Using vs collecting tools

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 02-21-2014 09:15 PM 1506 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4718 posts in 3210 days

02-21-2014 09:15 PM

I wonder how many tool collectors actually use their collectable tools. Collecting tools would be the same as collecting antique automobiles or musical instruments. They should be used; not sitting in a museum. The famous Stradivarius violins in the Smithsonian collection are taken out and played on occasion. They are there to be appreciated; not glared at behind glass. Jay Leno drives his antique cars. I hate to see an antique car being taken out of storage, transported in a van, shown and then trailered back to storage without it ever being driven.

32 replies so far

View Texcaster's profile


1274 posts in 1640 days

#1 posted 02-21-2014 10:15 PM

I’m glad we have collectors. Flea markets are sometimes a profitable morning out for me. A tool dealer I know always gives me a good wholesale price for the things I find. My wife has become as good a spotter as I. We look for tools and musical instruments.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4058 days

#2 posted 02-21-2014 10:46 PM

I do like a good antique store find or flea market buy and I use all these tools.

I have tools from my grandfather that I don’t use. Some are displayed in my shop, home office and my office at work. Too many great memories of their use.

-- Nicky

View Texcaster's profile


1274 posts in 1640 days

#3 posted 02-21-2014 11:05 PM

Tools I have but never use, all handmade. The “meat tenderizer” is a blacksmith tool to point mining drill bits.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5095 posts in 1687 days

#4 posted 02-21-2014 11:09 PM

I have some subjectively collector tools, mostly older Milwaukee power tools, with a few hand tools of relative insignificance in the mix. I always make sure everything is ready to work, even if I’m not ready to put it to work. Some times something’s gotten out just to clean it up and/or plug it in and let it run.

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2326 days

#5 posted 02-22-2014 01:07 AM


To a certain extent, I understand your point. In my youth I built fire-breathing muscle-cars which legally didn’t belong on the street. We would laugh at the “trailer queens” that had thousands of $ of performance parts, but which were never really “driven.”

But seriously, do you really expect me to scuff the etch on my dead mint, 1926 Simonds #72?

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2534 days

#6 posted 02-22-2014 01:18 AM

I see the point, but enjoyment is enjoyment. I’ve got collector tools that I don’t use. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them. Most (but not all) are tuned to the point of being used, but some, would just never make the grade.

Some, are valuable enough that I wouldn’t take the extra risk of having something happen to it.

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

View fuigb's profile


475 posts in 2924 days

#7 posted 02-22-2014 02:55 AM

Saw a pic recently of a guy’s plane collection: hundreds of them, restored and beautiful, suspended by loops of string around their front totes. ” A $#@#$//,” I thought. All of that equipment, coveted and horded, while users go wanting. Good Lord guys, use them! They’re built to be used, not stored for a rainy day like gold bullion.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3052 days

#8 posted 02-22-2014 03:06 AM

I have a few of what I consider collectable tools, because I collected them, rebuilt them and use them in
my shop, one is my 1949 Delta Cabinet saw. I do not use it as much as a cabinet shop would, but it is
my main saw, I paid $100 for the saw put a couple of months and few dollars into it and now it works
great. I do not have a budget that would allow me to collect tools, but I can see why people like to
collect them.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2326 days

#9 posted 02-22-2014 03:28 AM


you’re kidding right?
you make it sound as though there are so few planes, that someone’s collection has deprived you of owning one.
Stanley alone made millions of these, not to mention Millers Falls, Sargent, Craftsman, and half a dozen other manufacturers. And they made them for fifty years or so!
I have hundreds of planes, yet I see them every week at estate and garage sales. If you doubt me, go have a look at eBay—I bet a hundred new plane listings show up every month.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2534 days

#10 posted 02-22-2014 12:37 PM

I’m with you Doc. I enjoy collecting as much as using them. If you can’t find a good used plane you’re not looking very hard.

Nice Simonds by the way.

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

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 2643 days

#11 posted 02-22-2014 01:48 PM

ignoring is so hard… Antique Tool and gold collecting ” A $#@#$//” coveting hoarder here,

Hey Doc, I’ve restored numerous hot rods too!
A 66 Chevy SS El Camino, a 70 Chevelle SS 396, a 70 GTO judge and a 89 trans am. Sure wish I still had them! I’ve rebuilt several motorcycles, street and dirt, and modified 3 jeeps and a 74 Blazer. But none of them were daily users. It’s just a fun hobby.

I also collect coins, artwork and pottery. My accountant says it’s 10% of my portfolio so I’m doing good.

Point is, The best part of collecting or rebuilding something like a plane or a car is you learn all about their history. The time spent researching and then rebuilding something properly is very rewarding….. better than sitting in a bar anyway.

Many of my planes have been rescued from a bad ending and are now refurbished and ready for use.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15281 posts in 2585 days

#12 posted 02-22-2014 02:19 PM

I’m thinking you buy ‘dead mint,’ like that Simonds saw (BTW it’s beautiful, Doc) and you don’t use it because you never intended to. The key is in the OP: Collectable Tools. Everything is collectable, including used toothpicks, but on the other hand there are tools like the Studley chest that simply shouldn’t be used up.

As far as the fuigb post, something frightening about that. Folks shouldn’t be hating on someone who’s searched, refurbed and otherwise done all the work when others haven’t. There really are plenty of them out there, so users without need to get off their *#!>#) and get them.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View summerfi's profile


3882 posts in 1654 days

#13 posted 02-22-2014 04:10 PM

To those who believe ALL tools should be used and should NEVER be collected, when you go in for your next checkup I hope you enjoy having the doc use this baby on you. After all, it doesn’t belong on a shelf collecting dust where no one can get the benefit of it.

BTW, that’s a skull saw (not to be confused with a skil saw). ;-)

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2326 days

#14 posted 02-22-2014 04:12 PM

Don, Mark, Smitty:

Thanks for the kind words re the Simonds.

Mark – I don’t regret having any of my street muscle anymore – the world’s changed (for the worse) and it just wouldn’t be the same.
By the way – awesome chest—tell us the story or at least more pictures.

View Mosquito's profile


9280 posts in 2259 days

#15 posted 02-22-2014 04:15 PM

And another point, we wouldn’t have museums of any sort, if everything always got used ;-)

Fact of the matter is, people will do what people want to do. If I want to collect for the sake of displaying, why not. I’ve got very few planes that are for display purposes, as I do put almost all of them to use (a plane handed down to me from my grandfather, from his father is an exception)

Doc, that’s a pretty sweet saw. (The simonds and skull saw)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

showing 1 through 15 of 32 replies

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