Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Gettin' Was Good

I know that all of you have been anxiously waiting by your computers to find out what tools I got from my excursion to the Hollis Flea Market on my birthday (cue the crickets), so without further adieu, here is a list of what I picked up.

A healthy days take!

Starting from left to right. The larger handsaw is a Disston D8 in remarkable condition. It has the two handed grip (with the thumb hole) and both horns are intact. The tote is stamped with patent dates, the latest being  Nov 18 1879. This places the saw approximately from the early 1880's as Disston was "fiercely protective" of their patents during this time period. The blade is 26" at the toothline, and is filed to an aggressive 7ppi rip pattern with a skewed back. The etch is still clearly visible and the blade seems to have only minor surface rust (although a good cleaning will tell for sure). There is one tooth broken off about 2/3 of the way towards the tote, but I will probably leave this be as long as it doesn't cause major problems after sharpening. There is a gentle bow to the blade,  which from my understanding is the result of being sharpened on a machine.
Price $25

A close up of Disston's patent wars.

The next saw is another Disston D8. This saw has a 20" skew back blade with a 10ppi crosscut filing. The tote has broken horns, but they have been sanded smooth and refinished. The tote is missing the lowest saw nut, and as a result has a little bit of slop (hopefully a replacement nut will take care of this). Based on the medallion and the etch on the blade I have dated this saw from approximately 1940-1947. There is very little surface rust on the blade, and the teeth are in good shape.
Price $8

Moving along is the small Disston back saw. I have little info on this saw, and it probably wont be usable. It has a 10" blade filed to 14ppi crosscut and a steel back. The handle is a little loose, and the blade has a noticeable kink at the toe. I purchased it because it was cheap and I figured I could use it to practice my saw doctoring skills. As a bonus The Boss said it was "so cute" that we could hang it up for decoration if it was un-salvageable (see True Love).
Price $10

A "Warranted Superior" Medallion Generally means a Lower Quality Saw

The next tool that I found (after many a flea market and antique store search) was a simple 9-1/2 Stanley block plane. For one of the most common planes EVER made, this little guy was surprisingly difficult to find. I search every time I go anywhere, and what I generally find are cheap Stanley knock offs, over rusted pieces of scrap metal, or planes that have been so well loved they aren't square, flat, smooth, usable, or worth a penny. With that being said, I was thrilled to have found this little guy.

A 9-1/2 disassembled. After some love this will be put to hard work.

The iron is in surprisingly good shape, needing only a good honing. The adjustable mouth was seized with rust, but after opening it up it seems a good cleaning and lapping should make it move smoothly. The selling point of this block plane was the condition of its throat. Everything was crisp and strait, just like it was from the factory. The sole of the plane is also in great shape, only having superficial rust.
Price $10

The movable toe should be an easy fix with some cleaning and oiling.

The barrel in the picture is an old nail keg I found at an antique store down the street from the flea market. Not much to say about this, other than I got it as a great replacement for a plastic barrel in my shop. The price was right and it looks much nicer in the corner. I have seen these go for upwards of $70 on ebay.
Price $27


The coup-de-gras of the whole day was hidden under some old paperback books strewn out on a blanket. The dealer didn't even know what it was, and definitely didn't know what it was worth. But as soon as he told me the price I couldn't throw my money at him fast enough. It is a really nice pair of 6" dividers, cast steel, with a friction joint hinge. These are very similar to my favorite set of dividers (what? you don't have favorite dividers?!?!?!) originally shown to us by Joseph Moxon himself. But as apposed to the $125 reproductions made by blacksmith Peter Ross the price was just right.
Price $1

Not quite as handsome as Moxon's, but you can't beat the price.

Overall I am thrilled with my luck for my birthday. Overall I spent $81, but I think I took home way more than $81 worth of tools.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

True Love

So today is my birthday, and I have to say that I have THE BEST wife in the entire world! Instead of trying to arrange some big ostentatious dinner that costs her (and by extension me) hundreds and hundreds of dollars, The Boss knows what truly makes me tick and brought me to the Hollis Flea Market.

This dealer is there almost every week, and he never disappoints!

It just so happened that it was opening day for the 2013 season, and everyone who's anyone knows that this is the best chance to find all of the primo stuff the dealers have been hoarding and collecting all winter long. And boy did they deliver!

By far the biggest trammel point I have ever seen.
The smallest eggbeater drill ever?

There were several dealers that dealt exclusively in antique hand tools, and many more that had a decent selection of tools on top of their normal wares. There was so much good stuff that I actually passed on a couple really good planes and saws, simply because there were even better options available.

A new dealer I had never seen before. He had really unique tools, and yes that is a whole box full of wooden planes.

I will have a follow-up post showing some of the sweet stuff that I got, but to anyone within driving distance I would highly recommend making it out to Hollis sometime (I promise you won't regret it). As a plus it is a good test to tell whether or not you have true love with your significant other; because lets face it, there is no other way to describe the patience someone has when you are geeking out over old, rusty, rotten pieces of iron and wood that most people would throw out with the garbage.

PS Head over to my new page to see some great places to find old tools in the New England area!