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Thread: puzzled about planes

  1. #1
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    puzzled about planes

    I almost posted this question in Mike's thread about him buying his first plane but it would have hijacked the thread.
    There is almost constant talk about old planes here. Much of it concerns finding them. To me, this is puzzling. Wifey and I spend some time prowling antique shops and flea markets. It is common to find, in any shop, dozens, or scores of old planes. When I look at them, about 90% are Stanley's. I already have too many collections, hobbies, avocations, etc. But, the plane thing is starting to catch my attention. I am wondering if buying at these shops and reselling on eBay might be a profitable venture since folks in other parts of the country seem to have trouble finding them. What say the jury?

  2. #2
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    I guess the answer is "Maybe..."

    First, look at your local prices, then go to Ebay and check out completed auctions and see if there's enough differential to make it worthwhile for you. Don't forget to include the Ebay seller's premium in the cost.

    If Ebay prices are, say, 20% higher than your local prices then it just might be worth your while.

    Were it me, I'd stay away fro #4's and #5's unless they're either pristine examples, or Bedrocks. They're just too common otherwise.

    I'd concentrate on #'s 2, 3, 5, & 8 - the less commonly found and better price bringers - along with stuff like #10_ 79, 98/99, and most of the molding planes or sash planes.

    Also, make sure that what you buy hasn't been altered, or heavily monogrammed with a previous owners name, etc. Such alterations/desecrations tend to lower, not raise, values.

    If you can lay hands on a Walters Guide (they're becoming rare and pricey in their own right) you could use it as a rough guide to pricing and rarity. I don't pay a lot of attention to Walter's pricing - mainly because it's at least ten years old - but his prices do give some indication as to rarity/desirability.

    Patric Leach's "Stanley Blood & Gore" website is also a valuable tool for identification, and to a lesser extent, valuation. You might also subscribe to patrick's monthly mailing list. That'll get you some good pictures of what you're looking for, as well as an idea of what prices might (somewhat) realistically be (Patrick's prices tend to be a bit high, but his merchandise is absolutely as he describes it).

    Good luck, but be prepared for some potential let-downs from the Ebay crowd, too.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Jim. I do see tons of 4s & 5s. I'll make a list and be very picky about condition, price, etc. If it can't be bought cheap, it won't be bought. Are planes really scarce in other parts of the country? My impression is that there are millions of them out there.

  4. #4
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    Jim's right. The common planes don't bring that much but the rare ones are expensive. If you find a #4 1/2, type 11, corrugated, in "correct" condition, buy it and give me a call. I've been looking for one for a long time. The easiest way to identify it is that it will have three patent dates and the V logo on the blade.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    Frank, I expect you will see what I see. Overpriced and/or junk. Old tools are rare around here. Except for some hand planes in the Antique stores and old brace and bits (usually worn out). I have bought a couple of things from these places but typically they are overpriced and when they are not they are not something desirable.

    There is one place that has some nice looking wooden jointers. I would like to have one of his but not at $100+. They go on EBay for MUCH less. But I don't want to buy one without seeing it.

    Up in the New England states I get the impressions tools are quite common. Just have to know where to look. Here and I assume there our ancestors for the most part were dirt farmers and didn't have a lot of tools.

    Hope you prove me wrong! But I will be surprised if you find more than an occasional bargain.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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  6. #6
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    Frank, when I was in Branson two years ago I hit quite a few antique stores. I bought 4 planes for less than $80 from three different stores. I considered these prices very reasonable. In fact, they were at least half what they go for in the same venues up here. I was very surprised by that. So you may well find some really good deals there and be able to make a little profit while you're at it. I know I'll be looking for more when I go back in a year or two.
    Billy B.

    "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Burt View Post
    Frank, when I was in Branson two years ago I hit quite a few antique stores. I bought 4 planes for less than $80 from three different stores. I considered these prices very reasonable. In fact, they were at least half what they go for in the same venues up here. I was very surprised by that. So you may well find some really good deals there and be able to make a little profit while you're at it. I know I'll be looking for more when I go back in a year or two.
    Reminder: You almost have to go through Mountain Home to get to Branson.
    BTW, antique shop prices in Branson are higher than outlying areas. Pure touristee trappee town.

  8. #8
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    Frank, I was going to chime in and say that old hand tools are hard to find in my area and then I saw this ad on CL.

    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/tls/628685142.html

    I don't have much interest...I like power...but my dad has a good collection that were my grandpa's...along with the tool case he made for them. If I inherit them, they will be on a wall for display.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  9. #9
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    I know of at least one fella in Arkansas, Conway if I recollect correctly, who obviously has some inroads into some old tool stashes at decent prices to him. He sells quite a few planes and some other old tools over at Woodnet. I don't know if he has to travel a wide area to find the stuff or what. The semi rare stuff, the fractional size bench planes likely will bring good returns. As well, some of the specialty planes like router planes, rabbet planes and the like if you can get them cheap and they are in good to great shape, stuff lots of folks want to have.

    But, like said above, scope out prices on ebay and such and compare to what you'll have to pay.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Frank, I was going to chime in and say that old hand tools are hard to find in my area and then I saw this ad on CL.

    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/tls/628685142.html

    I don't have much interest...I like power...but my dad has a good collection that were my grandpa's...along with the tool case he made for them. If I inherit them, they will be on a wall for display.
    The old stuff is available. As I said, I see dozens and scores in most antique shops within a couple hundred mile radius of where I live. I don't know if the prices are reasonable or what. But, I'll learn some and keep my eyes open for bargains.
    Some time ago, I started this thread, folks who are looking for certain items can call him: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ead.php?t=6172

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