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!