This is a place where you can expect to find regular updates about all aspects of the Olde Trade corporation. Be it Olde Trade Tools; Olde Trade Auctions; the Glastonbury Glass House; the Shop on this site; or one of our seven physical locations: you will find it here.Where To Find Us
23-November-2023 Entry: The Fall Harcourt Show and Auction Progress
For the past couple of years, I have been doing a small Antique Show in Guelph at the Harcourt Memorial United Church facility. I generally bring a “mish-mash” of tools and antique smalls. It doesn’t bring a lot of commerce however; it is a good slow day to kibitz with friends. I also get to test out display methods like my beer crates – bring the stuff in… empty it… use it for shelves… load it back up.
Olde Trade Auctions No 3 is progressing well – finally getting traction!Olde Trade Auctions No 3
16-November-2023 Entry: Auction Business in “full flight”…
It’s a ho-hum day when you have to wait around for people to come and pick up their stuff. You never know how many are coming until the end of an auction. At the end of Auction 2, it appears that about 40% of the stuff is shipping south of the border. I will have to plan to use the hall for packing goods between pick-up customers.
Olde Trade Auctions: Auction 3 will start tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. If it peaks your interest, follow the links from the menu above.
In other news, I will be participating in a local Antique Show at Harcourt United church this Saturday. If you have some time (it runs 10 am until 3 pm) head on over to Dean Avenue at Guelph.
I’m also wishing our American friends a Happy Thanksgiving. I’m sure it will be good to get together with friends and family during these trying economic times. Warm thoughts.
2-November-2023 Entry: Aberfoyle is Closed for the Season – Auctions are On
Sunday October 29th marked the end of another Aberfoyle season. I celebrated by gifting myself with this rare half-gallon Guelph Ironmongers Crock. Horman Brothers hung their shingle at the corner of Wyndham and Carden between 1867 and 1872. I paid a good coin for it but, it certainly fits my theme.
I’ve since turned my attention to Olde Trade Auctions – Auction 2 which starts tomorrow…
4:00 p.m. Friday November 3, 2023
and Closing set to commence…
7:00 p.m. Thursday November 9, 2023
This sale is approximately three times the size of Auction 1 and there are many choice items on offer.
We are preparing to load XMAS items into the Antique Malls this Sunday. This involves removing stock from the booths and replacing it with XMAS items we have been building all year. When January rolls around we will change it out again.
That’s all for now folks!
25-October-2023 Entry: Fall is Upon Us
A few months ago, many people were commenting about how fast the summer was going. The fall of 2023 continues to progress at a rapid rate.
THIS SUNDAY IS THE LAST OF THE 2023 SEASON FOR THE ABERFOYLE ANTIQUE MARKET. Due to some recent large purchases and a crazy buying spree at the PICKERING TOOLS OF THE TRADES SHOW & SALE back on the 15th, I am sorting through a glut of inventory.
In other news… OLDE TRADE AUCTIONS completed is first sale last week with a modest 84 lots. A much larger 200+ lot auction is set to run as follows:
Friday November 3 – Thursday November 9
We will continue to add items right up until auction start. Check out our “Auctions” page to get links to the actual catalogue.
In the span of ten days, I have come into some exceptional wood planes… all of which have come from different sources:
Here we have a D.R. Barton Handled Screw-Arm Plow Plane (Rochester). This piece will likely be part of OLDE TRADE AUCTIONS 3RD Auction (November 17 to November 27). To the right is a Mathieson 8B Handled Screw-Arm Plow Plane (Glasgow)
Dawson (Montreal) Rare “Coming & Going” Picture Frame Mitre Trimmer
Dryburgh (N.E. Hope) Panel Raiser
27-September-2023 Entry: Olde Trade Expansion to “the Block”
So… Why do we have this OLDE TRADE AUCTIONS page?
In a meeting with my accountants in the fall of 2022, it was suggested that I gravitate towards an online platform. At the time, I had a SHOP on my website however; I had little time to maintain it. I walked away with a plan but, our entry into the world of antique glassware and the building of five booths (technically seven) in various antique malls got in the way…
…until now. Almost all of my business moves are predicated on the sales information I put into a large spreadsheet every week. This same spreadsheet also generates weekly gross profit graphs for all sales channels. By June of 2023, there were no viable Antique Mall venues left to add. Venturing into the online auction world was a facts-and-data decision.
The online model invites a much larger audience and allows Olde Trade Tools to reach some specialized markets. Some may say “Oh… He will soon be leaving Aberfoyle and the Malls.” This is highly unlikely. The malls perpetuate the brand, provide winter cash flow and provide hands-on access to the product. Indirectly, they maximize buying and lower costs. If I’m on a tool “pick”, and I unexpectedly see a high-value quantity of antique glassware, I have seven outlets to dispose of it. If I’m on a glass “pick” and there happens to be a pile of tools in the basement, well so much the better. Aberfoyle, provides a venue where I can be in front of the public. It is a place for sales, purchasing, tool upgrading. All of these venues provide me with greater opportunities to sense market changes and make adjustments. So… the As-Is model is changing – not shrinking – to make things “more better.”
So… click on the menu option above and then have a look at the Auctions page. It will lead you out to the Olde Trade Auctions HiBid site.
5-September-2023 Entry: HOW THINGS GET DONE
I often hear “I don’t know where you get your energy”. Well, here’s the secret: Olde Trade Tools does not function on the efforts of one person. At Aberfoyle, we have assembled one of the best tool restoration teams I have seen anywhere. From 7:00 am until 4:00 pm, the wheels are humming. People come to us because we provide solutions. I witnessed a perfect example this weekend. A customer wanted a functional axe for yard work… and didn’t want to break the bank in the process. The axe we had available was very rough – welded in the pole. He was after a low-cost solution to his problem. He asked us if we could sharpen it – perhaps not his expertise. With six different wheels at our disposal, Owen had it ready to go in ten minutes. You could tell that he will be back.
Our young apprentice Elliot came to us with a strong hand tool background. He wants to be a manual machinist and Owen has taken the time to give him as much knowledge as he can. How many kids these days can speak with such conviction about their intended vocation. All day long, Elliot continuously impresses customers with his knowledge of tools. He maintains that he became interested in tools at two years old and has quite a shop of his own now. Machinists and Tool and Die makers visit us regularly. In Elliot, they see the kind of young man that is a rare reflection from their past.
I might have been wrong when I said that people come to us because we provide solutions… I think they also come to watch the show.. and shoot the breeze. Pinch me… Are we really working?
I just find the straw… these guys make the gold!
21-September-2023 Entry: ABERFOYLE SATURDAY SHOW – Saturday September 23
Just a heads up to come out this Saturday to the Aberfoyle Antique Market Saturday Show. It is expected that there will be a 160 dealers – more than double the normal Sunday compliment. The visiting dealers come from all over the Ontario and Quebec.
To answer the many inquiries: ON-SITE PARKING WILL BE AVAILABLE.
It appears that the weather will be great this weekend, so come one and come all!
29-July-2023 Entry: I wonder what could be in these chests I brought back from Martin Donnelly’s July Auction?
As many will know, John Pirie and I went down earlier this week to Martin Donnelly’s World Headquarters; for the annual July Tool Auction. I am compelled to report that it was three days of intensive field deals; hoisting bid cards; followed by hoisting flagons of ale.
The Rag-and-Bone men are back!
and there is booty and loot…
If you have it in you, come to Booth 59/60 at The Aberfoyle Antique Market in the morning and enjoy. I think I’ll try to just park my trailer in the booth…
19-July-2023 Entry: The State of Things at Olde Trade Tools and The Glastonbury Glass House
The summer of 2023 is getting away on me and I am pushing hard to get the various channels of my small empire running smoothly.
As is the case most years; June was a hard month for the antiques trade. This year it was more difficult than normal. Olde Trade Tools and The Glastonbury Glass House were somewhat shielded through diversification and having multiple venues. The new booth at The 400 Market (Innisfil) did a lot to “save the day”.
The market strengthened towards the end of June and at present, our booth at The Cookstown Antique Market is leading the way with The 400 Market close on its heels.
Tool sales remain strong in all locations while glass has dropped off a bit in the Waterloo venues.
I use the Sunday Aberfoyle location as an inventory base to supply the other locations and there is always a supply on hand there to provide the best selection.
**IMPORTANT DATE**Sunday July 30**Stock from Martin Donnelly’s Summer Auction at Aberfoyle**
I will be displaying the majority of my inventory at Aberfoyle on this date, after having been away at this three-day auction event. There are already several pieces there waiting for me now that I bought over the winter.
As usual, you are welcome to send me requests before I go, if there is something in particular you are looking for. I can provide you with estimates as to what these items might cost.
You can expect another Newsletter on or about July 27 with photos depicting the new pieces that we will be bringing to Aberfoyle on Sunday July 30.
The new booths at Cookstown and Innisfil are selling Glass/Lace/Antiques very well. As always in the antiquities market, better pieces always sell well. We are in the process of changing things up in the Waterloo booths to better address customer needs.
22-June-20223 Entry: Firing Up The OTT Website Blog Again…
It’s been nine months since I have posted to the OTT Website. The business has undergone significant change and diversification over the course of that time and I didn’t want my writing to be sporadic during that period. Now that the majority of the physical work is over, I intend to write at a decent frequency.
About the time of my last writing, my wife began putting the odd piece of antique glass in my Olde Trade Tools booths at Market Road (Waterloo) and The St. Jacobs Market (Waterloo). By Christmas time, there was enough success to warrant opening a second booth at The St. Jacobs Market called “Some Other Thyme Antiques”, which opened in January.
Some Other Thyme was Quickly followed by a fourth booth The Glastonbury Glass House at Market Road in February. The Glastonbury Glass House was the most significant undertaking to that point. We were “all in” with the glass business.
Rolling the dice in late February, I attempted a large Olde Trade Tools display case at Southworks in Cambridge but it did not have the market impact of the Waterloo outlets – I had to hastily shut it down. I firmly believe that crowds drawn to the weekend Farmers Market in Waterloo provides enough opportunistic buyers to sustain keep the booths healthy.
By March, the two glass booths were outselling the two tool booths in Waterloo. A comprehensive glass offering, coupled with lace, and accessible art seems to generate steady sales.
Knowing that ancillary sales on the non-tool side of the business was dependent upon weekend tourist traffic in the thousands (Aberfoyle and the Farmers Market both have this kind of traffic), I began to seek out other venues with similar attributes. The one place that meets that criterion is Roadshow Antiques at Innisfil. I approached Roadshow and Cookstown and given their wait-lists, I was expecting that this would be a 2024 undertaking. Being a purveyor of hand tools though has its benefits – I was offered a booth at Cookstown for May 1 and Roadshow for June 1.
Booths six and seven would be vastly different than the previous ones. For starters, I would essentially be doing theatre stage design and construction two hours from home and one and a half hours from my weekday location. These booths would also have to be broken into a Glastonbury Glass Component and an Olde Trade Tools component. At Cookstown, the space was a little smaller but, it had some dramatic features in a barn setting. Design-wise, it is very optimal for our products. I don’t believe that we could have utilized the space any better. Bolstered by the success of the Glastonbury Glass House booth concept at Market Road Antiques; the Roadshow booth would be hands-down the most complex project that we have undertaken to date. The concept for the Olde Trade Tools portion was to rework a pergola structure I bought in 2022 to create a different look than the Glastonbury Glass House part that surrounded it.
While building was going on, buying was going on! To launch Cookstown and Roadshow, a quality inventory had to be assembled across all the types of product we sell. It is one thing to “bleed out” your other markets. It is quite another to add $30,000 in “I want to own that” stock in two months.
The logistics of acquiring twenty display units and keeping them sheltered until move-in date (particularly with an end-of-April Aberfoyle opening) was quite tricky. With my construction crew Matt B. and Dave B. taking on some of the pieces in their shops and the timely purchase of an enclosed trailer, it just managed to work out.
Lighting is always important in a glass display. I was fortunate to come into a pile of used LED track lighting (11 tracks with 53 lights). Early on, we discovered that black lighting is a big help in selling Uranium Glass. All the small Detolf cases needed new lighting. It just made sense to install decent distribution.
There was help from family. There was help from friends. Not surprisingly, it was difficult – the plan called for difficult.
What happens now?
Inventory is maintained in a big loop. Late Sunday afternoons (after Aberfoyle) is Waterloo. Late Friday afternoons is Roadshow and Cookstown. I am still working on a rotation methodology to keep things fresh at all locations. We have a years worth of data which provides a good sense of how seasonality affects the markets. We know some of the idiosyncrasies of the markets we are in. We will read and react to the various market twists and turns for the remainder of the year.
In the late summer I will work on a plan to increase our internet presence through Facebook, Kijiji and this website.
4-October-2022 Entry: Bringing Tools of the Trades Show Stock to Aberfoyle This Sunday
Following an intense Hand Tool weekend at the Tools of the Trades Show, I will be bringing the majority of the new stock to Booth 59/60 at the Aberfoyle Antique Market this coming Sunday (October 9).
The following is a list of the new items: Hults Brooks Axe; Hults Brooks Hatchets (3); Norris A5; Bedrock 608 (rough); Record 4 ½; Record 5 ½; Clean Stanley No 10; Wood Compass Plane; Disston Fingerhole Rip Saw; Stanley 5 ½’s (4); Starrett Levels (3); Stanley 4 ½; Stanley 75 Bullnose (2); Canadian Champion Chisels (2); D.R. Barton 3″ Slick; Set of 6 Robert Sorby Carvers; Stanley No 99 Side Rabbet; Stanley 77 RW Mortise Gage; 4-Fold Architects Rule; 77 Dowel Maker;
Wood Plated Braces w. Bits (2); Marples Mitre Hook; Early Spear & Jackson Saw in superb condition; Irwin Bits in wood box; 8” Drawknives with good handles (2); Rabone Machinist Shafting Levels (2); Record No 4
Stay tuned and I hope to see you sometime and somewhere this Sunday!
16-September-2022 Entry: Getting Ready for the Saturday Show – Tomorrow
Owen and I were in yesterday doing general clean up. Today we will continue to load new items. This afternoon Ivan is joining us – setting up on the north end.
With the October 2 Pickering Tools of the Trades show coming up soon (I will be staging it at Aberfoyle before taking it to Oshawa on Sunday night).
There is lots of work to do at tis time of year – like putting a new glass lens in this Helb Railroad level.
Come join us this weekend at the Aberfoyle Antique Market – Booth 59-60… Also see note below about the Parking for the Saturday Show.
1-September-2022 Entry: IMPORTANT PARKING INFO – ABERFOYLE SATURDAY SEPT. 17 SHOW
I’m passing this along from the Management…
There will be NO on-site customer parking available to the public. Access to parking on the Market property will be limited to disabled and registered dealer parking.
Instead, please follow the signs to park at County Rd 34 & Victoria Rd.
There will be shuttle buses running to and from the Market all day for your convenience.
If you buy something you cant carry, arrangements will be made for convenient pickup at the Market property once you’re ready to leave.
Due to ongoing essential drainage improvements on the Market property, on-site parking in the back field is inaccessible at this time. Shuttle buses have been used in the past and work well! Thanks for your cooperation!
31-August-2022 Entry: Big Month Coming for Hand Tool Enthusiasts
As always, there never seems to be enough time in the day anymore. With the advent of cooler weather on the way, hand tool sales are on the rise. The Aberfoyle Antique Market; Market Road Antiques; St. Jacobs Antique Market; and the Timber Frame are delivering a record month for Olde Trade Tools.
MARK YOUR CALENDERS!
Saturday September 17 – Aberfoyle Antique Market Saturday Special Show
The Aberfoyle Saturday Special is upon us. There will be at least 150 dealers (as compared to the normal 65) that Saturday. This year will be different than most. Doug has had professional drainage installed and thus parking at the back lot will be affected.
Sunday October 2 – Pickering Tools of the Trades Show and Sale
The Tools of the Trades Show has returned to its normal first weekend in October time-slot. There is NO HAND TOOL SHOW IN THE COUNTRY THAT COMES CLOSE TO THIS EVENT. I’ve been doing this semi-annual event since the late 1990’s. Do yourself a favour – put it on the calender.
To meet the demand for the coming month, I have been running all over the province gathering up stock. It’s not like I don’t enjoy this but, I though I would mention it anyway…
I’ve also been running all over the province due to the most significant addition to my tool collection: William Dryburgh’s working tools; mother planes; and templates. I will be spending many nights cataloging them and writing the story.
Hope to see friendly faces this coming Sunday at Aberfoyle.
11-August-2022 Entry: Celebrating One Year at Aberfoyle
This Sunday will mark the end of Olde Trade Tools first year at The Aberfoyle Antique Market. It also coincides with a year of running this Aberfoyle Blog Post. I’d just like to give a warm thanks to all that came to the market and supported me this past year.
Through 2021-2022, Olde Trade Tools expanded into new venues and experienced growth through the addition of new Sales Channels. Today, OTT operates within the following sales channels:
The Aberfoyle Antique Market
Market Road Antiques
St. Jacobs Antique Market
The Pickering Tools of the Trades Show and Sale
The Timberframe at Fergus
Currently, Olde Trade Tools is working hard to improve its online Sales presence. Efforts to increase the use of the OTT Website Online Store are underway. Expect to see old items removed and new items added over the coming weeks. OTT intends to make better use of the SQUARE payment system and registration with PayPal is near completion. In the coming weeks, OTT will establish an eBay presence.
This BLOG will have to be re-titled to incorporate all of the various sales channels. This is to make communications more efficient with you the clients – I can only maintain one post a week… a Rag & Bone Man’s Primary Rag…
Ultimately, the places where we can meet face-to-face are The Aberfoyle Antique Market in the Summer and the Timberframe at my place in Fergus in the winter. There’s also the Pickering Tools of the Trades Show and Sale (Spring and Fall).
Selling antique hand tools has changed decidedly in recent times and Olde Trade Tools is doing its best to keep stride with those changes.
21-July-2022 Entry: Building up to Christmas in July
2022 has been quite a roller-coaster year for the antiques business. Personally, I have been making adjustments since “Opening Day” (April 24) at The Aberfoyle Antique Market. Opening Day delivered on the promise of strong sales. The month of May wobbled a bit and I searched for ways to improve.
The first action I did was to start offering more lower-cost antiques. June saw a steady increase from 5% to 30% on the small antiques side of the business – a lesson learned for next summer.
The second action was to start a small booth in an antique mall (Market Road Antiques) in early June. As luck would have it, another booth came up in a nearby mall (St. Jacobs Market) and given the close proximity, I figured I could manage it. I decided to act on this, as these things don’t come up that often. Selling Hand Tools has traditionally been a colder weather business. Online markets generally die in the summer. I have listed some great pieces on Facebook and Kijiji over the past couple of weeks with $0 sales. In the meantime, I sold more than $2000 in hand tools last week between Aberfoyle and the two markets… a hot week in July!
The third action was to move down-market in the antique malls. In speaking with the management in the malls, I have learned that the average sale at the till is $25. For the past few weeks, I’ve been adding in a dozen or more $10 to $35 items in the booth on Friday nights. Sales have been ramping.
The fourth action: Play to your strengths! Unlike Aberfoyle, sales at the Antique Malls have been almost exclusively tools. I have started to pull back glass, china, crocks, kitchenalia etc. to make room for more tool smalls.
The next action: Antique Malls are largely opportunistic when it comes to tools – rather than tool destination. In August, I will start working on stock rotation between all three, while maintaining staples (Full range of bench planes, sets of chisels, etc.).
CHRISTMAS IN JULY…
Long time dealers say that Aberfoyle usually does well on the long weekend. This coincides perfectly with my trip to Martin Donnelly’s three day Hand Tool Auction at Avoca, NY next week. If you are planning to come to Aberfoyle, this summer Sunday July 31 is the day!
I try to fill in inventory gaps when I go down south. This is the first time I’ve gone down where I don’t really need any more 3/4/5/6/7/8 planes – I’ve got plenty. I need more of the specialty planes, good chisels, etc. I need smalls. I’m taking the truck AND the trailer. On Friday July 29, I will come through Aberfoyle on my way back and dump loads at the booth for Sunday.
In the meantime, back at Aberfoyle (Olde Trade Tools World Headquarters), if you don’t like crowds, you can stop by this Sunday and have a look at shelves that are already laden. We’ll keep the porch light on.
4-July-2022 Entry: Back from a long WEB absense…
As some may have noticed, I have not been posting here with the frequency that I was back in the Fall. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends trying to expand into the antique malls as of late.
At the beginning of June, I opened Booth No 26 at Market Road Antiques in Waterloo.
For the past two weekends ,I have been pushing to open Booth No 126 at the St. Jacobs Antique Market – also in Waterloo.
What is known at our house as “The Six Weeks of Hell” began with the Pickering Tools of the Trades Show and Sale on the weekend of May 14/15. May 20/21 was a trip to Michigan to pick up the Oddfellows Tool Chest. The Market Road Antiques booth followed on June 4. June 11/12 was the weekend of the Saturday show at The Aberfoyle Antique Market. The middle of June saw mounting pressure to complete my business taxes for the first year. On June 25, we installed the walls and doors for Booth 126 at The St. Jacobs Antique Mall. The night of June 30 and the day of July 1 provided just enough time to move the cabinets in and stock St. Jacobs. Sprinkle in the 4:15 a.m. alarms on Sundays to get down to Aberfoyle and you get the idea…
Meanwhile, back at the Aberfoyle Antique Market…
Owen has been working steadily every week on the outside of the booth and cleaning up the place. He installed new curtains which keeps the rain and dew off the new plastic tables.
I have been very fortunate to keep a balanced ongoing supply of good hand tools this year. With the impact of the new economy affecting markets; I have also been “upping” my antique smalls game to supplement the slower summer tool sales. Christie is gone. St. Lawrence is now gone. Aberfoyle; the oldest market in Canada; is now without question the Mecca of antique destinations. Teaming Aberfoyle with the two antique mall locations proximate to the St. Jacobs Farmers Market has created some real market synergies!
Mark Your Calendars – Sunday July 31 – Return from MJD Tools World Headquarters
Somewhat akin to “gunnel-bouncing” in a canoe, the F150 will be “bottoming out” the leaf springs coming back from Martin Donnelly’s at Avoca, NY on July 30. For the first time since Covid struck, John Pirie and I will be headed down to Martin Donnelly’s July auction for a few days of much needed rust.
Typically, I go down with standing orders for items like 62 low angled jacks and 10 1/2 bench rabbets. Pieces that are truly scarce are just that: they come in at a glacial pace and approach infinite exit velocities. It’s not fire-sale prices however; there is enough availability to buy at market value. If you are so inclined, let me know what you’re after sometime before July 25 and I will do my best to accommodate you. I will drop off the bulk of the new inventory at Aberfoyle for the morning of Sunday July 31.
7-June-2022 Entry: Saturday Special Show This Weekend (11-June) and… Ivan’s Back for a Day!
I look forward to seeing you all at Aberfoyle this weekend! It is the Saturday Show which features more than 150 dealers from both Ontario and Quebec. I have been building inventory for the past couple of months or so and have been able to get a great Millers Falls barn boring machine ready to go. While you’re there, you can have a look at this superb Oddfellows chest from my collection.
Among other things that will be available is a restored Type 1 Millers Falls barn boring machine. I have managed to pick up a number of Type 11 Triple Date planes over the past week, quite a few turning chisels, drawknives and axes.
I will be stopping by the Market Road Antiques location at Waterloo on Friday morning so if there’s a piece you’re after let me know before then in case I need to pull it from inventory ahead of the Saturday show.
25-May-2022 Entry: Inventory Build – Come see the new stock on Sunday!
The predicted rain last Sunday never materialized and although the weather was cool, sales were strong in the afternoon.
The weekend prior, I participated in the Spring Pickering Tools of the Trades show. Truthfully, I spent more than I bought. In addition, I have been filling my truck with picks from the east side of Toronto for a few weeks.
I have managed to bring in a lot of Stanley Jointer planes and TYpe 11’s; a variety of high quality axes and drawknives. A few sets of turning chisels have been added.
For those who wish to know: Ivan Dufour; Lloy Osborne; and Owen Kemp will be at the booth for the Saturday June 11 Special Show at the Aberfoyle Antique Market.
12-May-2022 Entry: Launch of OTT Greeting Cards and June Market Road Antiques Opening
While preparing to run both The Aberfoyle Antique Market and The Pickering Tools of the Trades Show concurrently this coming weekend, I came upon the idea of leveraging my photograph collection into a series of greeting cards. The first of these will be a Fathers Day card – available at both locations this coming Sunday.
This will be a good test run for next month’s launch of Olde Trade Tools at Booth 26 of Market Road Antiques.
28-April-2022 Entry: Strong First Day and Good Buying This Week
The weather was good for last Sunday’s Opening Day and tools sold well all day long. Fortunately, I was able to pick up another $2000 in stock this week in preparation for this Sunday.
Among this week’s additions are a decent 5 1/2; a few good drawknives; a couple of decent back saws; some good bevel chisels; some carvers; a D.R. Barton Plow with close to a complete cutter set; and some Lee Valley Wonder Dogs among other things.
I’ll probably have some heat going in the early morning and the new outdoor LED lights look great at 5:00 a.m.
Look forward to seeing you there.
21-April-2022 Entry: 4 Days to go…
I have never been so deep in inventory prior to a hand tool event, as I am for the start of this season at Aberfoyle on Sunday. I have been holding back online listings to ensure a broad range of stock is available for opening day.
With so much new stock coming in though, it has created significant organizational issues. I’ve decided to dedicate the centre console and the entire west side of the interior of the booth to hand tools. I’ve also elected to remove any tall items from the centre console to provide better sightlines.
There has been a lot of work on the Booth 59/60 itself. Doug Lane left me a few yards of crushed asphalt which I had levelled and compacted under the awning. Last fall we changed some lighting ballasts inside and last weekend we completed the new LED lighting and receptacles under the awning. A month or so ago, I purchased some functional work benches for the outside area: if there’s a slow afternoon, I can clean tools, as required. I put up a new tarp for the tent last Saturday afternoon and I have my fingers crossed that the snow did not destroy it on Sunday night.
At the moment, my friend Dave is restoring a display tool chest for the booth and yesterday I asked him if he could knock out a vertical panel saw till before the weekend. I still have to install a couple of old decorative post drills on the north end of the booth. I am working on a bargain cupboard on the southeast corner. In the warmer months, I will continue to paint the north end of the booth in the afternoons.
Working away from home, I spend my week nights cleaning/sorting spokeshaves, chisels, auger bits, small machinist tools. Then there’s the organization of the parts which was a popular thing last fall.
12-April-2022 Entry: I bought another $10,000 last Week…
There seems to be a trend going on here…
Look what fell onto my truck… How did that happen?
Besides running lean and hard during the weeknights, I am trying to improve the booth. Doug has brought in a load of ground-asphalt for me to put under the awning area. I have a guy coming with a skid-steer on Friday to help level and compact it. My good friend Rick is coming to help me with the lights on Monday.
Meanwhile, I’m constantly pricing and bar coding during the weeknights in Oshawa.
April Fools Day Entry: What $10,000 Worth of Hand Tools Looks Like…
In less than 72 hours this week, I made four separate picks to gear up for the Aberfoyle Start on 24-April-2022.
It involved a Sunday night with five hours of sleep and a Tuesday night with four hours of sleep before the 5:00 a.m. alarm clock.
In addition to the inventory rush; I have been working steadily on the booth with the help of friends and family. Most of this work is to clean up under the Awning. Doug Lane has been helping me prepare to put packed clear stone down. My son and one of my tool buddies are helping to wire in new LED lighting under the awning. I’ve been buying up new lighter plastic tables to replace the worn-out ones. I’ve managed to find a couple of work benches to put underneath the awning and a 3” powered waterstone wheel. I still have to put up the new tarp.
Inside, my friend Rick helped to install new lighting ballasts last fall. I bought two Chatham Hoosier cupboards to put along the east wall. I am gearing towards housing “kitchenalia” and antiques on the east wall and my mainstay of hand tools on the west wall. During one of my recent picks, I cleared out a basement and in the lot were three floor-standing fans. Last summer folks commented how cool Booth 59/60 was on a hot day. This summer, I expect that it will be better again. My friend Dave in London is restoring a great tool chest for me and I intend to put it in the booth; a display centre for higher end tools.
Please bear with me over the coming weeks leading up to Aberfoyle. I have hundreds of listings on Facebook. I need to move a lot of my selling inventory south now and over the next THREE (scares the death out of me) weeks. I wont really have a good handle on where things are for a bit here. There’s another issue: I cant expend an hour and a half on the road for a $40 sale, if something is down at Aberfoyle. At the same time, I have so much to move to Aberfoyle, I cant wait until the last minute to do it. To combat all of this, I am hoping to start splitting up my inventory into two locations.
20-February-2022 Entry: ABERFOYLE TO OPEN 24-APRIL-2022 – Mark your calendars!
I’ve had a lot of inquiries from folks as to when Aberfoyle will be opening this year. Doug has confirmed it will be: Sunday April 24, 2022.
The Saturday Special Shows are currently scheduled for: Saturday June 11, 2022 and Saturday September 17, 2022.
Although I’ve been Work-from-Home for a good part of the off-season, I will be soon be based in Oshawa during the weekdays – providing me with a base for ample afternoon picking from my apartment there. I’m sure most of the dealers will have stocked up for Day 1. Govern yourselves accordingly!
1-January-2022 Entry: Business at the Timber Frame until The Aberfoyle Antique Market Re-opens in Late April
First of all, please allow me to apologize for my lack of posts over the past two months. I was experiencing technical difficulties with the website editor.
Beginning in November, business moved to my Timber Frame Building (Bill Hamilton’s Marker) located at Olde Trade Tools World Headquarters, Fergus.
For those looking forward to the Aberfoyle Antique Market venue (Booth 59/60); we will see you in the spring.
26-October-2021 Entry: This Sunday October 31 is the last Sunday for the Aberfoyle Antique Market This Year
I’m braving the cold morning start on my own this Sunday. Sorry for the lack of posts last week – I was just too busy.
I will have some good additions though for this week. On the couch there are four No 7’s and an 8. There’s a new Record 020 Compass plane (with box) and a great Record 093 Shoulder plane. The virtually unused 3 1/2″ slick was made by Lee Valley’s Chestnut tools up in Almonte. There’s a couple of 4 1/2’s in there and some “minty” Millers Falls No 9’s. As well, I picked up a very clean Stanley NO 18 last weekend.
I’m told that sales on the last day are pretty brisk so, if you’re coming – come out early!
I am in the process of getting heat installed in the timber frame and I will be moving stock from Aberfoyle to Fergus over the next couple of weekends. I wont be selling out of the Timber Frame at Fergus on weekends until at least mid-November.
I will start up a Timber Frame blog sometime soon.
15-October-2021 Entry: Just me on what Looks to be a “Dreary Sunday”
Rainy days at Aberfoyle are not necessarily a bad thing. I have been fooled by bad weather days before… you’re expecting poor sales however; it usually ends up being a fairly strong sales day.
I suspect it is due to a few reasons: many of my customers are coming specifically for tools; foul weather means other home activities are suspended; the booth is largely covered for rain; crowds are reduced. Whatever the reason, I hope to see you this Sunday October 17.
The last day for The Aberfoyle Antique Market is Sunday October 31.
I will start to move “doubles” stock to my Timber Frame at Fergus from Aberfoyle beginning this Sunday. I will also start to load items for sale onto this site and start listing actively on Facebook again.
9-October-2021 Entry: Brian English Joins Us This Weekend as a Guest Dealer
Stop by tomorrow at The Aberfoyle Antique Market as I will be joined by Brian English who will have a mix of fresh hand tools and antiques. The weather looks to be good for a fall day…
29-September-2021 Entry: Ivan Returns and Blacksmiths Should Prepare Themselves Accordingly…
There’s not a Sunday goes by where I am not asked for some kind of hardware that Ivan had in stock… and this will continue to be the case as IVAN IS BRINGING NO HARDWARE ON THIS TRIP. I repeat: IVAN IS NOT BRINGING ANY HARDWARE ON THIS TRIP.
That’s not to say you cant ask Ivan to find some hardware for you when he gets back home…
22-September-2021 Entry: Establishing Aberfoyle as a Tool Destination
With the knowledge that I would have both the Saturday and Sunday shows this past weekend; I went on a buying rampage last week. About $3000 later, I hit the deck running by showtime. Six days earlier, the largest bench plane I had was a 14” No 5. By show start.I had added: three No 6’s; two No 7’s; a 608 (It went in the first ten minutes); a No 45; a No 55; a No 112; a No 113; a clean-repaired No 10; a No 78; and some 4’s and 5’s. Heavy stuff included a No 53 Record Vise; a No 5 Record Vise and a couple of user machinist vises. Carving tools included: Isles, Taylor, and a great set of Herring Brothers. A St. Catharines slick was included for good measure.
In amongst the hoard was this Record 405 in New-Old-Stock condition with instructions. The big surprise when I looked closely at it was that not only were the standard cutters complete but, that there was a full set of the special cutters.
Earlier this week, I picked up a Rival No 2-96 Apple Peeler/Corer and a 7” Richards Wilcox Quick Release Vise. After work today, I made a run and picked up the following:
Bedrock 605 Square Side; No 3 Triple-date; No 4 Double-Date; No 6 Triple-date; No 7; Three Natural Stones; No 71 Router; Three Natural Stones; 2″ Framing Chisel; 2 D8 Finger-hole Rip Saws; a dead-mint Richardson Picture Framing Mitre Box with original saw.
Tomorrow night I will make a long trip after work to Kingston and Ottawa. Who knows what is next?
If all of this weren’t enough, Ivan Dufour has indicated that he would like to return to the booth as a guest dealer on 3-October. OTT will always welcome tool icons like Ivan.
Rain or shine, ya gotta make it to Booth 59!
10-September-2021 Entry: Ted Dawson AND Lloy Osborne at Booth 59/60 This Sunday – 12-September-2021
As many of you know, Lloy Osborne was at the booth last weekend and she had a very solid day – so much so, that she’s returning this Sunday.
As for me, I’ve been having solid days since I started; each successive week showing increased sales. The sun shines on a dog’s…
My friend Ted Dawson is setting up for the first time with me at Booth 59/60. Ted and I have been collecting tools for over three decades. He is Toronto-based and a regular Tools of the Trades Show dealer. I have told Ted where my inventory holes are and I’m pretty sure if you’re looking for hand tools this weekend, you wont go away empty-handed.
10-September-2021 Entry: Finding the Unexpected at Aberfoyle
For the past couple of weeks, a nearby dealer at The Aberfoyle Antique Market has had this large red oak easel in their booth. It was a custom made piece modelled after some rare and expensive ones from the US. The same dealer had the chest of drawers I posted last week.
You never know what you’ll find at Aberfoyle. Every week, I unearth a treasure and its usually in the late afternoon.
See you Sunday (and bring your paint brushes)!
3-September-2021 Entry: Lloy Osborne at Booth 59/60 This Sunday – 5-September-2021
As I have mentioned before, I will have other dealers join me at Booth 59/60 from time to time. This Sunday marks a succession of weeks where: Lloy Osborne; Ted Dawson; and then John Pirie will be bolstering the inventory at Olde Trade Tools. Check the Calendar here for the dates.
Lloy is a purveyor of fine antiquities and I hope you come and enjoy what she has on offer this Sunday.
27-August-2021 Entry: Preparing for the Second Coming…
The Model A Roadster in now in the booth…
I’ve got a chair; a wicker couch; and a coffee table for guests in the event of inclement weather.
I have been setting up the hardware carousel with parts and labels so, that you can repair your existing tools. I’ve added about ten tubs worth of stuff since last weekend. Right now, I’ve got 3’s, 4’s, 4 1/2’s, 5’s, 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s in stock along with a pile of other specialty planes.
So, why not by on Sunday if time permits?
26-August-2021 Entry: Moving the ’28 Pick Up to Aberfoyle
It’s Move-In day for the Model A! While some of you may be moving your kids into University, I’m moving the Model A into my booth at the Aberfoyle Antique Market. Let’s compare notes in the spring and see who has the lower maintenance costs, eh?
See you this Sunday.
21-August-2021 Entry: Olde Trade Tools Launches at Aberfoyle Tomorrow Morning
I started loading at about 5:30 a.m. this morning… I unloaded and put stuff on shelves until 6:30 pm at Aberfoyle… came home and had a quick dinner… sorted stuff for another 1 1/2 hours for the morning unload at 5:15 am.
It will be a bit messy at the start however; there will be tons of stuff there.
Hope to see some of you in the morning. There’s people coming from as far away as Ottawa.
20-August-2021 Entry: Owen Sound Run and Sign Painting in the Dark
So, I made a run to Owen Sound to pick up two of the three tall case shelves that Joe was making for me. This will make tomorrows’ load up go much easier. Matt and I filled two pick up trucks with inventory for this run.
While I was at Owen Sound, Matt started painting additional signs right into the black of night… livin’ in the shadows!
19-August-2021 Entry: Chris Amy and His Team Did Me a “Solid” Today
Its one thing to have a great sign… but how do you get it solidly mounted on a roof at a weird angle. I scribbled out a CAD sketch of the angle-iron frame and then Chris and his guys made it into something practical. I picked it up at lunch hour and Doug Lane helped me get it in place with the front end loader after dinner tonight.
Linda came back for another six hours of painting and cleaning. You can almost see the original colour of the floors.
Tomorrow I go to pick up the tall cabinets at Joes in Owen Sound and Matt will be helping me put them in place.
That leaves Saturday to start stocking the booth in earnest.
19-August-2021 Entry: My Family… Putting their backs into it…
My brother and sister in law have been very supportive of my hand tool endeavors in the past but, this really takes the cake. I managed to get some primer on the plywood west wall wall on Tuesday night and they offered to come up and paint with me last night. The humidity gets pretty stifling on a hot summer night at Aberfoyle and we all shed some weight over the five or six hours.
It was a lot of work but, did that room ever change. Tonight we wash floors and walls and start loading stock.
I realize now that I had no shot at getting the painting completed by Sunday, if it were just me. Thanks guys!
17-August-2021 Entry: Ivan Dufour… the Man… the Myth
For about thirty years Ivan has stationed Booth 59/60 at The Aberfoyle Antique Market. Built farm strong: for half the year he has arisen in the dark on Sunday morning’s; made the half hour drive; hauled trays of cast iron out onto more than fifty feet of church tables; and dealt with the crowds. There comes a point…
We are ” passing ships”: Ivan hauls stuff out, and I haul stuff in. I’ve said earlier that I plan to bring in guest dealers and I suspect we may see Ivan at the booth again. We’ll give him a chance to set his bearings however; do check the calendar to look for his return.
16-August-2021 Entry: Buying Inventory and Trading Stories with Larry Darbyson
Yesterday, I travelled down to St. Catharine’s to pick up the last of Larry Darbyson’s Hand Tool Inventory. It was a bittersweet affair. On the one hand, it allowed me to add thousands of dollars of inventory to my Aberfoyle booth. On the other hand, I will miss his smiling face as a dealer at the spring and fall Tools of the Trades Shows.
Although I am primarily a collector of old hand tools; I have also become a serious dealer. As such, I frequently come into situations where people are choosing new paths in life, albeit reluctantly. It reminds me that there will be a point where I must shed many of my earthly possessions and do so with grace.
I’m glad that Larry will continue with his plows. He has also given me a mission to find something interesting for his Christmas auction on the Canadian Woodworking site. It up to everyone here to hold me to that task!
12-August-2021 Entry: Ongoing Preparations for Sunday 22-August-2021 Launch
Signs are being made
Shelves are being built…
We are pushing hard to get this Olde Trade Tools beast up and running. Matt Bebenek, pictured in the background there, has been making signs and has helped me unload the shelving into the booth ahead of time. Ivan Dufour graciously allowed us to replace the shelving in his booth prior to his leaving. Joe Watson built this twenty feet of red oak shelving from cornices and bases I bought years ago from a TV set. He is building another twenty feet of 80 inch tall shelving for the perimeter walls. Chris Amy is welding up the structure that will allow us to put the big round sign above on the roof. He is also smithing the holder for the anvil sign above. My brother Bill and Sister-in-law Linda are planning to come and paint with me next week. Although Matt created the logo and painted the signs, Linda created the digital images for the logo. As well, she is responsible for most of the professional level photography here. My good friend Dave Beharriell rushed to get me the white oak discs so that Matt could paint them prior to mounting on the stake rails of the 1928 Model A. Right now, Dave is continuing on with the rails themselves. Nardo at UCWebs has been pushing me to get the content completed for this site for weeks now.
When you come to Booth 59/60 at The Aberfoyle Antique Market, keep in mind that there are many hands in this work….
28-July-2021 Entry: Sunday 22-August-2021 is the Official Launch
As of Sunday August 22, I will be taking over Ivan Dufour’s booth (Booth No 59/60) at The Aberfoyle Antique Market. This opportunity “dropped out of the blue sky” recently and I have fully embraced it. I feel that by inviting other dealers to participate with me; it will incent tool buyers to travel from further out. This website BLOG and the Calendar will allow people to plan in advance.
To keep things fresh, I plan to bring in other tool dealers to the booth every couple of weeks. The website will have a Calendar of Events to identify special events like the Pickering Tools of the Trades Show and visiting dealers to the booth.
I have about 40’ of white oak shelving being built up in Owen Sound as I write this. I am trying to arrange my layout so similar categories of tools are kept in the same areas. Last weekend, I purchased an old nail 10-Tier hardware carousel so that I can effectively store chisels and tool parts in the cubbies.
Aberfoyle will allow me to display far more things. For example, I can organize and show fifty or sixty wooden planes. I can also put out obscure stuff like wallpaper stencil blocks.
There will be lots of new stock at Aberfoyle. I have applied Bar Code stickers to just over 1000 items now and I am at $32,000… and I’m only halfway there. By the time I reach Aberfoyle on August 22, I will be over $50,000. I recently bought out the stock an of an old time tool dealer (inventoried about 750 items). I have so much material that it is stacked in the aisles of the Timber Frame. Until I get to Aberfoyle; I can’t get at much of it.
Point-Of-Sale: I have recently acquired a SQUARE Terminal so, I will be able to accept a wider range of payment forms (credit cards, etc.).
When Aberfoyle winds down in late October, I will fall back to Facebook and sales out of the Timber Frame.