Garage sale tool box find!

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Blog entry by NoLongerHere posted 07-02-2012 12:45 PM 10251 reads 2 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Garage sale tool box find

I was driving through the neighborhood on the way to work when I spotted this large yellow box sticking out from under a folding table at a garage sale. I usually don’t stop at garage sales but….

something about this box made me pull over.

As I was looking at the box, a man in his fifties came over and said, “Go ahead and open it if you like. It belonged to my grandfather.”

It was handmade out of tight grain pine and wrapped with right angle metal edging which was secured with little brass screws every two inches. Inside, it had two long thin pull out drawers on top with interesting brass hardware for locks.

As I opened each drawer, I could tell my heart rate was increasing.
This box was full of woodworking tools and hasn’t been touched in years.

I looked deeper inside and could see a time capsule of tools lightly covered in dust. There were two Bailey jack planes, a Stanley block plane and a No. 43 rabbit plane with the fence still attached.

A small rabbit plane, a disston 10 pt. hand saw, a small 16 pt. hand saw, a brace and set of auger bits, an egg beater style drill brace, a 2 ft. wooden level, plumb bobs, files, a scraper sharpening jig with a file, folding rule,

a scratch awl, a unique yankee screw driver, Stadler mitre and combo squares and straight squares made of rosewood and brass.

Lots of small things too like a cool pocket knife, nail sets and a punch with his intials.

I’ve decided I’m going to clean up the tools and refinish the box and keep it together as a set.

I could tell the owner really didn’t want to sell it.
I think I might bring it back and show it to him when I’m done.

He would like that.

25 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5293 posts in 3575 days

#1 posted 07-02-2012 12:49 PM

Oh my gosh.
You are right, what a time capsule. That is just fantastic.

I never stop at garage sales either. I maybe need to change that.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Bluepine38's profile


3366 posts in 2778 days

#2 posted 07-02-2012 01:06 PM

Beautiful old set of tools with a wonderful box. There are pictures to prove it happened, but how much
did this set cost? If your beautiful lady reads your blog, we can understand if it was too much for the budget,
but we are always going to wonder and wish we had bought it. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 78 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Boatman53's profile


1022 posts in 1890 days

#3 posted 07-02-2012 01:15 PM

I am curious about the drawer catches and would love some more detail when possible. Glad you found it and not some guy that would end up selling the things on some auction site. I too would end up keeping the box intact. Nice find.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View BTimmons's profile


2301 posts in 2178 days

#4 posted 07-02-2012 02:36 PM

Man, what a find. I agree that reconditioning the tools and the box would be a good thing to share with the original owner. That way they’ll at least know that their granddad’s tools are in good hands.

-- Brian Timmons -

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 3027 days

#5 posted 07-02-2012 02:44 PM

Everyone dreams about a find like this one but rarely finds it. Congratulations. It seems to have fallen into good hands. I’ll bet that the seller will be extremely pleased to see it back in prime condition along with the tools.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View spunwood's profile


1198 posts in 2529 days

#6 posted 07-02-2012 03:01 PM

What an awesome find! Congrats, and definitely show the owner.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View shipwright's profile (online now)


7578 posts in 2491 days

#7 posted 07-02-2012 03:04 PM

Congratulations on your good fortune and for your decision to preserve the integrity of this set.

When you go back to show the grandson the restoration, ask if he has any of his grandfather’s work that you could see. By the way he kept his tools I’m guessing he was a fine craftsman.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View a1Jim's profile


115864 posts in 3270 days

#8 posted 07-02-2012 03:31 PM

Wow what a amazing find congrats.

-- Custom furniture

View WoodworkingGeek's profile


181 posts in 2386 days

#9 posted 07-02-2012 04:28 PM

WOW, What a find!! How much did you get it for?

View vernonator's profile


75 posts in 2344 days

#10 posted 07-02-2012 05:57 PM

It always amazes me what people sell – that box is litterly dripping in history, and was most likely hand made by his grandfather. WHY would you sell that at a garage sale? Good find, clean them up and put them to use, its what they deserve.

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 2369 days

#11 posted 07-02-2012 07:47 PM

I forgot to mention the best part. I paid fifty bucks for it.

Something tells me he wanted me to have it.

I also bought a Craftsman scroll saw with a cast iron top for 30.00

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3413 days

#12 posted 07-02-2012 08:06 PM

Wow! There are no accidents. You were meant to have this to preserve family history and woodworking tradition! Thanks for posting.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

189 posts in 1912 days

#13 posted 07-02-2012 09:51 PM

Lucky, LUCKY, LUCKY!!! What a treasure trove. You must share the recondition photos when all is said and done.

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

View NaFianna's profile


511 posts in 2719 days

#14 posted 07-02-2012 10:06 PM

I love the design of this tool box.

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1034 posts in 2867 days

#15 posted 07-02-2012 11:28 PM

Wow, that is awesome. Now I’m sure you’ll stop at more yard sales.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

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