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Thread: Starting a hand tool collection with pictures....

  1. #1

    Starting a hand tool collection with pictures....

    Well, I am just starting to put together a group of hand tools for building furniture and/or whatever I have to build so my wife will keep letting me buy tools. I thought I would start a thread to document my trials and tribulations. Also since, going forward, I hope many of you will be helping me decide where and how to spend my money perhaps you will be interested as well. At the very least you can chime in to tell me when I'm being a bone-head.

    So here are the first few things I bought before I signed up here:

    An older Disston saw with a broken horn. I haven't typed it yet, but I believe it is fairly common. I need to really buckle down and figure out that medallion.
    A Stanley bench plane that I also have not dated or typed.
    An egg beater drill and a couple of auger bits - that, at the time, I didn't realize didn't fit the drill.

    I bought this batch of tools because at the time I thought the thing to do was search the countryside for old tools that could be rehabilitated. I found this batch all at the same antique store and paid $40.00 for the lot. I hope practice/learn some restoration techniques on the saw and the plane; I don't know if any of this stuff will end up in my tool chest yet or not.

    This was the first little bit of woodworking stuff I ran across "in the wild" and I probably would have bought it if it looked like it had been fed through a meat grinder just because I was so excited to find something.


    This is a moving fillister plane I found at a different antique store. I paid $20.00 for it before I even knew what it was cuz I thought it was pretty. It is missing a cutter and I think some woodworkers' grand-kids thought it would be a good practice board for Paw-paws bit and brace. I don't know enough to know if this plane can be put back to work or not, but right now my wife is using it for decoration.


    At this point I had decided that paying slightly more for exactly what I wanted might work out better for me than prospecting. This is a 12" Stanley ratcheting brace and a set of 13 Irwin auger bits in the box with the manual. I was excited to get one with the manual so I could read it. I got both of these items on ebay. The brace was $35 all in and the auger bits were $75. I like both of these items and they are going in the tool chest. I think I will get a brace with a smaller radius at some point. Once I got those couple of auger bits I couldn't rest until I scratched this off my list.

    Feel free to tell me if you think I overpaid.


    This is a Rabone 2' four-fold rule that I bought from Mr. Patrick Leach for $61.00 all in. This rule came unused, still with the red band around it. When I tried to remove the band (as I intend to actually use this tool) I found that it had deteriorated with age into a melty-sticky mess and was adhered to the rule with some type of adhesive. I need a little advice as to how to get it cleaned up without damaging it if you don't mind.

    At this point I had been informed that many times it is better to buy items from respected vendors in the community as opposed to purchasing on ebay and that makes some sense to me. I like to know the person I'm dealing with knows what they are talking about and has a reputation for honesty and square-dealing. I don't mind paying a premium to benefit from others' knowledge and experience when appropriate.

    I had just received Mr. Leach's June tool list and I thought this rule was awful pretty, it was on my list, and it happened to fit the money I had in my pocket at the time. I love this rule, but to be honest, from here on out I intend to focus on which tools will get me building (or at least practicing) the quickest. I obviously could have gotten by for a good long while without a wooden rule - especially since I already have several quality tape measures that would do just fine in the interim.

    Next up, planes, saws, chisels - roughly in that order I think.

    Well, that's about it for now. I have a couple more items coming soon, but I will wait to add them until I have them in hand.

    Any and all thoughts, suggestions, comments, insults(I prefer creative insults ) are welcome and desired.

    Oh, and if anyone is curious I've been reading/have read several woodworking books:

    The Anarchist's Toolchest - by Christopher Schwarz - At this time I intend to build one of these chests and fill it with the tools in the book. We will see if I stick to that over the long term. I also got my starter list of reliable tool sources from this book. I really like this book.

    The New Traditional Woodworker - by Jim Tolpin

    The Technique of Furniture Making - by Earnest Joyce; fourth edition - revised by Alan Peters

    The Complete Dovetail - by Ian Kirby

    The Complete Guide to Sharpening - by Leonard Lee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    I should warn you that this is dangerous and addictive behaviour. I started out with one plane, and now I have more than 40. I sorted through the metal planes yesterday, and decided which ones I would certainly use, and which I could sell off, but, I just can't bring myself to part with them.

    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Looks like some pretty cool stuff and a decent buy

    My Dad had a rule like that I have no idea what happened to it but I would love to have one just like it.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    A good low angle block plane will be a good investment .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hand tools 3.jpg  
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Personally I think you scored big on the brace and bits, that looks great!

    Get yourself one of these files to keep the bits sharp and they will last you a lifetime!

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    i will second stu's motion on the brace and bit set,, and that rule is a good score as well!!!
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Independence MO
    YMMV, but what has been my experience, is I have found tools, more complete, for less, at garage sales, then antique stores. When I started gaining interest in planes, I told my mom (garagesaleaholic), and received a call from a sale. They had a Stanley number 5, Sargent #4 and Stanley #7 (I didn't type them) for $25 for the set. I've had less luck on woodworking tools at estate sales, but more luck on automotive tools. (seems friend/woodworkers, know about the estate, before the sale).
    Sorry for your addiction. I've been trying to feed mine, with little to no time in the shop the last couple of years.

  8. #8
    Thanks everybody.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Nashua Iowa
    I think you did real well on the plane and things. Don't get caught up on dating and typing your tools. That leads to collecting ( the dark side) and not using. Build stuff and get it out of the shop and your wife will find more money than you need. Just buying tools to have them leads to a point of contention.

  10. #10
    A couple new additions:

    A Stanley no. 18 sliding bevel ($27.50) and
    a Stanley no.8 jointer plane ($116.00)
    both from ebay

    The no. 8 needs tuned up and sharpened.

    a Stanley no. 4 and no. 5
    both restored, tuned up, sharpened and ready to go
    from a fellow tool junkie

    Oh, and an update... the smoothing plane I got in the lot from the antique store is a .no 3, so if/when I learn to put it in good working order it will not be a duplicate of my shiny new no. 4 as I had previously thought. I wanted to get a "seal of approval" on a couple of these bench planes so I would have a benchmark to measure against.

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