Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rust Hunting in Tennessee July 2010

I had the occasion to visit my hometown of Clarksville, TN for my 30th High School Reunion (Northwest High School Vikings 1980). While there for the weekend I visited a few antique stores and the local flea market. At the flea market I found this over-sized Heller rasp which appears to be unused. Most files and rasps now on the market are now made out of the US - you'll need to either find some old-store stock (I occasionally still see some Nicholsons on hardware store shelves) or spend the money on an Auriou (look at Tools for Working Wood as a source for these - excellent but a bit pricey). I was quite excited at finding this unused Heller - at $7 it was quite the bargain. When I paid for it the guy asked if I had horses - seems these flat rasps are used to shape down the hoof or some such.

I next found this really huge and awesome rosewood-handled Try Square - it's the largest I've ever found "in the wild" and only needs a light cleaning (the images make it look worse than it really is).

Tool Group

I then found the rest at  a local antique store, at very good prices. The Disston backsaw has two medallions but otherwise is in good shape with sharp teeth. The Millers Falls plan is the equivalent of a Stanley #4 with rosewood tote/knob and red painted frog. Finally the brace is a Stanley 10" also with rosewood handles.

Disston Backsaw

Millers Falls Plane

This final image is of my Try Square collection - many are Stanley, the others are unmarked.

Try Square Collection
-- John

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rust Hunting in Georgia - July Estate Sale

Like any old tool nut, I like to visit estate sales that show images of interesting tools. In this case it was a well-advertised sale up in Cuming Georgia - the images showed several pieces of equipment and many hand power tools so I thought I would give it a go. When I got there the prices were fairly high - there were several larger pieces of equipment and each was listed at $800 or more - included from memory were: Delta 14" floor standing drill press, early Delta scroll saw (with retirement lamp), late 40's Unisaw, very early four-footer Delta Heavy Duty Shaper, early Delta 14" Band Saw (with retirement lamp), Delta 6" Jointer and a nice early Delta Lathe. There were parts and attachments hanging everywhere, most weren't with the tools they belonged to. There were also many hand tools piled on tables, a fairy decent saw till full of hand saws (no super early - more like post 1900), old routers, hand drills, etc and piles of veneer, scraps and hardware. It turned out the guy used to restore antiques, so everything he had was geared toward that task.

As I moved around I slowly accumulated a pile - the problem was that everything was priced fairly high and I'm basically a cheap bastard (or bottom feeder if you will). I already have so many tools it's hard to justify buying unless the price is fair to super cheap. Anyway, this is what I ended up with:

1. Rosewood, brass bound level priced at $30 - this is the nicest level I've ever run across "in the wild" and the price seemed very fair - obviously used but not abused. Marked Stratton Brothers, Greenfield Mass dated late 1800s.

2. Two rosewood handled gouges.

3. Two Split-nut Tenon Saws (one at about 15 tpi, the other around 12) at $15 each marked Sheffeld England

4. Large Starrett compass - got this as it was well made and one of the largest I've ever seen - got home and then noticed the manufacturer.

5. Two 14" Delta Drill Press spindles (mortise and shaper).

6. Extra Long Delta Lathe Rest (this was $10!)

7. Delta Motor condom (never know when you might need one!)

8. Stanley aluminum bodied min-router

9. Jacobs chuck key

10. Wire and thickness gauge

11. Small bag of ebony and rosewood scraps

12. Small pile of teak (looks to have been salvaged from a bench or something but already cleaned up/planed to 1/2" or so)

Like I said, I got the stuff relatively cheap but not totally bottom-feeder priced - the pile was $130. The most interesting thing in my opinion was the level, but the extra long tool rest isn't something you come across every day.