Collecting Antique Woodworking Tools

Antique Woodworking Tools

There are many different reasons why people are interested in antique woodworking tools.
There's collectors, dealers, history buffs, and others that are just interested for the nostalgia, or maybe a dozen other reasons.

I fall into the last catagory. I'm just interested in the history of the antique carpentry tools that I've been able to find. I wonder about who they belonged to and what they've been used for.

Occasionally I even put one to work. Sometimes some of these old antique woodworking tools still do a better job than their modern replacement.


Where to Find Old Woodworking Tools

If you're passively collecting these old woodworking tools when you run across them then just put yourself in places where they may turn up. Garage sales, estate sales, flea markets to name some of the more common places where antique tools are abundant. You'll also find a lot of these old tools at online auctions such as Ebay.

If you're serious about a specific collection such as antique Stanley Planes or Disston Saws then you have to make yourself known and what you're collecting. Get to know antique dealers, join antique clubs and online forums. Its easier to find what you want by getting help from others that have resources that you don't.

old woodworking tools

Antique Tools Information

If you're serious about collecting these antique woodworking tools then you may want to consider getting a antique buyers guide. Although expensive, it's a great guide to find out the tool values of the tools you're considering buying or for the ones you already have.

Some antique dealers will give you a appraisal on antique tool values but this way of getting information can be more expensive than the tool is worth. It could also be subject to varying conclusions depending on the dealer.

Antique clubs and online forums are normally a great way to find out about certain old tools. You'll get acquanted with other collectors that can be very helpful. Another great place is the company that made the tool. Some of these companies make very detailed information available for the collector.

Restoring Antique Woodworking Tools

This is one of the big delimmas of every antique tool owner. Restoring old tools depend on whether you're planning to use it, put it in a collection or sell it. It also depends on the value before and after the planned restoration.

Some old woodworking tools are worth more left alone than they are repaired. Some are worth more repaired if you plan to put it back into use. Sometimes its a hard decision but ultimately it comes down to which way it's worth more to you.

Building Your Own

Some of these old woodworking tools still work better than the modern tools that replaced them. One of the antique tools that comes to mind are profile planes. The entire plane could be purchased ready to use or made in the shop. Carpenter shops used dozens of these, all with a different profile.

Woodworkers today are starting to use these again. Plans to build these can be found online and the entire plane can be made from shop materials. You can buy premade profile blades or you can make your own. I've heard of some guys making these blades out of old saw blades.

Other woodworking tools that are easily made in your shop are bucksaws, mallets, chisel, carving tools, wood vises and a multitude of other useful tools.

This is the newest addition to my old tool collection. . .

seybold plane

According to the stampings,  the plane was made by E.F. Seybold in Cincinnati sometime between 1836 and 1852.    E. F. Seybold was a planemaker and hardware dealer during that time period.


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