Well, I’ve been searching and looking high and low. Mainly for chisels and handplanes. I was looking for decent everyday tools, not collectibles. I didn’t want to spend a lot money since that would take away from the money I need for wood.
I started my search on ebay, progressed to various forum site member ads, watched craiglist, checked auction sites, newspaper classifieds. Then I began looking for new items in catalogs/websites/stores.
The prices I found for old tools were not that good. Old beater’s with rust and knicks were about the price of cheaply made stuff from harbour freight. Prices for decent old tools were more than the price of semi-decent new tools from the big boxes. Prices for good old tools were about as high as those for new tools.
This is why hand tool cabinetry is dying. It seems to cost more to setup for hand tool woodworking than it does to simply buy a power tool wood shop.
So the talk about the delight of doing mortise and tenon joinery, or hand dove tailing? It’s all hot air to me.
I can make dovetails faster and easier with a jig and router, I can make mortise and tenon with a router.
Why did I want hand tools? Just to be able to woodwork longer hours.
/begin rant mode
There are too many people collecting hand tools. KNOCK IT OFF! You are creating artificially high market prices, by inflating the value of tools, just in the exact same manner that oil speculators have driven the price of crude oil to $110 per barrel. Now stop it. If you aren’t going to use it, don’t buy it.
/end rant mode
Whew. It was a short night and I’m tired. Sorry.
-- Made lots of sawdust and pounded some nails. Haven't finished anything, though.