Brown Tool Auction Winnings

Every few months Clarence Blanchard from the Brown Tool Auction holds an antique tool auction in Pennsylvania. Even though some his auctions are within a day’s driving distance for me, I’ve never been to one. It’s just too easy for me to place a bid online and pay a $3.00 absentee bidder fee for every auction I win. Plus at $3.00, it’s a lot cheaper than spending the money on gas and a hotel room.

I never know what or if I win until about a week later when UPS drops of a box at my door. So you can imagine the excitement when I see a big box at my door. Typically the bigger the box, the more tools I have won.

As soon as I open it up I see molding planes neatly bubbled wrapped up. I love molding planes. To me they’re the router bits of hand tool woodworking. With a little bit of work, molding planes tune up nicely and create some of the nicest profiles that you can’t even produce with common router bits.

After unpacking the box, the results were in. Seventeen molding planes and two Stanley bench planes. All of the planes were in good shape and need only a little bit of tuning to bring them back to working condition.

Of the two Stanley planes I won, one was the Big Boss of Stanley planes, the No 8C Corrugated Jointer. This plane is in excellent condition and with a little bit of work, it will clean up to be a top shelf tool. The other bench plane was a nice Stanley 5 1/2C corrugated plane. Collectors go crazy for the corrugated soles as they tend to bring in higher prices, but for me, the corrugations just act as a place for dried glue to hang out. The theory behind corrugated soles was that they tend to be easier to push because of the less mass on the workpiece, and they were easier to fettle the bed because you didn’t have to remove as much metal. I haven’t found either one of those benefits to be true.

The molding planes were nice with a wide variety of profiles in the mix. Over the next few weeks I’ll tune them up and list them for sale on eBay.

As you can see, I have a soft spot for molding planes. The day I figured out how to tune one up and make it sing, I was hooked. I intend to sell some of my duplicate profiles on eBay in the coming weeks.

6 thoughts on “Brown Tool Auction Winnings

  1. Nice collection. I too enjoy moulding planes. I have always shied away form the Brown auctions, due to the lousy descriptions, lack of photos, and inability to return anything, not up to snuff. Have you been happy with all your purchases?


    1. Over the years there have been a few planes with a cracked mouth or that have been repainted, but for the most part I’ve been happy with what I have won. I have never regetted buying a tool and wanted to return it. Sometimes I win only one tool and had to pay the $3.00 absentee bid fee, 13% buyers premium, and then shipping which brings a tool I won for $50.00 to $72.00. That hurts!

      When I bid, I make sure that I bid low so in case that happens I won’t be disappointed. Of course bidding low means I don’t win all the tools I would like. When the price realized list is mailed to me and I see what the tools that I lost went for, I get mad wishing I would have increased my bid, but that’s life.


  2. Looks like you made some really good bids, nice looking collection you have there. I left you a comment on your post about restoration of the planes, please read my comment. I have never purchased from online auctions but go to a lot of local auctions. I might be interested in some of your planes, do you have a list and price of what you are selling?


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