The old time woodshop journals #14: Surprising sunday shaves GET SOLD!!!!

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 07-15-2012 09:50 PM 3580 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Country spoon carving Part 14 of The old time woodshop journals series Part 15: Mr. Ludwigs key and the log cabin »

On any given sunday, you just never know what lies in the back of an old van or pick up truck when it comes to digging out old hand tools at a flea market.

I usuallly try to visit my friend Ralph once a month to see what tools he has come across in his picks. Ralph gets around here and there during the weeks….and I am very sure more than a few old New Jersey barns as well as other interesting places are where he acquires things like he was about to showcase for me today.

Yes….. today was nothing short of a very enthusing moment, Ralph said ”Take look at these two I just picked up this morning” I was drooling…just a little…lol. A wonderful 1895 A.J. Wilkinson folding drawknife and a gorgeous 12 inch beech spokeshave. Haaaa I felt like I was in trouble…...I knew I was in trouble…....friends…..I WAS IN TROUBLE…..LMAO!

”I haven’t cleaned them yet but I will have them ready next week” he said. I know these bundled together and in the shape they were in…...which is pretty dam good was going to require some bills.

We finally made a deal…uncleaned and as is….$75 for the pair. I knew for $37.50 each….you might find these on ebay for the same price….maybe…but not likely with shipping etc. and the wood on the spokeshave was all there, the drawknife was sharp and worked…..I went for it and sealed this deal!

After I returned to the shop…..I was really glad I decided to hang in there and haggle a little with him…then I tried the spokeshave…..AHHHHH…....joyous to use this …...worked like it was waiting for hands to make things again! Love the feel and grip…does not compare to the iron shaves for me at all….totally feels right as I rounded some scrap poplar in my vise. The drawknife just the same….great edges on both, but can use some additional sharpening and light tlc, but I was happy these can be users once more.

Take a look at the find!

As me and my Dad were ready to make our exit Ralph said ”I just celebrated a birthday, how old do you think I am?” I was just about to say 65-70?....before the words came out he said ”86!” I said ”No way”. With a kid like grin shaking his right arm in victory he excalimed ”I knew you were gonna say that!”

Ralph is an old pro…..haaaa, he knew taking these two great time pieces out was gonna get me like a cat ready to pounce…lol.

I shook hands wishing him a happy birthday and we walked on…..My dad said “Wow he really does not look it,..... he’s eleven years older than me?”

Amazing times, amazing tools.

I love these pieces…..they have a lot of soul in them. Their scrapes, dents and aged fingerprints stand for something with solidity, struggle, and unleash a worthy reminder not to get above your raising.

That in and of itself is a healthy ego reducer I think.

Well friends…I can’t say I advise any beginners to go out and find these kind of handtools….you really don’t need them for what you can still find for a much cheaper price in other areas. With that said I have totally no regrets I treated myself to these….these are rare and fun finds!

May all of your finds and projects be fun and safe!

More next time, be well!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

7 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19045 posts in 2804 days

#1 posted 07-15-2012 09:56 PM

very nice additions. And I agree, all you youngsters stay away from our stash!!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2645 days

#2 posted 07-15-2012 10:50 PM

Man oh man oh man! Those are NICE and…and….they could not make those like that today. No way!

You got a great deal…not on the tools….on the friendship you have with Ralph!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21961 posts in 3342 days

#3 posted 07-15-2012 11:43 PM

I think you got your money’s worth. Those are nice -especially with the folding handles!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mauricio's profile


7150 posts in 3388 days

#4 posted 07-16-2012 01:39 AM

Sweet tools!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3041 days

#5 posted 07-16-2012 01:43 AM

Relics, I call em

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2461 days

#6 posted 07-16-2012 04:39 PM

How many tools did you have to look at over the years before you knew that these were special – worth a second or third look and a wallet check? I love the idea of vintage tools and reading posts about them always makes me smile and maybe drool a little. But If I went out and bought some things, they would end up being worthy for the scrap heap.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19045 posts in 2804 days

#7 posted 07-16-2012 04:46 PM

I won’t speak for Joe, but I’m pretty sure we’ve all bought tools destine for the scrap heap. Pricing vintage tools is more about how bad YOU want it. If you search hard enough you will almost always find the same thing cheaper some day.

If you know what makes a good tool, you can usually tell if its a good user or not. If you know how to tune and repair tools, you can make almost anything into a user. You’ll never know if you never try.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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