Hello and welcome to the group.
My name is Alan and I have too many planes!
I bought too many tools secondhand, taking advantage of bargains when they came-up at auction, thinking “keep the best & sell the rest”, but I miss owning some I’ve sold on. Not because I needed them or ever used them, I miss the collecting aspect having put so much time & effort into acquiring & restoring them. Perhaps part of the regret is realising I’ll never get around to using specialist tools I had ambition for. We do tend to build an association with tools.
Paul shows us how to get started building fine furniture with the bare minimum of tools. His point being it doesn’t have to be expensive to get started. However, he has a personal set of Stanley planes, Record planes, Woden planes, and is still looking to complete a set of Sorby’s.
He doesn’t use block-planes much, if at all, but has a collection of every one there is, in the cabinet behind him. Paul has brand-new No.4 planes in boxes “just because I like to look at them once in a while” – and that’s after selling £2,000 of surplus tools some years ago!
We all do it.
The best advice I would give is; keep them if you don’t need the space or the money.
Otherwise thin your collection down, but not too much and not too quickly. Keep all your favourites, whether you use them or not. If you use a particular tool once in a blue moon, there’s still a sense of regret when you need it and remember you sold it. People realise the value of nice hand tools that just aren’t being made any more (Disston saws, Preston routers…) If you sell one, it’ll be more difficult to replace it later-on.
Remember: Help is out there!
Please keep hold of them. You cannot seriously have too many tools. I have various spanners, pliers, et cetera. I keep adding to my collection. You will seriously regret selling or getting rid of any of your tools. Take the router plane for example, Paul said they used to be ten-a-penny, but since he’s recommended them they’ve gone back up to their original price, and even more. I would suggest you make room for them and hang on to them. You will regret selling them.
Some of the tools you may regret selling as your skills increase and you find you can use some of those tools. Molding planes or other specialized tools, for example.
I’m not a tool collector and don’t subscribe to keeping a tool just because. You may feel differently.
I would think this depend on what kinds of tools and how many of each type you have. It is nice to have a few planes on hand to wok with. When one get dull, pick up another. I find it easier (for myself) to sharpen a few irons at a time instead of one at a time. Sometimes I get in a groove and do not want to stop.
I personally like old hand saws for some odd reason. I feel you cannot have too many hand saws. But then again, my wife says I can be a hoarder.
Another thing you might want to think about is, do you have or want children? It might be nice to pass along some tools to them or your grandchildren in the future. When my grandfather passed away I missed out on his tools (did not have a place to store them) and same with my wife grandfather (relatives more worried about getting money. He was a 4th gen german woodworker). I would have loved to had more tools from both. Plus it is a good time to spend with children building things with them.
Of course then there are people like me that are aways up for donations to our tool collections.
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