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Hey guys.
So my great great grandpa (no joke) was a shipbuilder in California in the 19th century. He has a chest of tools that has been passed down from generation to generation. My grandpa and my father haven't used them very much, and now they are passed down to me. Much of the tools are over 100 years old (I am told).

Anyway, wondering if these items have value. He had about 6 or 7 different planes, of all sizes. Also many chisels and a wooden mallet. I have a picture of some of these tools. Looks like they need to be cleaned up and shown some love. The chisels say "Buck Bros cast steel" and have a buck engraved or stamped on them. The handles are in rough shape, many split from heavy blows (I think my grandpa used metal hammers on them).

Are these worth anything? Should I clean them up, sharpen and use them? Any info would be appreciated.


I know good chisels are expensive, and cheap chisels aren't that good.
 

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The #5 in the middle can be made into a good plane with a proper lever cap. The chisels are the best thing but they're Buck Brothers chisels and Buck Brothers tended to draw their tools back further than my taste when the tempered them. I do use several Buck Brothers chisels and some day I'll re-harden them. They're about the same when it comes to edge holding as the British Marples chisels from the 60's and 70's. I'm not sure of the make of the smaller socket chisel that's at the top in the photo but I'll bet the steel is good.
 

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If you've got the time, then yes, I'd go ahead and clean them up. The two No. 5 planes can be made like new with a little money. The hardest thing to find might be the cap irons. And chisels are always nice to have around, and those are nice and long. I won't lie to you, it will take some time and elbow grease, but in the end I think you'll be happy.
 

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Check on Ebay for lever caps. There's always people selling caps for a few dollars and the No.5 is very common. Looks like you also need the blade and chip breaker for the top one. Make sure the sole is perfectly flat on each because if it's not your just wasting money until you lap it out, which is a tedious job.
 
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