Tools in the UK

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  • #136978
    Thomas Angle
    Participant

    I was browsing the Uk ebay site for vintage tools. I know envy is a sin, but I have to say I am jealous of you all over there. The selection, pricing and quality of the tools there is remarkable. Make me want to move there just for the selection of tools. I would probably go broke and live in a poor house, but I would have a great tool collection.

    Arbovale, WV

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

    #137001
    ehisey
    Participant

    I was just thinking the same thing. Hand and panel saws are plentiful and cheap this side of the pond, but any kind of backsaw or more specialized is ridiculously priced. Our aussie brethen have it even worse in both price and selection.

    Tuscloosa, Alabama
    Lung T'an Hu Huesh Kung-fu Woodshop

    #137005
    Matt McGrane
    Participant

    I know one of the American tool dealers makes trips to England to buy lots of tools at good prices. Then he sells them in America for prices that are normal or even high for America. Makes me wonder if it wouldn’t be cheaper for Americans to buy several tools from eBay and take a hit on shipping costs. Not that I’d want to do that – I can’t stand eBay already.

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/

    #137007
    charlesfchambers
    Participant

    I know one of the American tool dealers makes trips to England to buy lots of tools at good prices. Then he sells them in America for prices that are normal or even high for America. Makes me wonder if it wouldn’t be cheaper for Americans to buy several tools from eBay and take a hit on shipping costs. Not that I’d want to do that – I can’t stand eBay already.

    If you’re talking about who I think you’re talking about, I get that dealer’s list every month. It’s educational (cool old tools) and funny to read. Some prices aren’t really that bad, and can be cheaper than eBay. For example, this month, he has a complete with box No 71 router plane for less than similar condition (complete) routers recently sold on eBay. And it’s WW II era which is extra nice. His descriptions are accurate and pictures are good too. It’s like anything else though, you have to shop around a bit for the best price. Also he’s the guy behind the Stanley blood and gore historical web site which is an amazing reference.

    One thing I like to do is to consider my own experience with a particular tool.
    If I have zero experience with a particular tool, I may pay a higher price for one in very fine condition from a dealer so I know I’m getting a usable and correct tool straight away. I think like this for saws especially, since I have no means or experience in fixing bent saws. And unlike a plane, no amount of sanding I do will make a saw straight. So paying a bit more or a lot more than flea market prices for a really nice Disston from a dealer is worthwhile to me. Especially when I know I’ll have that tool longer than seller will have my money in his pocket.

    You can snipe UK eBay auctions and even with shipping get a fine tool for less than U.S. ebay, but again, you have to shop. And of course consider the exchange rate.

    #137763
    Paul Dallender
    Participant

    Got to admit we are lucky here in the UK but prices are starting to creep up and for some things they just become silly, especially after a certain Mr Sellers recommends a particular tool. I just bought a Record 778 Rebate plane for £49 ($69.85) but it is in near perfect condition.

    However, it’s always worth rummaging around a car boot sale here (don’t know what the equivalent is over the pond) these are Sunday markets where for a small pitch fee, anyone can turn up and sell anything they have to get rid of out of the back of their cars. Only last weekend I managed to get a rather nice vintage panel saw for £1.50 ($1.43) which will need sharpening and some surface rust taking off, a gentleman’s dovetail saw for 50p (71 cents) just needs sharpening and a Stanley oval shaped bodied marking gauge for £2 ($2.85). Oh and not forgetting there was a vintage Stanley No4 plane, which really only needed a half hour spent on it bringing it up to scratch for the princely sum of £5 ($7.13). The equivalent on Ebay would have cost more like £35 plus (nearly $50).

    People selling on and researching Ebay know the price they can get for these old tools, but the car boot people i.e. every day Joe just looking to get rid of what they think of as rubbish; are happy to just make a couple of pounds. Mind you these are now fast becoming the hunting grounds for woodworkers like me, as shown when at one of these, I missed out on two vintage dovetail and tenon saws again going very cheap because I wasn’t sure and hesitated. I walked away got no more than ten feet, thought about it, turned round to go back and buy them and they were snapped up by someone else.

    As a certain famous British television comedy character market trader would say ‘He who dares wins’

    Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England

    #138640
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    Living in Bulgaria, I’m pretty envious of people buying tools in just about any other country. I just yesterday went to Pavlikeni market looking for hand tools and could find next to nothing there. Not a single chisel new or old (loads of screwdrivers though). There’s no easy explanation that I can think of.

    Ebay has some great woodworking tools if I don’t mind spending the purchase price again (or more) on postage. It’s very frustrating!

    #138990
    STEVE MASSIE
    Participant

    I am with you Matt, I am not a fan of E – Bay and I think I know the tool dealer you are talking about. Good Guy and sells great tools but some are pricey.

    I buy most of mine from another woodworking forum who are great friends and people to deal with. Haven’t been dissapointed yet, I prefer older tools to new ones personally.

    Steve

    Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US

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