Last Sunday I went to the spring Tools of the Trades Show in Pickering. It was my second show and I have to admit going there feels like reaching a circle of Tool Heaven. At least that was my feeling.
I tried to get there early, but not too early, because I planned to take my time, go slowly and immerse in the dark alleys full of ancient cast iron, steel, rosewood and brass. Memories of old days, name tags on old tools, their masters long gone...
My first visit to the Show was merely scouting. This time I came for a hunt. And what a hunt it was... Once my pulse rate came back to normal I decided a fast tour through all the vendors was the best way to go. I knew more or less what I wanted, true enough. But the problem was, I wanted much more than I could afford. The trick is to find all the vendors that have the tool you want and check the prices. One has to do it fast, because the price range can be incredibly wide. I saw the same planes for $50 and $150...
There I was, with a list of things I wanted. And then I saw a tool that was not on my list... A shining, barely used Lie Nielsen shoulder plane. I never considered getting it, because I really wanted to buy a Veritas shoulder. Well, there it was and the price was very tempting. So it landed in my backpack... It is beautiful and works like a charm...
The same vendor had a really nice plow plane. I did not get it immediately and when I came back it was gone. Well, next time maybe.
A friendly gentleman in the corner had a great looking saw vise under his table. The price was fantastic, so I bought it too, and a saw to improve my skills. Here is the vise (the saw in it is the Disston I bought last time):
Then I went to look for a low angle block plane. For some reason there were very few of them, mostly Stanley 60 1/2. I found a really nice looking Stanley 65, but it cost too much and I still wanted to buy some other tools. So I made a compromise and found a bargain price for a nice old Stanley 60 1/2. This one:
Then I found a nice old micrometer made by Brown & Sharpe from Prov. RI. Now I have to learn how to use it, so that I can measure my shavings... I will upload the picture later.
Last time I met an interesting English vendor who specializes in old English saws. I was hoping to meet him again and buy a dovetail saw. I was lucky and he offered me a very comfortable and sharp saw made in Sheffield in 1870s-1880s. A wonderful tool and real pleasure to use:
The last tool I bought is a plane I wanted for quite some time. A nice old Stanley 48 Tongue & Groove. Patrick Leach praises it as one of the nicer planes to use, so I wanted to give it a try. After several failed attempts on Ebay I finally found a few interesting examples at the Tool Show. Here is mine:
There are a few other small things I got, including two books, but the planes and the saw are the catch of the day. Now if I only had enough time to spend a day in my workshop... Hopefully when the semester is over I will.
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