Searching for Specific Tools

If you want me to look for something, be as specific as possible. For example, people will say that they need a Stanley No 6 Frog. There are 20 different types of Stanley Bench Planes made between 1869 and 1984. If you cant identify the type; you have to come to me so I can help. You may want a 10 ½ rabbeting bench plane… Is it the Type 1 with the adjustable throat? So, its best to know what you are asking for and if you don’t know, I can help guide you.

What follows below is a progressively more expensive search:

Items in my Current Inventory:

One of the good things about setting up an inventory system, is that I know what stock I have and where that stock is. These are competitively priced pieces.

Items I am Likely to Find in the Near Future:

Having searched for tools for more than thirty years, I have a good idea about the types of things I will find on a six-month horizon. It is unrealistic to ask for a Preston Shoulder plane or a 62 Low Angle jack at bargain basement prices. On the other hand if you’re looking for a 60 ½ Block Plane or a 8” Steel Back Disston saw; these are things that I can come up with

Parts Inventory:

I will have a parts inventory based primarily at Aberfoyle. It will be stored categorically, and I will endeavor to identify it by type and apply bar code tags over time. I have come up with a price structure for common parts from planes saws, etc. Based upon years of experience, I am aware of most of the commonly missing parts. For a Stanley 78: they would be the fence post, the fence, the fence screw, the depth stop, the shouldered depth stop screw, the nicker and screw. If you are after a commonly missing part, it will be more expensive.

Items I am going to have to seek out:

This is usually a fast and expensive process. These are items that I know that even at my level of hunting will most likely take more than a year to find. Clearly, you will have searched eBay to establish price points; conversions; shipping costs; etc. At this stage, my resources are dealers, either in or out of Canada. The process is fast, because either they have it or they don’t. The process is expensive because they generally know what they have; and they aren’t going to give me much more than ten percent room.

I don’t do outside the norm work for ten percent. So, if you really want one, I’ll go get it but, it’s not a tire-kicking exercise. If it’s a 62 LA Jack; I might say it’s going to cost $US 350. Yes… I might find one over the next two years in the field and price it at $CDN 275 but, its not an active search.

With hundreds of customers, I can no longer maintain a long who-wants-what list. I have had experiences where I did find an item after a long period only to find that the person had bought one in the interim; or didn’t like the condition or price. There are instances where I have wasted resources on items I never would have bought, only to find the buyer has gone cold for some reason.

So, if you’re asking for a name call, recognize the rules of engagement.


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