My experience in eBay bids is not very long, and it’s limited to a Record #044 Plough Plane (51 pounds), a Record #778 (57 pounds) and a complete Auger-Bits set (36 pounds). Most of times prices have become absurdly high and I’ve let the item go. My router plane, for example, is a Veritas, because I was not willing to pay 150 pounds or more for an old #71 router when a new Veritas one did cost 167 pounds. My Veritas dovetail saw did cost me about 60 pounds, far less than a lot of worn veteran saws were in bids I followed.
Most of the tools I’ve bought in eBay have been in “buy it now” option, since I live in Spain and I must add the shipping costs and it’s important for me to know the final and complete price of purchase. On the other way, most of my tools are bought in flea-markets. Following the Paul’s videos and book I’ve retrieved them for a normal use without too much difficulty. I’m very far from being an expert (I will never be an expert in anything, except perhaps in my professional job), but I made this from an old Stanley #4 plane found in a flea market for 10 euro. If I did it, I think that anybody could do it:
I’ll add even on eBay you can occasionally find a good deal you just have to be patient. I found a good nice condition Stanley #71 for under $70 US with just one cutter (I’ve been picking up Veritas router place cutters as I need them) but the thing was I found a lot of them that went way out of my budget. As I got outbid I’d just keep looking and eventually got lucky.
Though having just looked at the price of the Veritas router plane if someone wants to buy my #71 for $200 I’d gladly sell it and just turn around and pick up the Veritas instead 🙂
Try the Hand Tool Preservation Association of Australia tool sales (3 per year) in the Melbourne area and the once a year Traditional Tools Group (Sydney) February sale. I haven’t travelled down to either organization’s sales in a few years now but when I last went both had quality tools at realistic prices but the sellers were mostly traders who knew what they were dealing in. The chance to inspect for missing components and defects (cracks) before forking out the cash was an advantage over any online auction or trader . But they do know what they are selling so you wont find the mispriced bargains. Fortunately I got most of my woodworking tools many years ago and don’t feel the need to extend the collection beyond what I can reasonably maintain – and I don’t often venture on to ebay because many tools put on ebay in Australia were generally overpriced and/or abused tools.
@markh I’d love to go to one of these meets, but Melbourne is a long drive for a plane 😉 If I’m in Melbourne though and it lines up for sure.
I’m finding gumtree a good place to search.
Admittedly a low angle Stanley plane no 62 is rare but I saw one go on eBay yesterday for $441. Now that’s serious cash.
When I first found Mr Sellers and started this hand tool journey 5 years ago in the UK vintage ebay hand tools were fairly reasonably priced. My first acquisition was a pretty mint in box, 1950’s Stanley No.4, for which I paid £25 including P&P. Since then I’ve branched out and the best bargain’s I’ve found have been via car boot sales. My second Stanley No. 4 looked like a real junker, rusted to bits, but at £4 I thought it was worth a punt. It cleaned up a treat and is now my go to plane. Car boots have produced some fantastic buys, a 1940’s/50s Stanley No 7. for £30, a mint boxed 1960’s No. 4 1/2 for £15, and many more. The real bargains at car boot sales are things like Stanley braces (a couple of quid a time), I got a job lot of 40+ auger bits for £5, and marking gauges for 50 pence. Hand saws (Tyzacks, S&J etc) go typically for a £1 to £2, and usually clean up and sharpen really well. That said, its not always sweet pickings and I might go 4 or 5 visits before I find anything.
At my local car boot in North London, there are a lot of house clearance guys selling off what they consider to be the dross and left overs of a clearance. In most cases they are to lazy to find out the value of what they have and thus for us hand tool aficionados there are real bargains to be had. A beautiful box wood and brass Rabone folding rule was a quid and a like new Schroder hand drill cost me 20 pence for example. In many cases I buy old tools not because I need them but because I want to save them, restore them, try them and share them with our grandchildren.
Gum tree is also good, I recently brought a 1950’s Stanley No. 5 1/2 for £30. Prices are double that on ebay. It’s a gem, and was being sold by a lady cabinet maker who was thinning out her tool collection.
To answer the question of the stupid prices on ebay, brings us to the Stanley and Record No. 71. I brought two complete ones (with boxes) off ebay a few years ago, and they were relative bargains at £70 and £80. I was watching one on ebay last week which got to £150 with 4 days still to run on the auction. This was clearly caused by autobids. It eventually went for £155 plus p&p. So my advice is don’t auto bid, and only bid at the very end of the auction if the price is still within your range. I avoid items which have very high p&p, as in the UK the seller has up’ed the p&p in case the auction doesn’t get to a reasonable figure. As others have said there are bargains to be had on ebay, and you would be surprised what some sellers will take if you make an offer but you have to be very patient.
My advice is go to car boots or flea markets and rummage, as thats where the real bargains are.
Maybe I’m impatient, but boot sales or garage sales as we have here in Australia sounds like hard work.Yes I’m lazy :))
But gumtree, a local buy and sell online site is proving to be not so crazy as eBay. I’ve brought a no5 Stanley for $70au, a no4 for $40au, a no90 for $90 and the real find was a no71 for $160au. So I’m pretty happy with that. It’s not super cheap but happy they were reasonable prices compared to eBay.
Now onto the renovation stage………Happy days 🙂
- This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Paul.
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That sounds much more like it, and quite a haul. That’s a great price for the No. 71.
The No. 5 looks great, and looks to be pre-1960s at it appears to have rosewood handles and the blade and cap iron have the angular corners rather than the rounded corners on the “improved” blade of the No 4.
One of my No. 71’s has resin handles, which look and feel OK, but we all know it would be much nicer if they were wooden. A member of our extended family who lives up on the Central Coast of NSW has turned me a pair out of tallow wood and lovely they are too. Somethings just look and feel right.
At this rate you might still be broke but you’ll have a lot more to show for it.
I think that collectors are driving the prices up, and the user tools that used to be had at a bargain have become scarce. I’ve been trying to purchase a #4 or #5 Stanley/Bailey plane, type 19 or earlier (for use, not for a collection) for a few weeks, but bidders keep pushing the prices up beyond that which I can afford.
I picked up a very nice hundred year old Bailey No.6 last week for $15 at a local antique mall. Zero problems other than light surface rust and a bit of japanning loss. (Gloat! Gloat!)
CORRECTION: Actually it was $12. That vendor had everything discounted by 20% off of the marked price.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Dave Ring.
My take on all this is that if you are looking at the same ones that everyone else is looking at, then you will all be bidding on the same ones. You only have to look at the story above to see that ebay is probably a waste of time if you are on a budget.
My wife occasionally talks to some guys in the pub who do house clearance. She told them I am interested in planes, so, knowing that they have a potential buyer, they keep their eyes open. Try looking around your area, see who does this kind of work, go and talk to them. A couple of weeks ago she brought me home a wooden scrub, smoother and variable mouth rebate plane for the local curreny equivalent of ten quid.
My old man picked up a very nice wooden jointer plane at an old bikes meet.
Now, if you just want to start woodworking, you could look at some of the EUropean wooden planes, or get the hang of tuning in a cheaper newer metal plane. My Mexican Stanley 4 1/2 may not have the pedigree of an antique Sheffield one, but I have flattened the sole, sharpened the blade and it works well.
I appreciate all of the helpful reply’s. I’m not new to woodworking. For approximately twenty years, I had a mostly electric workshop. I made some furniture, and way too many shop jigs and accessories. Unfortunately, I had to sell the house and tools due to illness, but I’m doing better now, and am starting up slowly, with less room, and a very small budget. This time around, I’m going to focus on hand tools.
I do have a Stanley #4 plane, but unfortunately, it is an early 1980’s model. I’ve spent a lot of time on it, but still cannot get consistent results, so it has been relegated for use as a scrub plane. Over the past two days, I have been making a new tote for it from wood that I split off of an old maple log from a tree fell down in my yard. Then I cut it with my small handsaw, and shaped it with gouges and my chip carving knife. I’m hoping that the next one that I make will take less time, now that I have tried a few different methods.
On a side note: does anyone have ideas on how to drill the stepped holes in the tote without a lot of specialty tools? My twist drill bit created some small divots from splinters as I drilled into the top of the tote. I also tried to carve the round hole with my knife, and that wasn’t very good.
[quote quote=650593]On a side note: does anyone have ideas on how to drill the stepped holes in the tote without a lot of specialty tools? My twist drill bit created some small divots from splinters as I drilled into the top of the tote. I also tried to carve the round hole with my knife, and that wasn’t very good.[/quote]
I don’t know if you consider a drill press( pillar drill) specially tool or not, but drilling a 4” stepped hole is a lot easier with one. I find I miss the mark too often by hand.
I drill the larger hole at high speed with a 7/16” Forstner bit 3/8 deep followed bY a long haft spur bit either 1/4” or 5/16”. A shorter spur followed by an electrician’s bit will do.
Don’t drill the Forstner hole too deep. You can always make it deeper on final fit
I drill before cutting the bottom angle and the grain is pretty much along the line it needs to be.
Then I cut the bottom angle and start cutting and filing. Again, a band saw speeds things up. The angles I use are 26° for a #3 or #4, and 27° for the larger bench planes.
Lee valley has a template and directions on their website if you don’t have a pattern already. I just used an old tote, which I found more aesthetic. I’ll post a picture of the first page.
Gramercy (Tools for working wood ) has a great hand cut rasp specifically made for totes and saw handles that has a safe back and is curved. I find it makes the work go quicker. I don’t know what it costs now, but I think I paid $50 for it. Good tool and useful for other stuff.
Plane Shavings blog
Has three part postings called “make a tote” parts 1, 2, &3 I found really helpful. Re-reading the series, that must be where I found out about the rasp.
Just go to the blog and plug “make a tote” in the search box.
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