Need help to buy some used tools

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    As a starting hand tool woodworker, I’m trying to gather some tools to be able to follow the builds as they come along.
    So far, I’ve already made the famous workbench (will post pictures when completely done) and some small tools.
    But since I live in Belgium, it’s very hard to get those first grade old-tools that Paul talks about.
    I’ve seen a lot of potential good tools, on, but almost nobody wants to ship them to Belgium, especially saws.

    I was wondering if someone of the UK-colleagues would be willing to forward tools to me, after I’ve purchased them from ebay? Of course I’d pay for all made costs!

    Thanks in advance


    Hi Bert ,  i’ve also been ‘hunting’ for tools on and i’m in Greece.

    It’s not been straightforward, but i gradually learned what to look for in tools …and sellers.  After one month of spending way too much time on the pc i’m almost completely tooled up for the basic’s. Stick with it ,  for me it’s been worthwhile and i’m very proud of the old tools that now will become even older in my hands :-).

    Point being that you have to really ” x-ray” the listing’s , save a few favorite sellers ,compare the tools listed to ones on Paul blog, this forum….. all over the web, best advise ,do your research then buy!

    Find sellers that offer international courier ( for about 20-23 GBP for 20kg ), airmail small packets ( to Greece it’s about 6-10 GBP ) or even surface mail, the last has worked fine for me so far (i’m not entirely sure it’s safe as a few people say it’s not) . One more thing , if a seller doesn’t say ” only uk postage” , always ask ,most are glad to help. My experience has been that more that half of the listings can be posted internationally.

    You mentioned saws ,i now have more saws than i need , one lot of  8 hand saws went for 16… 3 old  distons/atkin/and some other very nice ones ,nice handles , i’ll restore them ( and if i can part from them 🙂 ) , sell them. I also got 4 tenon saw’s for 5-10 each and a very nice Groves dovetail saw for 15.

    As Paul and many others have noted , wait for the right bargains  !   I got a bit impatient and spent more than i should of on a few things  , but then a few days later  there they go at half the price!

    Also , most times  a rough looking tool doesn’t meen it’s a bad tool, learn what to look for ,if it’s all there and there are no nasty deformations or really deep rust , it’s good!  After some cleaning/derusting even painting if you like, you’ll love your tools.

    I hope this helps you , it was dificult for me so  i feel glad to pass on my experiance so far , more so for another begginer, ask anything you want , i’ll try to help.

    all the best !




    Michael Petre


    whereabouts in Belgium? I have been finding very good quality tools on the flea markets in the past. There’s a couple of eBay dealers in The Netherlands and in Germany who do ship across borders routinely. You can also find good tools on eBay France if you know what you are looking for (Goldenberg and Darex planes do come to mind).




    Hi Victor and Michael,

    Thanks for the advise. I already found a couple of dealers that are willing to ship to Belgium. So far, not for big saws but I’ll wait some more.

    Michael, I live in the region of West-Flanders. The only things I’ve found on flea markets are chisels and clamps. Saws are very rare and the one you’ll find are crap.

    I keep looking for decent and not to pricy saws

    Kind regards,

    Michael Petre

    You never know when you’ll find saws, but I promise you do find them. Last week there was a very nice older Ulmia frame saw (massive brass medallion) for 10 euro on the local flea market, this weekend a friend bought a large rip handsaw for 2 euro… he still needs to clean up the medallion and plate to find out what brand it is but it does look like a very nice saw under the grime. I do encounter Disston saws on flea markets every so often and they are rarely expensive.

    If you have the occasion on a weekend, try doing a flea market on the other side of the linguistic border. I keep hearing of cheap good quality woodworking equipment in the area around Spa. It used to be a very active woodworking area, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I also do know from first hand experience that the flea market in Arlon (1st Sunday of the month, usually) always has antique hand tools dealers, some even have very reasonable prices. There’s also a specialized woodworking tools flea market in Paris once a year, that is where a lot of the German/Dutch professional eBay sellers get their stock… we were discussing the possibility of going down with a friend at the next edition.


    I love hearing about tool markets in other countries. Makes me want to come visit all the more…

    This UK dealer always draws my attention. Not flea-market pricing, but what I would consider fair dealer pricing for quality vintage tools that appear to need little if any rehabilitation. They do not ship to the US (too bad – or good – for me!), but they do ship to the EU. Belgium is in Zone 1, so the rates are not the worst.

    Old Tools Shop

    There are several other great dealers in England, no? Perhaps a tool trip is in your future? Easy for me to say. I could not even justify a 2.5 hour drive south to San Diego for a tool swap last weekend. 😉

    -Scott Los Angeles

    George Bridgeman

    Hi Bert,

    What sort of saws are you after in particular? I’ve been buying hand saws (not back saws) whenever I’ve seen a good deal for a while now and have ended up with what most people would say is too many. There are seven in the room I’m in now, another couple downstairs, a few in the shop and probably another five or six in the loft. They’re all different sizes and tooth configurations so I’ve probably got something you’d like. I haven’t gotten round to sharpening many of them yet (only the ones I use) so some may require a bit of attention. The only type I only have a couple of is 10PPI – they’re harder to come by for a decent price. I’ll try looking for the original cost I paid for any you fancy and let you have it for that.

    If you’re not sure what you’re after, I can offer some suggestions for a two or three saw set that would get you started.

    If you want to buy them yourself from eBay, you can get them shipped to me here in England and I can forward the package on to you.


    "To know and not do is to not know"


    Hi George,

    I’m not sure whichs saws I need to get going. For now I only have a crosscut carcass saw.
    I’ll send you a PM to discuss this more into detail.



    Well i think George has got you covered there Bert .

    Good man George ! love your new workshop btw, top stuff ! you’ve given me something to aim for 🙂


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