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Forum topic by djkest posted 02-21-2010 03:02 AM 2602 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 2442 days

02-21-2010 03:02 AM

Hey guys.
So my great great grandpa (no joke) was a shipbuilder in California in the 19th century. He has a chest of tools that has been passed down from generation to generation. My grandpa and my father haven’t used them very much, and now they are passed down to me. Much of the tools are over 100 years old (I am told).

Anyway, wondering if these items have value. He had about 6 or 7 different planes, of all sizes. Also many chisels and a wooden mallet. I have a picture of some of these tools. Looks like they need to be cleaned up and shown some love. The chisels say “Buck Bros cast steel” and have a buck engraved or stamped on them. The handles are in rough shape, many split from heavy blows (I think my grandpa used metal hammers on them).

Are these worth anything? Should I clean them up, sharpen and use them? Any info would be appreciated.
old tools

I know good chisels are expensive, and cheap chisels aren’t that good.

-- Dan, Colorado

6 replies so far

View KMJohnson's profile


165 posts in 2444 days

#1 posted 02-21-2010 03:05 AM

Nice tools.

-- Let's do it in the wood pile!

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 2705 days

#2 posted 02-21-2010 03:19 AM

The #5 in the middle can be made into a good plane with a proper lever cap. The chisels are the best thing but they’re Buck Brothers chisels and Buck Brothers tended to draw their tools back further than my taste when the tempered them. I do use several Buck Brothers chisels and some day I’ll re-harden them. They’re about the same when it comes to edge holding as the British Marples chisels from the 60’s and 70’s. I’m not sure of the make of the smaller socket chisel that’s at the top in the photo but I’ll bet the steel is good.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 2905 days

#3 posted 02-21-2010 04:45 AM

If you’ve got the time, then yes, I’d go ahead and clean them up. The two No. 5 planes can be made like new with a little money. The hardest thing to find might be the cap irons. And chisels are always nice to have around, and those are nice and long. I won’t lie to you, it will take some time and elbow grease, but in the end I think you’ll be happy.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View djkest's profile


14 posts in 2442 days

#4 posted 02-21-2010 05:29 AM

Thanks guys, this is the kind of information I was looking for. Maybe I’ll try and find a guide on how to refurbish old planes.

-- Dan, Colorado

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 2827 days

#5 posted 02-21-2010 05:40 AM

Check on Ebay for lever caps. There’s always people selling caps for a few dollars and the No.5 is very common. Looks like you also need the blade and chip breaker for the top one. Make sure the sole is perfectly flat on each because if it’s not your just wasting money until you lap it out, which is a tedious job.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View oldwolf's profile


100 posts in 2681 days

#6 posted 02-21-2010 07:55 AM

I would highly recommend “The Handplane Book” by Garrett Hack. Not only a ton of good information but a beautiful book with a ton of pictures.

I’ll put an Amazon link HERE

-- Oldwolf -

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