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"Collector" or what?

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dannyr

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I don't think I'll be the only one, maybe just done it for longer than many - someone stole my toolbox about 50years ago - I was shocked at the price of new replacements but came across a box of tools for next to nothing at a fleamarket. And so it goes - many such boxes and fleamarkets later I'm always using tools, especially woodworking, but have more tools than is sensible and slowly have been putting them into some kind of order, fettling them, making sets of chisels (see other thread) etc, often by swapping handles, fitting new ferrules and so forth, cleaning, resharpening.

If I have some I know are significant I often give to the local museum collection, but I know as a previous volunteer there that they certainly don't want stuff without a special history or rarity or to fill a gap. (Whatever Ken H may have done in the past.)

If they need work and are good but are not special to me, I give a batch sometimes to a charity refurbing them for use.

Every now and then I sell a few if I know they're 'of interest'.

So I now have loads of hand tools, and I'm putting them into order, appreciating them and sometimes using them but not keeping every bit of the old patina etc. I do intend to pass any on to family/friends if they could enjoy/make use them.

So ....... don't see myself as a collector and not a standard user, not a hoarder, not a connoisseur (many of the tools are quite ordinary). I suppose it doesn't matter what name -accumulator maybe. Or I was, time to stop now, but I saw an old S&J saw, virtually unused, for £5 today, while looking for books (another story) ....... so it goes
 
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IWW

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How about "Tool Tragic"? :)

I think a lot of us are afflicted by the same habit, Dan. I hate seeing good tools in a neglected or abused state & feel compelled to 'rescue' them, especially if they are going for pennies. Most I pass on either as a gift or certainly no more than I paid for them, reckoning I get my profit out of the fun & experience of re-furbing them.

However, there is a catch. If I get two of the same brand & type of chisel, I start looking for others with a view to putting a 'matching set' together. That means I always have a goodly number of them taking up valuable space whilst waiting for their future fellows to turn up.

As we speak, I've got a pretty decent set of Titan socket BE chisels, another of tanged straight chisels of the same brand (I have a special weakness for this Aussie brand that went out of production in the 70s). Most came to me in a pretty shocking state, with severely beaten-up handles or none at all, but they are all nicely re-handled & awaiting adoption now. In fact I have a pretty complete set of tools that would make a good 'starter kit' at the moment: planes, a couple of good back-saws, layout tools, etc. that I was putting together for my son, but he is still studying & honing his career (in his 40s!) and won't be building those guitars he says he wants to make any time soon. By the time he's ready, I'll be looking to pass on my own tools...

So perhaps it's something in the air (or the covid scare!), because I've resolved to tidy up my shed affairs this year too! I once told my kids that if they weren't nice to me I'll leave 'em my shed to clean out. Well, I'm not getting any younger & time is speeding up at a fearful rate, and I don't really want to dump that job on them so I'd better extract the digit & get on with it......
;)
Ian
 

robgul

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This heading towards a "Confessions of a tool junkie" thread!

I too have accumulated a lot of tools over the past 50 years or so - some from my father and grandfather - and now have well-equipped woodworking and bicycle repair workshop areas . . every now and again I try to have a clear-out but just end up re-arranging them.

As Keats wrote: A thing of beauty is a joy for ever
 

Fergie 307

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This heading towards a "Confessions of a tool junkie" thread!

I too have accumulated a lot of tools over the past 50 years or so - some from my father and grandfather - and now have well-equipped woodworking and bicycle repair workshop areas . . every now and again I try to have a clear-out but just end up re-arranging them.

As Keats wrote: A thing of beauty is a joy for ever
If you do have a clearout, you can pretty much guarantee that the tool you just gave away or sold, because it had been sitting around unused for years, would have been the perfect choice for something you are doing now.
 

dannyr

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I think a lot of us are afflicted by the same habit, Dan. I hate seeing good tools in a neglected or abused state & feel compelled to 'rescue' them, specially if they are going for pennies .......... of the fun & experience of re-furbing them.
However, there is a catch. If I get two of the same brand & type of chisel, I start looking for others with a view to putting a 'matching set' together. That means I always have a goodly number of them taking up valuable space whilst waiting for their future fellows to turn up.

So perhaps it's something in the air (or the covid scare!), because I've resolved to tidy up my shed affairs this year too!
;)
Ian


Exactly --- especially once one gets more than an two of a kind ---- the search for the rest of the set ---- and appropriate handles etc. Especially chisels, but could be hollow and round planes, screwdrivers, or?
 

dannyr

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If I get two of the same brand & type of chisel, I start looking for others with a view to putting a 'matching set' together. That means I always have a goodly number of them taking up valuable space whilst waiting for their future fellows to turn up.

As we speak, I've got a pretty decent set of Titan socket BE chisels, another of tanged straight chisels of the same brand (I have a special weakness for this Aussie brand that went out of production in the 70s). Most came to me in a pretty shocking state, with severely beaten-up handles or none at all, but they are all nicely re-handled & awaiting adoption now. because I've resolved to tidy up my shed affairs this year too!


Ian, let's see those Titans before you pass them on.

If you're in Brisbane I guess you're sheltering from the heat in the shed while fixing those chisel sets -- as you may realise, I'm keeping a bit less cold in mine while doing the same.

And Rob yes to 'end up just rearranging'
 

clogs

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a cabinet man just died recently, close by......
went around today and bought a load of planes ...hahaha...
nothing special but a rather lovely brass plane about 3 inches long....
Uk made if I remember....
there was a nice Anvil but thats now a plant pot stand.....grrrrrrrr...
might photo them and ask on here......
 

IWW

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Ian, let's see those Titans before you pass them on.....

OK, if you insist.... ;)

For those who don't know, Titan was a short-lived Australian firm that made tools here from the end of WW2 'til they were bought out by Stanley & ceased to exist by that name in the 70s. Their chisels were of good quality, perhaps not the best in the world, but sufficient unto purpose. They made several lines of chisels & gouges, both tanged & socketed. They didn't use the term "firmer" for some reason, they just called their chisels "heavy" or "light". If you are a chisel tragic, you can find out more that you thought you needed to know about them in Dick Lynch's book:
Titan bk.jpg

So my story goes; I first acquired a heavy, socketed Titan along with some other nondescript chisels when my father died. It was in a pretty sad state, with a very crude handle (I should add that the 'heavy' chisels were used for hardwood house-framing in my dad's day, and usually beaten with a claw hammer - that, plus our bone-hard woods tested any handle, so it's hardly surprising that the handles of the majority of old 'heavy' Titans I've come across were in a rather sorry state!).
I have always had a fondness for socketed chisels, so when I stumbled on another one at a flea market, I was gone. I slowly built up a collection, & because all but one came to me with badly-damaged or replaced handles, I felt no qualms in replacing all with a matching set of handles in 'brigalow' (Acacia harpophylla), which is a good tough wood for the job (the 1" second from right was the one from my dad):
Heavy socket.jpg

For a sensible person, the story should end there, but in chasing down my "set" (which wasn't easy, the socketed version was less popular than the tanged) I did acquire quite a few other chisels through buying small job lots to get at the ones I wanted. This is how the two further "sets" began (which were supposed to be for my son). Both sets are of their respective "light" versions. These are the plain types (tanged):
Light plain.jpg

And a bevel-edged set of light socket type:

BE Titans.jpg
The spare slot is waiting for a 1/8" to turn up, which are almost as rare as feathered frogs, so I've currently filled the gap with a Stanley that blends in well enough. Some fine day I might find the elusive 1/8".

As I said, many of the chisels came to me in a pretty poor state, this is typical:
3_8 Titan handle.jpg

The handle I removed is not even an original Titan (looks like it was purloined from a screwdriver). I've copied the "London pattern" of the original factory handles for the light "plain" set ('cept mine are a bit crisper, not being made on a copy-lathe), but used my preferred style ("American pattern"??) for the others .

I will never part with the heavy socket set, but the others need to find loving owners - this will be the year, I'm determined to do more than re-arrange the piles this time... :)

...If you're in Brisbane I guess you're sheltering from the heat in the shed while fixing those chisel sets --

Actually, we're having a very tolerable summer here in our little corner of the continent - the heat is staying out west & it was pretty nasty out there last week, but so far I haven't been cooked out of the shed as usually happens at least a few times each summer....

Cheers,
Ian
 
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dannyr

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Great, thanks for that. Fine sets, those. Did Titan also make gouges?

The feathered frog will turn up just when you're not looking for it.

Wild guess --- while collecting your Titans, you might have finished up with other brands and now need to complete those sets??
 

IWW

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....... Did Titan also make gouges?....

Yes they did,Dan, and also long, thin paring chisels. The latter are only circulating in very small numbers compared with the bench chisels, the common sizes of which still pop up regularly (though mostly the tanged variety, as I mentioned). But after nearly 50 years, the pool is definitely draining.....

.......Wild guess --- while collecting your Titans, you might have finished up with other brands and now need to complete those sets??....

Of course I picked up a motley lot of breeds from both the UK & USA (most chisels imported to the country have come from the UK, but a small proportion came from the USA) in my foraging, but managed to re-home all but a handful of those very promptly, before I got more than two of the same breed/type, so I'm happy to report the herd pedigree was kept pure. :)

I'm definitely not a collector of chisels (says he, smugly), but if you saw my wood stash, you'd know I'm not immune to the darned bug.....
;)
Cheers,
Ian
 

Orraloon

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I would never claim to be a collector of tools but they do happen to multiply.
My problem is if I come on a rusty old relic I get the urge to get it back in working condition again. Saw, plane or chisel they all get given a home. Likely the same reason most of the dogs we have had were also rescued.
I have not got to putting matched sets together yet so I am still ok or tell myself I am. Anyhow I likely have too many of some things. Is 4 No4s too many. Was almost 5 but I gave one away that was missing a cap iron screw to someone looking for parts. Quite a few of the chisel sizes are doubled up so really need to have a cull one day. I have also repurposed a couple into right and left skews and a worn down chisel became a marking knife. Got a box of old wooden plane bits and bodies awaiting attention also but sometimes good to have spare bits n pieces to dip into. I still maintain its only collecting if they just sit on display so I can claim every complete tool is a user.
Regards
John
 

Old Grizzly

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I once overheard this, said by one old boy to another, at a local car boot
'Remember, it's 'im as dees wi't most tools 'll be t'winner'
This made me smile ... and then I finally accepted that I seem to be in the same race !

I have long since given up seeking a cure for the tool junky malady.... or 'hoarding' as my good wife calls it.

I am a born restorer, and there is nothing I can do change that. I take great pleasure in undoing or righting the damage inflicted by others on old quality tools and getting them fit for use again. I often wonder what cruel and unusual punishment a craftsman would have inflicted on someone abusing that tool in their sight. I suspect a lot of pain would have been involved
My sons are well equipped with tools and I have duplicate sets of most tools in each of three workshops...... and still I go on restoring and filling up crates

Often my only trip out of the house is my weekly visit to the car boot [4:45am start] and racing round, well, as fast as my walking stick will let me, in all weathers, trying to beat my likeminded regular competitors to the deal of the day.
This morning, I think I won ..... A 12" x 2 1/2 x 1" Charnley forest stone in really good order, for a quid ! A very happy OG is looking forward to an afternoon making a new box.

I really do need to have a serious tool cull as I'm getting too old to build new sheds .... maybe this summer .... or perhaps, the one after ???? ;<))

be good, be safe and be lucky
OG
 
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CStanford

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Even the most casual practitioner seems to have an amazing amount of redundancy in their tool kit -- multiple copies of the same plane, three or four bench chisels at each relevant width. Unprecedented in history if you ask me, but many will defend it vehemently. The more vehement the defense, perhaps the more pathology that exists.

Accumulating tools that were mass manufactured under the guise of being a "collector" is absurd on its face. Rare tools are just that -- rare, and expensive. Everything else is hoarding and satisfying some psychological need having nothing, or at least very little, to do with woodworking.
 
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clogs

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here u go....dont think I was ripped off at all.....
all prices marked except for the plane blades which were 1euro....
the long 8 euro special has a sweet polished botom.....thru use....
the little brass plane n it's bigger brother, not sure of their prop job but couldn't leave them behind at that price....
what say u.....
IMG_8461.jpeg
 

Droogs

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excellent score there @clogs good price for the bits esp the compass plane and the squares. well done
 

raffo

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... but many will defend it vehemently. The more vehement the defense, perhaps the more pathology that exists.

Accumulating tools that were mass manufactured under the guise of being a "collector" is absurd on its face. Rare tools are just that -- rare, and expensive. Everything else is hoarding and satisfying some psychological need having nothing, or at least very little, to do with woodworking.

Some time ago, on a Facebook group, someone was boasting about having amassed 1500 saws. When I asked him about it, his reply was that he was preserving them for posterity, he was some kind of custodian (another term I've heard in the tool collector circles.) One could say that hoarding then now prevented the current generation from putting them to good use.

If I find it cheap, like a $20 Stanley no. 606, which I did, I'm damn well going to buy it. I don't care if I already have two or three of them. I'm not a "custodian" though.
 

CStanford

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Some time ago, on a Facebook group, someone was boasting about having amassed 1500 saws. When I asked him about it, his reply was that he was preserving them for posterity, he was some kind of custodian (another term I've heard in the tool collector circles.) One could say that hoarding then now prevented the current generation from putting them to good use.

If I find it cheap, like a $20 Stanley no. 606, which I did, I'm damn well going to buy it. I don't care if I already have two or three of them. I'm not a "custodian" though.

A 'custodian.' That's a good one. What kind of tool is a Stanley 606?
 
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