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    Richard Guggemos

    Overall, I’ve had a hard time matching Paul’s tool prices on eBay. That’s probably due to an economy that’s strengthened between the time of his recordings and now. So I’ve searched for ways to stay on budget and acquire the tools I need.

    I’m still looking for a solution re. saws, but for most other tools I have a new strategy.

    During its prime years of hand tool mfg., Stanley bought up many other brands. The purchased brands were often kept alive post acquisition using rebranded Stanley tools. They also manufactured tools for a number of (generally smaller) brands. Many tools from both of these categories don’t seem to have cachet with collectors or users, and therefore sell well below the prices of Stanley brands tools, even when the parts are fully interchangeable.

    I wanted a Stanley 45 plow, but couldn’t come close to finding a decent example anywhere near my budget. Instead, I got a Craftsman. Sears sourced these from Sargent. That would have been satisfactory for me, but better yet, this 45 was mfg by Stanley when Sargent began outsourcing production.

    My 45 is pristine, looking as if it was barely used. It didn’t come with the longer set of rods for the fence, but these are available cheaply if I ever need them. It only came with one blade, but it’s what I need to make paneled doors or the wall clock project. And the whole thing was less than $50 delivered.

    Similarly, I recently bought a Siegley #5C. This is basically a Stanley type 9 #5C, again manufactured by Stanley. It was $35 delivered. It’s in great condition,and I only had to do a quick hone of the blade to start making shavings.

    So if you’re on a tight budget, look for odd brands of the tools you want. Use a google to determine who made them and their quality, and then bid reasonable prices. Before you know it, you’ll have a set of tools other will envy.

    Matt McGrane

    Great post, Richard. Armed with some knowledge about old tool makers, you’ve gotten some good tools. I hope they serve you well. Now if I only had the patience to research these things …

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016:

    Dave Ring

    Richard, for user saws your best bet is to go out “in the wild” and root around in the local flea markets, estate sales and antique malls where you can actually see what you are buying as well as avoiding shipping charges.

    For estate sales, google “estate sales” and you will find a website that lists upcoming sales near you (assuming that you are in the USA) with pictures of what is on offer.

    Best of luck!


    David Perrott

    I’ve been lucky to buy the majority of my tools at a flea market. Its crazy how little I’ve paid form most of my tools. There is one dealer who I have purchased things from and told him what I was looking for and he found some things for me. I did break down and bought the biggest mortise chisel known to man from ebay. Its a 3/8 english sorby chisel with a massive handle.

    Richard Guggemos

    Thanks Dave, great ideas to try

    Richard Guggemos

    David, thanks. Looks like I need to track down the local fleamarket(s).

    David Perrott

    When I first started out I bought a no.5 plane off ebay (for too much), and the veritas carcass saws. Then I got a no.4 for $7 on craigslist then started hitting the flea market. I have been very fortunate. I have found so much stuff, and things made locally. I prefer wooden planes and many of them were made in the New York area. Yes its cheaper but it does take some time to track it down. I have gone to a tool meet too. The price was more like ebay but I was able to get things I couldn’t find in the wild like a cabinet scraper.

    Thomas Angle

    I second the flea markets, yard sales and antique stores. Also craigslist (if you are in the US) is a good place to keep an eye out for tool. I have bought all kinds of tools from the above mentioned. Half took some work to clean up. Once in a while I (my wife is tool spotter also) find something good like a Spears Jackson backsaw and a old chisel for $7 or a split nut backsaw and a 1920ish Diston handsaw for $15. It just take time and keen eye.

    For saws, don’t overlook anything Disston on it I have some saws from the 80’s that stays sharp for a long time.

    Arbovale, WV

    Proverbs 18:13
    13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

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