Another Tool Auction

If you follow my blog, then you know I have an addiction to going to tool auctions and buying a boatload of planes. Well, not much has changed over the years except this auction was online a couple of nights ago. Today I went to the house to pick up my winnings to see what I won in person. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the tools I bought.

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When looking on the lots, the auctioneer was very vague with their descriptions. They just grouped about ten to fifteen tools together and listed them as “Stanley Metal Planes”. One of the lots was nine Stanley Bed Rock planes with only four pictures of the total lot. I took a chance that they were in good shape so I placed my bid until I outbid all the other bidders. When I picked them up, I noticed that six of the nine were corrugated which put a big smile on my face.

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The other planes I ended up winning were a couple of Stanley circular planes. Theses planes work really well and come in handy when properly tuned.

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They had this Stanley No 77 Dowel Making machine as a “drill”. These machines are sweet to use. I only wish I could afford the extra heads they came with as they usually sell for over $100 a piece on eBay.

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I also picked up this Stanley No 150 miter box with a Cincinnati Steel Saw Co back saw. I’ve owned one of these for twenty years and work great cutting small moldings.

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Here are a couple of Stanley No 112 scraper planes. Another tool that you’re glad you own when you need it.

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A couple of Stanley No 10 Rabbet planes. The one in the back has been welded as that is a common repair for these when they break in two.

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I ended winning six pre-lateral Stanley bench planes. One of them has the wrong lever cap and a couple others have the wrong style of tote, but all have the proper blades which is good as usually these are found with an improper blade.

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Most of these tools will eventually be restored and sold in my eBay store. http://stores.ebay.com/mvflaim. The pre-lateral planes are too collectible to be restored. Just a light cleaning will do. The tools in the bottom photo are the tools I’ve been working on the past few weeks and will be listed for sale soon.

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A Saturday Afternoon at an Estate Auction

Not much has been going on lately with woodworking, but I have been picking up some more tools. Yesterday I went to a local estate auction and scored some serious tools. I saw the auction on AuctionZip a few days ago, but they only had a couple of pictures of a few tools. When I arrived at the auction and took a look around, I nearly crapped myself when I saw all the tools that were sitting on the tables.

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I have a blast at auctions as you can see with my winnings. I always try to remain reasonable and not get too carried away with my bidding. Fortunately, there weren’t a lot of tool collectors at the auction, so I was able to buy a whole bunch. In fact, most of the time I was bidding on several tools at once in one box.

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At the end of the day, I brought all the tools down to my basement and tried to calculate how many tools I actually bought. I had to separate the good tools from the junk that was packed in the boxes. I won a about a dozen junky block plane beds that ended up in the garbage can.

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In the end, I bought over 150 tools with nearly 100 planes. I’ll be busy over the next few months cleaning all these babies up.

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My first winning bid was for a box of steel wool for $8.00. I use a lot of steel wool when cleaning tools and I’m sick of buying those little packs for $5.00 at Lowe’s. I should have enough steel wool here to last me a couple of years.

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Probably the best buy of the day was this old BedRock 605 plane. It should be cleaned up and for sale in a few weeks.

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Repairing a Drawer Bottom

Earlier this week, my wife won a chest of drawers from an online auction. Sure enough when we get it home and examine the piece, we discovered there was significant water damage to the chest that the auction company failed to mention (what a surprise!). In fact, one of the drawers was so bad that the bottom plywood was peeling away. She asked me if I could fix it, so I went to Home Depot and bought a piece of 1/4″ X 24″ X 48″ underlayment plywood for about $5.00.

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The first thing I did to the drawer was carefully pop off the glue blocks from the under side with a paring chisel as I was planning on reusing them.

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I then carefully popped off the drawer runner being careful not to damage it. Fortunately, it wasn’t glued to the drawer bottom making it easy to clean up.

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Then with a dead blow hammer, I gently popped off the sides of the drawers hoping not to damage the dovetail joints.

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After cutting the new piece of plywood to size, I saw that the new drawer bottom was a little thicker than the original, so I widened all the grooves to the drawer with my table saw.

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Once all the grooves were widened, I dry fitted the drawer back together making sure everything fitted properly.

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I then glued the drawer back together including the support blocks back on the bottom.

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After about a half an hours worth of work, the drawer was back in business and nicely fitted back in the piece.

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CET Action Auction

It’s that time of year again. Time for my local PBS station to hold their Action Auction where they auction off a bunch of items from donors around the Cincinnati area. Nearly every year I donate a shaker style table to them. The first few years, I made these tables out of nice cherry, however, the past couple of years I decided to build them with southern yellow pine to save on the costs. I make these tables out of a single 2 x 8 x 8 I buy from Lowes for around $6.00. I wrote a blog about it a few months ago. http://wp.me/p1gfza-d2

I painted the table using chalk paint which is a limestone based paint that is popular among people who repurpose and paint antique furniture. The paint leaves a chalky feel on the surface and with a bit of sanding, gives the piece an aged look. My wife, Anita, stenciled the lettering on for me to give the table a little bit something extra.

As you can see, the joinery is extremely simple. The stretchers on the top and bottom of the drawers have mortise and tenon as well as dovetail joinery, but the sides are simply pocket screwed together. The table is not going to be under a tremendous amount of stress so I opted not to mortise and tenon the sides to the legs in order to save time.

The custom work is left for the drawers. They are put together with hand cut half blind dovetails, but you can’t really tell since the sides are painted. I probably spend more time cutting those dovetails than I do on the rest of the piece.

It’s a simple piece that will be a nice little accent table in someone’s living room or foyer. The Action Auction takes place in a couple of weeks and my table will be auctioned off sometime during the weekend. The table should do well since painted black furniture is really popular right now. Anytime I make a bookcase for my wife so that she can sell it in her booth, it sells within a week. All I know is that it’s fun to see my furniture on TV.  I really don’t get anything out of it other than a good feeling from helping out my local PBS station that continues to keep The Woodwright’s Shop on the air.

A Day at the Auction

My wife and I went to an auction today in Germantown, OH. I saw the auction listed on Auctionzip.com last night and noticed they had some tools listed. They also had a few pieces of furniture that my wife was interested in so we headed out in the morning. This is what I won, but I didn’t want most of this junk.

When we got there, I bid on a couple of boxes of auger bits. I won each lot paying $5.00 for one and $12.00 for the other one, so I was happy with that. They’re both complete but I’m not too sure that some of the augers are original but I do have some extras.

A few minutes later I won a measuring wheel. I’ve seen Roy Underhill use one of these on The Woodwright’s Shop one time and thought it was neat enough to buy. I believe these were mainly used by blacksmiths for measuring. They had a lot of blacksmith tools for sale there so I figured it went with all the other stuff.

As the auction moved down the tables, I had my eye on a Spear & Jackson back saw. It looked in pretty good shape with split saw nuts and a small bend in the blade which is typical for old saws. I waited patiently for about 45 minutes as the auctioneer was approaching the saw. When he got to the table his helper was moving items toward him. Once he got to the saw, the helper grabbed a bunch of other junk and pushed it to the auctioneer. I got pissed because I just wanted to bid on the saw and not have to compete against other bidders for the stuff he put with it.

Luckily no one else really wanted the saw or the crap that went with it as I won the lot for $15.00. After I won, my wife grabbed a box and threw everything in it and I took it to the truck. Walking to the truck I peaked in the box out of curiosity to see what else I won.

As I said, most of it was junk. I won an old hammer, a sickle of some sort, an assortment of hog ringers, oil can, saws, wire brush, an old blue tool box, pruners, an axe, and a cigar box. I’ll throw the hog ringers in the tool box and sell them on eBay as one lot. As far as the rest, I may just throw them in the garbage with the exception of the axe and wire brush.

When I looked in the cigar box, it was filled with old cut nails which was a pleasant surprise. While I have never used cut nails in the past, it’s nice to know that I now have them in case I plan to make a proper antique reproduction. I thought about selling them on eBay but they only go for about $10/lb, so screw it, I’ll keep them.

As far as my wife and her bids on furniture, she got skunked as everything she was remotely interested in went too high. I too got skunked on the planes that were at the auction. Most of them went for more than I was willing to pay but that is how the game is played.

A $6.00 Side Table

This is the side table I just made last week painted and all finished. My wife painted it with chalk paint and added a stencil to to the top. I think it turned out really well. It was made with from a 2×8 southern yellow pine board I bought from Lowe’s for $6.00. We plan on giving it away to our local PBS station so they can auction it off in their annual pledge drive Action Auction next month. We’re going to split the donation; I as the builder, MVFlaim Furnituremaker and my wife Anita as the painter, Bella Chic Decor. It’ll be intersting to see how it does.

Oh Boy, I Did It Again

Well I went to another antique tool auction yesterday. This one was in Jeffersonville, OH about half way between Cincy and Columbus and good deals were to be had as you can see in the photo.

I only picked up a few Stanley bench planes. After the auction I went to in Indy a couple of weeks ago, I have enough Stanley planes to last me awhile.

I’m a sucker for molding planes and these were too good of a deal to pass up. Several of them I snagged for under $10.00 each.

All the profiles of the molding planes I bought. I realize that you can make nearly every molding profile with a good set of hollow and rounds which I already have, but I can’t resist the opportunity to buy some complex molders. Some of these I’ll keep for myself, the rest I’ll sell.

I also picked up a few hand saws as well for under $5.00 a piece. Three of them were Disston thumb hole saws that are gaining popularity on eBay lately. I’ll clean them up and throw them on eBay to see what they bring.

Here’s a neat pair of shears I picked up for $6.00. I really don’t know anything about old shears and have no idea what they’re worth but my wife will stick it in her booth for sale.

A couple of sash molding planes a froe. I had a nice sash molding plane before and sold it only to regret it later so I’ll probably keep one of them. I’m definitely keeping the froe. Working green wood has always been an ambition of mine and this froe will come in handy. It looks like it was made from old leaf spring from a car.

The two scores I got were a Stanley No 141 with the fillister bed and blade and a Stanley No 603C corrugated bench plane. I may hold onto the 141 until I find some regular blades for it and then sell it.

All I know is that I’m going to be very busy for a while cleaning all the tools I bought this past month.

A day at a tool auction

Last weekend I went to an antique tool auction in Indianapolis and picked up a few planes. Needless to say I went hog-wild with my bidding. All the planes were sold in lots which brought the price per plane down a bit. Even with all the good deals I got, I never spent so much at a tool auction.

I bought several Stanley circular planes as well as No 3’s, 4’s, 6’s, Gage 5C, block planes, and No 71 1/2 router. All of them are in nice shape with nice clean rosewood handles, full blades and no rust.

I also bought a lot of transitional planes but they were all sold in lots with five or more so I couldn’t refuse.

I also won a box of woodies which had a cooper’s croze, old woman’s tooth router and two cute little panel raisers. One of those panel raisers I’ll keep while the rest I’ll sell.

I’m a sucker for old molding planes. I have over 150 in my arsenal and still counting. I’ll more likely keep all these unless I already own that profile then I’ll sell it.

Box of measuring instruments. Lots of calipers and dividers in there and a few do-dads I have no idea what they do.

Some of the tools that were in the box I’ll keep for myself. Buy a box full of tools, sell the ones you don’t need to pay for the ones you keep. End up getting free tools which is not a bad deal.

Once I get all these tools cleaned up I’ll throw them on eBay. The money I make will help pay for my medical bills from when I was in the hospital last month. Wish me luck.

Empire Dresser

My wife won this Empire style dresser this week at an online estate auction site for a mere $50.00. When we went to pick it up the guy who ran the auction was telling us it was probably built around the early 1800’s and was a cross between Empire and Federal styles. The dresser was beautiful with its carved columns, mahogany veneer and old brass hardware.

The dresser was in pretty good shape with the only major damage being the bottom drawer was broken off. Fixing the veneer and making it match with the rest of the piece would be a challenge so my wife and I are thinking of taking out all three bottom drawers and turning the dresser into a wine bar with storage for wine glasses and bottles.

While taking the drawers out I was looking for a makers mark just in case this is some rare piece made by famous cabinetmaker. The last thing I want to do is to retrofit some dresser that if left alone and restored could be worth $20,000. Unfortunately I found no makers mark but I did notice that the piece was made by hand.

The drawers were made with hand cut dovetails and the bottoms were chamfered into grooves in the drawers side. No plywood was used which gave me a clue that the dresser was pretty old. Plywood wasn’t being used in furniture until around the 1920’s.

I also noticed that not that much care was taken in cutting the drawer bottoms. One of the bottom’s edge was wavy and looked like it was cut with a bow saw. Why the cabinetmaker didn’t use a hand saw to rip down the bottom is baffling. Maybe he was in a hurry or didn’t have a hand saw around at the time but, it looks like crap and wouldn’t be considered top-notch craftsmanship by todays standards. However, it was perfectly acceptable back then. Maybe there wasn’t as much scrutiny about how things were built as there is today. If I did something like that, all my woodworking friends would call me a hack.

  

I also could see where the cabinetmaker reused boards that he first cut dovetails for as the drawers backs. The back and the sides are simply nailed together with some finish nails. It’s possible he was planing on dovetailing the back of the drawers but changed his mind for some reason. But nevertheless, apparently back then if the part was not being shown and was hidden from the customers view, then nobody cared what it looked like inside.

The back of the piece gave me another clue as to its age. There were two pockets drilled to accept screws to hold down the top. As I unscrewed one of them, I saw that the screw had a point at the tip. Due to increased machinery technology, manufacturers didn’t start making screws with points until the 1840’s. Before that they were simply blunt and craftsmen would have to pre-drill the hole.

So my guess is this piece was probably built between 1840-1920 by a local cabinet shop who didn’t bother signing their pieces. With no makers mark, there is no way for me to determine who actually built it. I searched the internet for “Empire dresser” in Images to see if a similar dresser appeared with no luck. So in the end, with its major damage to the bottom drawer, I think it’s safe to retrofit this into something new.

A real Stanley No 55 Plane

A few weeks ago I picked up an old Stanley No 55 plane at an auction. In all my years in buying old tools, I’ve never seen an old Stanley No 55 quite like this one. Stanley referred to the 55 as a molding machine in itself. It came with 55 blades which interchange with the plane to cut different profiles. Stanley even provided a booklet with the plane to help the user create some of the different profiles.

  

When I won the plane at auction, all the parts where there except the screwdriver but who cares about the screwdriver other than a collector anyway? What made this 55 special were the two dozen extra blades that the original owner cut and used with the plane.

If you know anything about a Stanley 55, you know that one of the reasons that most examples that are found out in the wild are in pristine condition is because they were hardly ever used. The plane is notorious for being too complicated to set up with its various fence and sliding section adjustments. Most craftsmen simply gave up and stuck it on the shelf to sit and collect dust.

However, this plane was different. Most all of the blades were sharpened and ready to cut. Even some of the complex cutters had scuff marks on them from where they were used.

But what was most intriguing part of the plane was the extra cutters that came with it. These cutters weren’t special cutters available from Stanley at the time. These were probably handmade by the craftsman himself. The mere fact that this craftsman knew not only how to use the blades that came with the plane, but went so far as to make a couple of dozens of extra cutters and put them to use makes me green with envy.

I admit that I have messed around with a Stanley 55 plane in the past. And while I was able to make some of the simple profile blades cut well, I had very little luck with the complex ones. The biggest problem with cutting complex profiles with a Stanley 55 is the fact that the plane rides on skates and does not compress the wood in front of the blade like a wooden complex molding plane does. You often end up getting a lot of tear out in the grain ruining the piece you’re cutting.

So how this craftsman got the plane to work well enough to motivate him to make his own cutters and put them to work baffles me. The one thing I do know about making the Stanley 55 work well is to use straight grain wood and have a very sharp blade to avoid tear out. Apparently this guy was a master with the plane getting these complex blades to work. I just wish he would have left a pamphlet on how he did it.