L. & I. J. White


Tool Stories

  Cold Weekends... by John Krau



With the combination of cold weekends and an unheated shop, I've spent an inordinate amount of time in the area antique malls.

Several Disston saws have been squirreled away by me, in the corners of said shop/cooler.  I did spy a Millers Falls miter box, a no.50 I believe, in excellent shape.  I really liked the sliding bar for adjusting, it had no saw, but still passed it by at $200.

Unlike the east coast, iron planes out here sell by the inch, at a rate I've worked out to be between $2.50 and $4.00 per inch. So a Defiance block plane, a bit rusty, was proudly marked at $17.00. 

Any jointer plane in halfway decent condition, that is, was excellent condition, before the three coats of varnish, seldom are seen below $50.00.  And if it bears the cast-in legendary name of Stanley or Bailey, $75.oo will be needed to take it home.  The best deal of the winter, was a Ohio Tool, woody jack plane, for less than $10, usually these have another zero on the price tag, now I only have to make totes for it.

I'm glad I have acquired a nice user set of eggbeaters, because I am going to continue to ignore the no.5 Millers Falls, sans chuck, offered at a reduced price of $17.00.

Interestingly Disston saws can be had for as little as $2.00, with straight blades even! Right alongside a Keen Katter saw with a blade resemble yesterdays Lasagna, for $25.00.

Right now I'm keeping my eye on a straight Disston D8, as its being reduced weekly, down to $9.50 now, maybe its a steal, as the painting of the lake and ducks is actually well done. 

Anyway, am just home from a (real) farm auction, didn't spy more than a tiny handful of rusty tools of any classification, but did come home with a 3" post vise, a Columbian, for less investment than a *Happy Meal.

Winter is not yet over, wish me more good hunting!

John Krau
in Nebraska

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