Rebuilding Old Tools for Profit?
There are a lot of questions on these old tool sub-forum regarding old hand planes, braces and hand tools. Most of the questions are what they are worth, if they are worth keeping and if they can be fixed.
The truth is, just about anything can be fixed, or improved, and some of these old tools have some deep sentimental value. How many times have you heard the statement..."this used to be my Grandfather's old plane..."
I had this idea a long time ago,and even presented it to Tom Nielsen and Joe Butler when I worked at Lie Nielsen. I wrote up a pretty lengthy proposal on having them start a division of Lie Nilsen where they took in old planes and rebuilt them.I thought with their reputation for quality, people would be more apt to send them an old plane and not worry about it being destroyed by an overzealous machinist. They were not interested in doing that for various reasons, and I understand, but I wonder...
Should I get into this?
I am not trying to advertise here, but I like making tools (do it all the time at work), and I love old tools. I have no intentions of quitting my job, or making a million dollars a year fixing old tools, but it would be cool to help old tools stay in peoples' toolboxes and keep "grand dad's handplane in use." I just don't know what the demand would be, or if people were willing to put good money into an old tool? There is a surprising amount of time that goes into fixing these old tools, and time is always money.
The one bad habit I picked up at my current job is building tools and boat parts that are perfect, done right the first time,and will last for generations...but also take a long time to make. Even with detailed billing, I think you would get a lot of shock at how much time rebuilding takes...at least to do it right.
What do you guys think...is it worth looking into?
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"