Why Norm's power tool cabinetry revolution is happening...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by flink posted 04-15-2008 03:59 PM 2163 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I’ve been searching and looking high and low. Mainly for chisels and handplanes. I was looking for decent everyday tools, not collectibles. I didn’t want to spend a lot money since that would take away from the money I need for wood.

I started my search on ebay, progressed to various forum site member ads, watched craiglist, checked auction sites, newspaper classifieds. Then I began looking for new items in catalogs/websites/stores.

The prices I found for old tools were not that good. Old beater’s with rust and knicks were about the price of cheaply made stuff from harbour freight. Prices for decent old tools were more than the price of semi-decent new tools from the big boxes. Prices for good old tools were about as high as those for new tools.

This is why hand tool cabinetry is dying. It seems to cost more to setup for hand tool woodworking than it does to simply buy a power tool wood shop.

So the talk about the delight of doing mortise and tenon joinery, or hand dove tailing? It’s all hot air to me.

I can make dovetails faster and easier with a jig and router, I can make mortise and tenon with a router.

Why did I want hand tools? Just to be able to woodwork longer hours.

/begin rant mode
There are too many people collecting hand tools. KNOCK IT OFF! You are creating artificially high market prices, by inflating the value of tools, just in the exact same manner that oil speculators have driven the price of crude oil to $110 per barrel. Now stop it. If you aren’t going to use it, don’t buy it.
/end rant mode

Whew. It was a short night and I’m tired. Sorry.

-- Made lots of sawdust and pounded some nails. Haven't finished anything, though.

7 comments so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4891 days

#1 posted 04-15-2008 04:13 PM

Interesting view on tool prices. Thanks.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4828 days

#2 posted 04-15-2008 07:40 PM

I will say that you have a point. I just bought a new Lie-Nielsen dovetail saw and have been watching them on Ebay. About a month ago a used saw went for $5.00 more than I could get a new one from the manufacturer. I think some of what you are seeing is simply auction fever. Someone just simply is determined not to be out bid for an item and it going to get it irregardless of the cost.

But if you are patient and are willing to wait there are some good deals to be had. I must have placed bids on at least 20 mat cutters before getting one at my price.

You are just fine. Go ahead and vent. This is as good a place as any.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View flink's profile


94 posts in 4726 days

#3 posted 04-15-2008 08:29 PM

Well, I took a nap. I’m not as rolling over biting myself mad as I was.

I’ve spotted a couple specials on Amazon for Footprint planes. I’ve never heard of them. Anyone?

They are sold in Sears and in Canada at HD.

-- Made lots of sawdust and pounded some nails. Haven't finished anything, though.

View bobdurnell's profile


317 posts in 4903 days

#4 posted 04-15-2008 09:56 PM

flink, I stopped buying old planes a few years ago when I’d find a plane at some antique shop and it cost let’s say $50. This antique store knew nothing about planes but knew that people were in the collecting mode. One of the only good places to aquire a good user plane, chisels is at a parking lot old tool sale usually sponsored by a reputable tool store like Rockler. There also old tool auctions where there arn’t the people who jack the price up on something that’s not worth it. One of the old tool collector clubs is PAST. Used to be a member. They have shows and there are alot of good user tools available. And of course some expensive Stanley Bed Rocks too.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View flink's profile


94 posts in 4726 days

#5 posted 04-15-2008 11:55 PM

I’ve been doing some further digging (I honestly never saw any of these before I ranted) and found Anant Tools, too.

Highland is carrying them. I want a 10 series. I want to quietly raise panels on the patio some Saturday morning. That isn’t going to happen with a router :-)

Anant makes two #10’s. A regular for $60 and a “Kamal” for $90. I’ve read a couple nice things about them. I know that they’re at least as good as the Bucks that the local HD flogs, so they can’t be garbage.

I’m awfully tempted to go for the gusto on that #10 Kamal.

Anant Tools Hand Planes page

I’d really like a chance to try a few passes with one.

-- Made lots of sawdust and pounded some nails. Haven't finished anything, though.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4891 days

#6 posted 04-16-2008 12:29 AM

Flink go look at the reviews at
There are more reviewed with varying degrees of satisfaction.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 4438 days

#7 posted 01-09-2009 06:05 AM

I have the following planes

#3 I bought for 15 bucks—-still needs a little work and a rear tote. May buy one from Stanley parts
2 each #4’s—I got them “free” in the tool box “bussel”racks from a T56 Iraqi Tank at the Kuwait Airport. Some Iraqui must have stolen them from a Kuwaiti. Well there was no way to find out who so they came home as a declared item. #5—-I paid $35 for—-it is one sweet plane #6—I paid $25 for from a used tool place .same place as #3 #7—-$25 it is now soaking in evaporust #8—-My christmas present this year $85 landed.

My point is you have to always be on the look out.

I bought a #78 the guides are missing but it is in good shape. $5

This week I picked a transition plane #28 out of a box of ice outside an antique store. You always have to be looking.

The #8 was expensive but all the rest came into my hands for less than a couple hours wages. I have seen #8 for $100 I laugh at people.

#4 ’s currently from England are $39 at Lowes.

In Stanley’s hey day could a skilled person get a plane for 2 1/2 hours labour?

I know there is some foolishness with collectors going on now but you must strive to keep looking.
The collectors are looking for pristine “virgin” totes. You and I are looking for users with some dirt. Collectors don’t “do” dirt and rust.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics