Reply by Paul

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Posted on Plane restoration - the right thing to do?

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660 posts in 4058 days

#1 posted 12-05-2007 10:04 PM

My response would be similar to Thos. – a little general knowledge of what’s valuable and what’s not, doesn’t hurt.

There’s a whole lot of collectors out there who see nothing but $$$ sittin’ on their shelf. They’re proud of how valuable their collection is. But there’s another group of collectors out there, too. There are those who see themselves as caretakers of, and preservationists of, our national industrial and trades history. If there’s only three known examples of a plane made by early 18th century plane maker and you find the fourth, I say that plane needs to be in a museum and not used.

Even something later like a fine, unused example of a hard-to-find Stanley plane . . . you find it stashed in your great uncle’s attic – still wrapped in the oiled paper in the Christmas box it was given to him in – why use it? when you could probably trade it with a collector for five or six excellent “user” tools? You’re happy and the collector would be thrilled to preserve a bit of unblemished history (for whatever altruistic or selfish reason – but does it matter?).

If I would ever stumble into a stash of old unused tools in their original boxes, I wouldn’t use them. I would trade them with a collector for $$$ or tools that I could use.

Thos. is right though – a little knowledge is helpful and unless it’s exceptionally rare – if it needs work, it’s a “user” anyway. So use it. Most collectors want original, not restored.

-- Paul, Texas

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