Again I am plagued with long work days. I’m on a dinner break with one more work meeting tonight. Given this, I thought I would continue the discussion from yesterday. I’m really longing for some shop time. There are a number of factors that you should consider before you decide to purchase an old plane and once you have purchased it if you should restore it.
Old hand planes can be found be found in a wide variety of places including garage sales, flea markets, antique stores, ebay, craigslist, etc. One of the things that greatly affects the plane’s value (monitary and usefulness) is it’s condition. Before you put any money towards an old plane you should consider the following:
- Flatness of the sole
- Presence of any cracked parts
- Condition of the plane’s mouth
- Amount of blade that remains
- Pitting from rust
- Are the parts original to the plane
- Condition of any handles
Before I buy I normally ask the price prior to inspecting the plane. Once I understand the price I carefully inspect the plane considering the factors above. I find that if you spend a lot of effort inspecting the plane before asking the price, the price may be higher.
I evaluate if it is better than a compariable plane I may already own. Also, if the plane is very low in cost, I consider the parts value of the plane. For example, does it have a good rosewood tote and nob? Those can be quite expensive to replace. What about the blade/chipbreaker? etc.
As Paul pointed out in my last post another factor you should consider is the value of the plane to collectors. I only recommend restoration of hand planes if you know that they are commonly available. Restoring a rare plane can greatly decrease it’s value to a collectior. Always check the value of the plane using ebay and prices guides as a guide. If your unsure hold off until you can validate the value of the plane.
Well, I’m out of time for tonight. Time to talk to some people in Asia about learning management systems…
-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov