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Collectibles vs. Users

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Forum topic by handsawgeek posted 08-21-2014 08:06 PM 1050 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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handsawgeek

591 posts in 856 days


08-21-2014 08:06 PM

Last Spring, I picked up this pair of vintage Stanley try squares at a local yard sale.

The larger of the two went straight to the handsawgeek workshop as a user.

The other resides in my ‘collector’ display cabinet.

Only because of the presence of a complete intact sticker on the handle.

These are hard to find in the wild. Usually the stickers are long gone.

A little research on the Wonderful World Wide Web revealed that there is a reasonable difference in value, all because of a silly sticker.

Go figure.

-- Ed


10 replies so far

View willie's profile

willie

533 posts in 1915 days


#1 posted 08-22-2014 02:42 AM

I started buying and using old tools before all these collectors got into it. Amazing how much the prices went up! The bottom fell out lately and a lot of them now have tools that aren’t worth anywhere near what they paid for them. There’s a lot of good tools sitting in “showcases” that should be in tool boxes or on the workbench!!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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handsawgeek

591 posts in 856 days


#2 posted 08-22-2014 01:16 PM

I agree, willie.

I am not a tool collector, though I have a lot of duplicate vintage tools. These are usually purchased with an eye for using them. If I see a group of old hand saws at a yard sale for a buck each, I don’t hesitate to buy them all. As a result I have way more Disston D8s than I can use! But every one of them is in the shop, sharpened and at the ready !

The term ‘collector’ cabinet in my above post is actually a large curio cabinet in my study that houses all of my other collectibles (antiques, rocks & minerals, sea shells, sports memorabilia, souvenirs, etc.) The try square is actually the only vintage tool residing there.

I recall I only paid $1.50 each for these squares at a yard sale. I got them home intending to use both in the shop, until I noticed the decal. Never encountering a decal like this before I did a quick search on the WWW, finding that these squares with even as much as 60% of the decal intact were selling in the $20 range! I figured that, if that’s the case, I should put this one away and not de-value it by wearing off the decal through use. No problem, I’ve got a half dozen other vintage try squares banging around the shop.

-- Ed

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Don W

17958 posts in 2028 days


#3 posted 08-22-2014 01:33 PM

I’m not sure what qualifies one as a tool collector, but I’m pretty sure having a ‘collector’ display cabinet would fit pretty well.

Tool collectors plays a large role in preserving the history of the tools. I seriously doubt there is enough old Stanley squares with full decals that it makes finding a good user at a good price unrealistic. I pass by hundreds of these each year.

I really don’t know why tool collecting has such a bad reputation. Car collecting, coin collecting, art collecting, etc, etc, all these seem to be accepted, but some how tool collecting is frowned upon? I just don’t get it.

I’d keep that full decal in the show case.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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willie

533 posts in 1915 days


#4 posted 08-22-2014 02:09 PM

I’m not against tool collectors at all. There are many tools that deserve to be in a showcase. The problem I have is that there are way too many people out there that think that just because a tool, or anything else old that is collected, is worth a lot of money. I often see common tools that are not collectable being offered for sale at ridiculously high prices because the owner thinks all old tools are worth a lot of money. I have had to pass on buying a lot of tools just because the seller thought he had a rare gem of a tool when all they had were a box of old rusty user tools.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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handsawgeek

591 posts in 856 days


#5 posted 08-22-2014 02:19 PM

You are right on that willie. Just recently, I was browsing through a local antique store when I happened upon a tool box full of old tools. Each was individually priced. I lit up when I saw a Stanley #5 jack. Even though it was rusted and the tote needed work, I thought it would be a good fixer-upper and user. Until I looked at the ask price: $45!! I moved on….

-- Ed

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Don W

17958 posts in 2028 days


#6 posted 08-22-2014 02:20 PM

I agree Willie. I often wonder how some of the dealers survive. I know of a few over priced items that have been sitting on the same shelf, in the same store for years and years. I look for them when I go and just smile. I suppose eventually prices will inflate enough so it will be sold.

The good thing about it is the flip side is also true. Since all planes in my area seem to be worth about $45, no matter what, a real collectable be often be had for the same $45.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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CreekOne

113 posts in 833 days


#7 posted 08-23-2014 01:19 PM

I collect old tools, restore and use them. All I collect are tools that I use, if I buy some collection of tools where I only need one or two, I restore as many of them I can and than send them to friends who I know will use them.

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Klickitat

51 posts in 1331 days


#8 posted 08-23-2014 11:41 PM

I am both a user and a collector. I buy old tools get them set back up and use them. The problem is that I have far more tools than I use, but if I have a need for it, I am always willing to pull it down and put it to wood without a second thought.

View willie's profile

willie

533 posts in 1915 days


#9 posted 08-24-2014 04:01 AM

Old tools are like old cars, you have to take them out and drive them once in a while!!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2795 days


#10 posted 08-24-2014 04:25 PM

I have never been a tool collector and never will be. I think tools should be used, but many of those old tools would wind up being destroyed or burned in the fireplace if collectors didn’t save them for future generations to see and copy. So anything that contributes to an appreciation of our fore-bearer’s skills and the work they did is ok by me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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