dump. It was just too much bother to go through everything, she said… and it all went to the dump… cabinets, boxes, drawers full of stuff…....
It makes me cry to think of the loss of all these treasures…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3256 days


#9 posted 02-08-2008 03:49 PM

Debbie,

It makes me want to cry too. However, this conversation has given me an idea for my next blog entry :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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