Antique Hand Planes #1: $50 for five hand planes

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Blog entry by AnthonyRH posted 02-01-2016 03:12 AM 879 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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So the wife wanted a date, and since we are at a somewhat remote location, that involved a 180 mile drive to drop the kids off at her parent’s house (we don’t have a good sitter lined up any closer). I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of putting 400 miles in on a Saturday after being sick with the flu all week, but we were promised a minimum of three kid free hours, which was the most time we’ve had since our youngest was born almost a year ago.

We decided to go to some garage sales in the area around her parents’ house, since it was a nice day and we’d already had lunch. Got a few things for the kids at the first garage sale.

We almost drove right past the second garage sale on our list because it was just an old man in a rocking chair in front of a run-down house that had obviously been converted into a barn/storage shed.

Since we were primarily just spending time together, and weren’t shopping for anything in particular, we decided to stop anyway.

I went into the back room of the “house” first. It was uninspiring, with a low ceiling, dirt floor, no lights, and junk piled everywhere. Judging by the smell, there were probably some uninvited animal tenants there as well.

Much to my surprise, I saw a woman turning a rusty old hand plane over in her hands. I was hoping she was going to put it down, since it looked as if she had no idea what she had! Thankfully, she did put it down, and as soon as she was a few feet away, I quickly snatched it up.

We browsed the piles of rusted old tools, knicknacks, and sundry items which weren’t important enough to be stored in the main house, and my wife was pretty eager to get out of there. I was happy with the hand plane that I had found, but wanted “just one more look around” to see if there was anything else of value.

Just as I was about to leave, I noticed some familiar shapes in a corner of an unlit room behind a door and several precarious balanced piles of junk. There, on the wall hanging from nails, were four more hand planes!

I brought the old man inside, and started bargaining with him, and was able to pick up all five hand planes, a pair of tin snips, an old tractor steering wheel, and a mechanical egg beater, for the low price of $53! (the last two items are going to be toys for the kiddos).

The planes I got are as follows:

Stanley #7 (dated it out to 1931-32 with some research online)
Stanley #5 1/2
Stanley #5

two smaller planes with no real identifying marks.

I plan on purchasing some rosewood to make new handles for the Stanley’s which are missing them, but the rust appears to be all surface level. I’m looking forward to bringing these beauties back to life and incorporating them into my growing collection of hand tools.

2 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


2092 posts in 3983 days

#1 posted 02-01-2016 03:31 AM

What a gold mine you found. I guess it was worth the 180 mile trip to the inlays … lol

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2456 days

#2 posted 02-01-2016 04:52 AM

Wow. And a bedrock at that. Very nice.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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