Monday, November 14, 2011

Rust Hunting in Georgia 2011.11.12

Just a few things from a sale I hit on Saturday - this one was well advertised and apparently quite a bit had already been sold by the time I got there. I did miss out on a nice body vixen body file mounted in a tension handle (already have one but you never know). Everything that was left was fairly cheap - actually the stuff I bought was dirt cheap - most of what you see was in the quarter pile.

The larger of these hammers was the most expensive item I bought at $3 - guess no one wanted it. I think it's a useful size - about 2 pounds. The ball pein with a broken handle was a quarter and seems pretty well made - it's marked but hard to read.

I was hoping the micrometer was a Starrett - but no it's a Craftsman and the only one left that wasn't rusty that still worked (I left two others that were basket cases) - for a dollar I couldn't complain. I also got the Craftsman thread chaser for a buck.

I threw in the fret saw which I actually purchased at another sale for $5 - it's not as good as my old Millers Falls but I figured it would work as a backup. The real prize from the sale was this Atlas Steady Rest:

This was in the quarter pile. That's right, I found an Atlas steady rest that fits my 6" Craftsman-branded Atlas metal lathe for a quarter. Never would I have imagined ever, EVER finding such an odd-ball item that I can actually use so cheap. If you look you'll see that one of the "fingers" is missing. I believe I can find a replacement relatively easy (or fab one up if need be). I checked it on my lathe and it fits perfectly.

I asked about the lathe while I was at the sale - the guy said it was long gone and in really rough shape. The buyer claimed everything would need to be rebuilt (going from this part it just looks very dirty). No telling what it went for but I would have liked to seen it. Funny that the buyer missed this part.

Well, that's it for me - fairly slim pickings but I've had so much luck so far this year it's probably time for things to settle down (running out of space!).

-- John

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rust Hunting in Georgia 2011.11.06

I hit the aftermath of a huge tool sale - sounds like the guy just picked up everything he could find and then left it to his widow to deal with (hopefully the same won't happen to me!). In any case, the sale started on Thursday so by the time I hit it Saturday morning, most of the better items were gone. Being the consummate bottom-feeder I still managed to find a few items - I spent a little over $30 for everything (it was discounted being the last day, plus I got some off for buying so much). Many of these items were marked $1 with I think $3 being the top price I paid (less discount).

First up a saw jointer, some new Stihl chainsaw blade files and a holder for same.

Next are some of my favorite "vixen" cut files:

And then some later Buck Chisels (they look crappy but I cleaned one up - stained but not pitted), a tiny press, brick chisel and a tap handle:

Here's a group of handled tools, an awl, dental pic, flat-blades for a brace, Marples driver, putty knife, some sharpening stones and a couple of utility knives (sucker for those - seems you can never find one when you need one):

A whole slew of replacement hammer handles, mostly in hickory or ash:

4 small cross-pein or ball-pein hammers (red-handled one marked Plumb):

A bunch of micro-Pony clamps:

A Starrett Horizontal Gage Holding Rod in box and a Starrett 6" rule with cover (incidentally, someone stole an expensive micrometer from the sale):

Here's a close-up of the saw jointer - marked Disston:

And that tiny press (like to call it an arbor press but I think it's for pressing circuit pins - in any case too "cute" to pass up):

The tap handle is marked "Morse" and "Made in USA"

And here are some detail shots:

Guess that about wraps it up - there were still a lot of tools at the sale - mostly junk or stuff I already had a lot of - One very decent Stanley #12 scraper with rosewood handles for $20 (decent deal) but it was missing the scraper blade.

-- John

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Unisaw - Quick October 2011 Update

This past weekend I finally had a chance to put another coat on the Unisaw case - next up is a bit of wet-sanding then another coat and I'm calling it done.

I've started assembling some of the interior parts - still deciding about the motor - I have new bearings for it but may put everything together and do the motor later. This project has been taking so long that I'm getting to the point where I just want to get if off the floor (it takes up a lot of space and I have to hear someone complain about it every time she walks by).

-- John

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rust Hunting in Georgia - October 8, 2011

Seems it's taking me a bit longer to post than usual. Part of that is due to my finding fewer things, as I don't have the time now that I'm once again working to scout out sails earlier in the week. It's also due to there being less stuff available - in any case the following comprises my finds over the course of two weeks.

This set of old "Monkey Wrenches" was found with the two Bypass Pruners below them. Kind of odd as they aren't really related. I love the wood "perfect" handles on some of the wrenches. The two pruners are very heavy and made of a quality you just don't find in modern yard tools - the top is marked "Pexto" and the bottom just "Italy"

I tried the Pexto pair on a whim and they are much sharper than the old Crapsman set I've owned for 15 years or so - hard to imagine carrying these all day as they have some left to them. I'd imagine a gardener's forearm looking like Popeye's from using these (but then again, those laborers from 75 or more years ago weren't the slackers we seem to be producing these days).

There's one other item that's not related to the rest - the Stanley #67 Spokeshave next to the pruners. I actually bought this from a fellow woodworker on WoodNet - it has the best rosewood handles I think I've ever seen on this particular shave - they're usually beat to death. These are so old they're black, looking more like ebony than rosewood. I don't believe this is a very common shave. It's missing the round sole and there's supposed to be a fence but it's usable as-is. This shave allows you to remove one handle and reposition it perpendicular to the other so you can use it in corners, I guess. An unusual tool.

The other two tools in the photo I picked up at the same sale where I bought the lumber from the previous post - that was on the weekend of 10/8/11. I had known about the collection of tools as I originally purchased a Delta 15" drill press and a Makita 15 3/4" planer there about two years ago. I had left my number and after a couple of unanswered inquiries, pretty much forgot about it until the daughter sent me an email about the middle of last week. These were the items I was interested in - I'm thinking about helping her to sell a few other items (still some equipment including a PC 24" Omnijig). In the photo above are the cutter and cap from a 7" Delta plane - set made in the UK (I saw the plane there - it had a replacement blade and was cast from a Record body so it was much later). I also picked up the metal file handle as I find those particular useful.

The lightweight mallet above I grabbed on a whim - not that I really need it but I liked the feel of it in my hand. The Craftsman drill-vise is in really good condition and was grabbed as it was originally used on the drill press I purchased previously.

The clamps are kind of interesting - well the "Pearlitic" are at least. I can always use these deeper-throated C-clamps.

That small brace bit I actually got for a quarter a a yard sale - the edge has been filed for a fine slot and it seems well made.

I'm a sucker for honing and sharpening materials and these stones seemed worth getting.

Next to the stones are the real find from the sale - the father originally owned a Unisaw and I'm not sure how this was missed - guess the purchaser just didn't know what it was. This is the first mortising jig I've ever seen "in the wild" - it's a bit newer than the one I already own (has one of the "indestructible non-slick grip" totes) so I'll probably use it for trading material or sell it outright. It also has the paperwork which I've never seen.

To the right are a couple of Craftsman branded handscrews - nothing exciting as these have plastic handles, but they do have a decent acme thread instead of that trash used in modern Chinese handscrews.

In this photo is a roofing or lathing hatchet, a wood crate tool and a concrete groover. As some of you suspect, I'm a real sucker for anvils - and couldn't pass up this small benchtop - it's marked but I can't make it out.

The anvil is marked but I can't quite make out the name (Valiant?).

The concrete groover is marked EC Stearns - I've got two vintage edgers so this will be added to those to complete out my masonry kit.

I don't know much about this handsaw other than it's massive, feels great in the hand and seems well made. It's cut at about 6-8 tpi (didn't measure so going by feel) and is very sharp. I think it will clean up great - I don't have it in front of me and the photo of blade lost the etch so I'll edit this when I can take a closer look.

Marked H S B & Co. The handcarved apple handle is in great shape - probably pre-war?

One hidden gem - don't know if you spotted it, is the Stanley $75 Rabbet plane, still in the box. This one is made in the UK.

In all, some pretty good stuff. There are still a few items left at the house I'm thinking about going back for, including a Craftsman quick-release vise.

-- John

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lumber Haul - 2011.10.08

I scored a decent load of mixed lumber this past Saturday. Besides the photos there were enough shorts to pack about half the back of my SUV - I gave those to a neighbor who's doing some interesting sculptural pieces and can use them more than me (plus where to store them?). As with many of you, I "swore off" any new lumber after the last big load (that one filled my trailer about 4 feet high - luckily I managed to give away most to fellow GWA members and only had a handful of boards by the time I got home). The previous big load was free - and basically was going to be burnt as firewood if someone like me didn't come and get it. This load wasn't free but was very cheap and I knew that I could use some of it (particularly the thicker maple, cherry and mahogany).

What was really surprising was that the entire stack was surfaced planed with one dressed edge - basically furniture-grade FAS J2S (jointed, surfaced planed both sides) of very high quality. Everything was planed to 1 3/4" or 1" or 3/4" in thickness. I inventoried the lot and came up with the following dimensions:

Mahogany: 4 boards: 1" x 8 3/4" x 8'; 1" x 9" x 8'; 1"x 7 3/4" x 8'; 1" x 3 3/4" x 8'
Maple: 4 boards: 1 3/4" x 6 1/2" x 7'; 3/4" x 7 3/4" x 10'; 3/4" x 7" x 6'; 3/4" x 5" x 6'
Cherry: 8 boards: 1 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 4'; 1" x 9" x 9'; 1" x 9" x 10''; 1" x 5" x 10'; 1" x 5" x 10'; 1" x 5 1/4" x 7 1/2; 1" x 5" x 6 1/2'; 3/4" x 7 1/4" x 8 1/2'
Red Oak: 8 boards: 1" x 10 1/2" x 10 1/2'; 1" x 6 1/2" x 7 1/2'; 1" x 7 1/2" x 4 1/2'; 3/4" x 5 3/4" x 11'; 3/4" x 6 1/2" x 12'; 3/4" x 6" x 10'; 3/4" x 6" x 6 1/2'; 3/4" x 5" x 7 1/2'

The second pile includes:

Aromatic Cedar: 2 boards both at 3/4" x 4 1/2" x 8'
Poplar: 1 board at 1" x 5 1/2" x 5'
Walnut: 3 boards: 1 3/4" x 7 1/2" x 6'; 3/4" x 4 1/2" x 4'; 3/4" x 5" x 5 1/2'

There was also some misc pieces I didn't bother to measure (you can see some have profiles cut into them). I was very happy to get the mahagony in particular, especially at the 1" thickness with nice clear boards. In all a bunch of lumber that's now sitting on the floor of my shop as I don't have anywhere to store it. I plan to inventory the rest of my stash and perhaps cull some stuff - there's just too much for my small shop. Up next are the tools I also bought at the same sale.

-- John

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rust Hunting in Georgia - September 3, 2011

Just a few images from the weekend before Labor Day. I hit a sale on 9/3 with my friend John - it was well-advertised and the images showed lots of old tools - I was really interested in a right-angled brace in one of the photos. Of course it and anything else of any real value was long gone. The guy told me he had bought out the contents of a retired woodworker and most of the items had just been stored in boxes - he really didn't know much about what he had as the prices were all over the place. The items I purchased are at the top of this photo - the items at the bottom were bought at another sale.

I bought the two Groz shaves as I didn't own either profile - they were fairly inexpensive so I think I can work through the cheap manufacture with a little fettering. I thought the real prizes from that sale were the copper-headed hammer and the strap wrench (it's made so the strap can be replaced with a similar size in a longer length). I spent more for these than I probably should have but some times you go to a sale that has a lot of items and you just feel like you have to buy something (yeah I know) - which is what happened here. I don't remember exactly how much I paid but it was $20-30 - not the bottom-feeding I normally do.

The Hyde nail set you see - I've always wanted to try one. It's spring loaded so you can push finish nails in with your palm. I'm not sure if they're still being made. There were a couple of other similar nail sets or tools that help you hold finish nails but I passed on them - too pricey for what they were in my opinion.

The second sale happened quite by accident - this stuff appeared when I asked "Happen to have any old tools you don't want?" - got the whole box for $7.

The drills aren't much - Dunlap brace and a couple of "Made in Germany" eggbeaters. The rule is Lufkin, the perfect-handled screwdriver has a "6" and an English maker (haven't gotten out my magnifying glass so I'm not sure who). The Handyman blocker was probably never used. The real prize in the pile though is the Stanley 100 - first I've ever seen in the wild. It has a Sweetheart blade - I rather fancy the mini/micro planes - easy to tune and come in real handy in tight spots.

Last week I picked up some interesting garden pruning tools - images up soon!

-- John