Saturday, October 3, 2009

My latest finds

My latest finds: my new Stanley #2, a 604 Bedrock, a house painted 5 1/2 and a Type 11 Number 7

Well, as promised, here are pics of my latest finds. I'll start with the star of the group, my new Stanley #2. I purchased it at the MWTCA event in Dearborn, MI for $40. It was missing the lever cap but it just so happens that I had a #2 lever cap in my bag of spare parts. I sharpened the iron up and it cuts beautifully. It is sitting there next to my favorite 604 smoother, which I just purchased off eBay for $25. It has a big chunk out of the casting but this doesn't effect its use at all. So I scored a great plane at a fabulous price. I put a new Hock iron in there and I can cut hard maple shavings you can see through!

My two favorite smoothing planes

The Type 11 #7 jointer I purchased at the Midland Antique Show this past weekend. The tote and knob are perfect, the casting is solid and the iron has plenty of life left. The only apology is that most of the jappaning is gone. I'm planning to re-paint the plane to restore the proper look. I plane to make this into my best user jointer plane. Best of all, I paid the guy a grand total of $20 for it! I almost bought a Type 11 number 6 from the same guy, but the mouth on the plane was all chipped out. I probably should have bought it, but you can't get them all.

Number 5 1/2 and a Number 7... both should restore nicely!

The 5 1/2 I just purchased today. I found it over at the Lake Odessa Antique Mall in Lake Odessa, MI. I spent the first few minutes simply in awe of how much stuff they had! The mall was literally one half of a city block. Simply massive. I left some good stuff there too, including a Craftsman version of a Stanley 45. I encourage you to head that way if you get the chance.

At first, I believed that my new 5 1/2 is a Type 4, which makes it just about 130 years old. However, after receiving some information from the Galoots on the Old Tools List, I now believe it was made between 1898 and 1902. At some point, someone decided it was a good idea to paint the whole thing with a thick coat of gray house paint. Despite destroying the japanning, I'm actually grateful to this misguided soul because there isn't a spot of rust anywhere on the plane. The first order of business is to strip the paint and bring it back to user quality. I might sell this one, given that it is pretty old and I imagine quite collectible. Anybody have any idea? For this one, I gave $14.00.

The 5 1/2 and the 7, full body shot

As you can see, it has been a good couple of weeks for me. I'm getting ready to sell off some of my collection, a piece at a time, so keep checking back. Just like on my weekend tool-hunting trips, you'll never know what you might find.

If any of you ever come up to mid-Michigan and want to head out to do some rust hunting, get in touch with me at As always, here's hoping you get some time in your shop and time to shop for your latest treasures.


Friday, October 2, 2009

As requested...

How the spring attaches to the box itself

The hinges for the swinging arm... nothing too fancy

As requested, here are some pictures that show the swinging arm and how it mounts to the box. It simply uses two mortise hinges to attach to the right side of the box. It is a simple set up but it makes it really easy to get to the tools in the box behind the arm.

I'm still working on getting pictures of my latest finds. My wife took our good camera to Cleveland this weekend so I'm stuck with my $40 digital. I can't do my new Type 11 #7 jointer or my new #2 the justice they deserve with that.

Look for more a little later this weekend! As always, here's hoping you get some time in your shop and time to shop for your latest treasure!


Some more pics of the box

Here are some more pictures that were taken of my carriage makers tool box. These shots show more detail on the chisel till, as well as how the braces and egg beaters and other woodworking tools are stored. It's a really neat system. The braces hang from an arm that is mounted inside the box on hinges, but there is a spring on that arm to keep it tight against the right side of the box. I'm having a hard time figuring out the point, but it is neat nevertheless.

The spring loaded arm also does a really good job of whacking you upside the head if it slips out of your hand while taking out a brace. After I regained consciousness, I was able to hoist the whole shooting match up with block and tackle (it weighs about 400 pounds) and mount it to the shop wall.

The outside of the box, showing the skeleton key lock that still turns easily!

Chisel till, auger bits, saw till, and router plane

Egg beaters, braces, ball peen hammers, and the infamous spring loaded brace arm of death.

If you have any ideas about the swinging brace storage arm or if you would like to see any specific item / storage area in the box, use the comment feature below this post. Thanks!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Carriage Makers Tool Box

I purchased a carriage makers tool box earlier this year at an antique mall. Pictures are attached. For everything you see, I paid the princely sum of $200. A partial inventory follows:

- 9 buck brothers chisels and gouges - sharp and nicely polished
- Stanley 71 1/2 router plane - like new
- Stanley 60 1/2 block plane - like new
- Stanley 5 jack, good shape
- Stanley 78 rabbet plane - like new (still has the sticker on the handle)
- Stanley 4 (strangely, it is very rusty)
- unmarked small bull nose plane
- 3 unmarked brass spokeshaves - flat, convex, and scraper
- wood scraper spokeshave
- numerous ball peen hammers
- 2 braces
- 2 egg beater drills
- the largest draw knife I've ever seen, stamped 1837, still sharp enough to use
- Large, medium, and small Millers Falls ratcheting screw driver (like the Yankee (like new)
- Disston 22" panel saw - still very sharp
- Warranted Superior rip saw - still sharp
- Stanley No. 94 boxwood and brass rule - excellent condition, joints a little loose
- Two vintage pin up girl shots (oh my gosh, they are showing their ankles, how risque!)

Left side of the box

The Whole She-bang, including the Girly pictures!

There is so much in this box that it is going to take me quite some time to inventory it all. Once done, I will make sure to post it to the Creek. Apparently the original owner worked at Clark - Carter automobiles as a carriage maker. The company only existed for two years, 1911 and 1912. They entered a car in the 1912 Indy 500, but soon folded due to lack of money. The box itself has a Cutting Autos tag, so I'm assuming it was company property that the original owner took with him when the company folded up.

Enjoy! Anybody have any idea how rare the Stanley 94 rule is? I've never seen one before buying this one.

A Blast from the Past: Tool Hunting over the 4th of July

Fellow Creekers,

I took the opportunity this Independence Day to go on a short road trip to rust hunt in areas unknown. Destination: Allen, MI. Apparently, the antique stores here are legendary for good deals but I had never been there rust-hunting. I scored numerous old tools. I purchased 8 good hollows and rounds, most of which I got for $4 each, some are matched pairs. I never seem to be able to find good user molding planes, so I was thrilled with these finds. In another mall. I purchased a low-angle wooden plane, what I believe is called a box plane, in great user shape. It has been over-cleaned and looks like brand new wood, but it should be a great user once I get it sharpened.

At the next stop, my first purchase was a complete leg vise with metal screw in good shape.

In the same mall, I was able to purchase a large, 2 1/2" diameter, Ohio Tool wooden vise screw and nut in extremely good shape, with only a few chips in the threads. These will go perfectly in the new bench that I'm planning to build.

The last stop of the day yielded a very heavy cast iron miter box with large backsaw which I desperately needed.

The Galoot Central link:

I also purchased a large cabinetmaker's tool chest, but I wasn't able to fit that in my car. I'm returning tomorrow with the truck and hopefully some more tools if I hit the malls I missed. For the whole shebang, including the tool box, I paid $110. I highly encourage any old tool fan who happens to be in Southern Michigan to make the trip to Allen. In addition to the large malls, there are numerous smaller stores that I didn't have the chance to visit today. All of these stores are on US 12, known as Chicago Road because that was the preferred route from Detroit to Chicago.

Happy hunting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Woodworking in America

If you are able, you should definitely check out the Woodworking in America conference this weekend. It is happening in Valley Forge, PA and it is the premier woodworking event in the country. You will learn from such woodworking luminaries as Roy Underhill, Thomas Lie-Nielsen, and Christopher Schwarz. It is absolutely must-attend for hand tool woodworkers and those who are interested in viewing the best tools available today.

You can visit Woodworking in America on the web to sign up.

Hope you can make it!

Fall is falling all around

Here in Eaton County, Michigan, Mother Nature has fired the first salvo in the winter war. It is in the low 50s, completely overcast, and pouring rain. All in all, a terrible fall day outside, but a perfect day to spend some time in the shop.

My wife is heading to Cleveland this weekend for a library event so I'm hoping to get some progress made on my new workbench. I'm laminating together a Roubo style 8' long benchtop from 16" x 3/4" x 4" hard maple drawer sides that I got really cheap. Perhaps I'm a masochist for doing it this way, but I'm about halfway through the process. I've used almost a whole gallon of Titebond to date. It should make a rock-solid bench when I'm done; the first half of the top weights in at 150 pounds!!

Tenni... err.. planer's elbow

An important consideration when avoiding tennis elbow while woodworking, along with bench height, is the grip with which you hold your planes. If you have a death grip on the tote, you are likely to be over-tensing the muscles around your elbow, leading to problems like you have described. This is similar to a leading cause of tennis elbow in recreational tennis players, gripping the racquet too tightly. Also happens in military pilots, I have been told. Using improperly sized gloves can lead to overgripping and, in turn, tennis elbow.

So, after fixing the bench height issue, take a close look at your grip on the tote. You shouldn't need a death grip on it. If you still can't plane without pain, maybe try making a custom tote? Perhaps a little larger so that you can get a good grip without really holding on.

Just a thought, best of luck.