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Resale prices on hand tools (planes)

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Forum topic by Tommy2Times posted 02-21-2020 05:09 PM 491 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tommy2Times

3 posts in 36 days


02-21-2020 05:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane newbie

Hi everyone,
I’ve dug through this forum for answers on many topics over the last few months as I begin my journey in this new-to-me hobby. And first off I’d like to thank you all for all the information and insight I have already gained from just lurking and reading here. But now I think I’m ready to actually engage a little.
I am slowly building my arsenal, focusing on used tools (thrift stores and craigslist have been fantastic so far) and I recently came across some hand planes on the Facebook market place that I had questions on.
It is a lot of 3 Wood River planes (4, 5, and 6) and an unspecified Groz (looks like kind of a freebie). I looked up full retail on the three and averaged them around $600 total. The lot for sale says “little used” and they are asking $550.
This seems really high new:used price ratio to me for a used anything. But in reading some of the posts here, it sounds like some hand tools retain their dollar worth.
So the question(s):
Is Wood River a brand that retains its dollar worth?
And if it is, is Wood River a brand a beginner should even be looking at?

Thanks again!


14 replies so far

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

562 posts in 272 days


#1 posted 02-21-2020 05:20 PM

I think a $50 off the retail is not worth the effort of not buying the new product. They will likely go on sale at some point during the year for less than that.The other issue is you would be tying up $550 in planes all at once when you could just buy one. If you want them I would tell him they are too close to retail and see if he makes a lower offer. I would probably go a little below that too. I don’t know much about Wood River planes so I am not going to be much help there.

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

592 posts in 1356 days


#2 posted 02-21-2020 06:27 PM

Hand tools from brands like Lie Nielsen and Veristas retain their value very well, but wood river is not in the same league. Don’t get me wrong, I think the brand is certainly worth considering. I have a #3 woodriver and it’s a nice plane, but I think there are 2 avenues for you to consider here.

1. Buy the woodriver for a notably lower price than retail – used prices vary heavily geographically but in my area i would probably want 30% off or more. If you’re looking at a #4, low angle jack, block plane, etc that are more coveted I’d prob be ok at 30% but if it was something like a side rabbit plane then i’d be offering even less
2. Buy lie nielsen or veritas and know that you could likely sell it down the road and recoup most of your money. This is an especially attractive option if you take controlfreak’s advice to consider buying things 1 at a time as needed. (which is good advice)

View NickyMac's profile

NickyMac

13 posts in 39 days


#3 posted 02-21-2020 06:53 PM

TLDR: Definitely too close to retail for Wood River planes. Even if they were truly “used once”
You don’t need to buy out their mistake at nearly retail (for whatever reason they’re selling). They aren’t “boutique” planes by any means, which makes them cheaper, but they will absolutely save you the effort of flattening and restoring a rust bucket. So in that light they are great for a beginner who just wants to get working.

Wood River had a bit of a nasty beginning as they claimed to be copying Stanley Bedrock planes, but actually made direct copies of Lie-Nielsen planes. Lie-Nielsen put in all the work and R&D to improve the classic design, and then got ripped off as is plenty common. Wood River has since backed off on that and changed their line up a bit, but it’s something to be aware of as they are also foreign made (I believe in China). All said, Wood River planes are absolutely useable planes based on the ones I’ve used at Woodcraft. They’ll save you plenty of effort flattening/rehabing old planes and get you sharpening and wood working sooner.

That’s also a good chunk of change to drop all at once if these will be your first bench planes. It might be worth getting a single plane (often a #4) and play with that for a while, and see if you catch the bug. Otherwise you might end up in the same boat as the guy selling those three!

Also, a #6 can be a bit of a weird size for some. I have a Bailey and love it, but the jobs that it does CAN be done by a #7. So when beginning or if you had to pick one, my recommendation would be for a #7 as the extra length will be useful for jointing or flattening long/large surfaces. Still, my #6 gets plenty of use.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1483 posts in 3432 days


#4 posted 02-21-2020 07:00 PM

To learn prices on old or used tools and to buy them, I recommend getting on the e-mail list of MJD tools ([email protected]), an auctioneer of collectable and used tools. You will get a nice listing with photos and estimated values about every couple of weeks. Also a lot to fun to read.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Tommy2Times's profile

Tommy2Times

3 posts in 36 days


#5 posted 02-21-2020 08:13 PM

Thank you all! Confirmed some suspicions and pointed me down roads I might need to wander.
I really appreciate it!
-t2t

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5107 posts in 1245 days


#6 posted 02-21-2020 10:27 PM


To learn prices on old or used tools and to buy them, I recommend getting on the e-mail list of MJD tools ([email protected]), an auctioneer of collectable and used tools. You will get a nice listing with photos and estimated values about every couple of weeks. Also a lot to fun to read.

- Planeman40

Good suggestion.

The other would be viewing from TOP end prices, but Patrick Leach of Blood and Gore fame sends out a monthly email with his newest offerings. Patrick offers used tool greatness, and a lot of them are true winners, but his prices will show you where a working Mans ceiling is.

Email Patrick at [email protected] and ask him to put you on the monthly list. Sometimes there is a lag month between when you ask, and he sends the first.

Also plenty of info at his Blood and Gore site, Supertools. Not so much pricing, just info on the planes themselves.

http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html

Another is HyperKitten Josh does sell some tools, but is a great reference site.

https://www.hyperkitten.com/

If you know what it is you want, I believe you could put a “wanted to buy” post on here. Potential sellers could then show you their example of what you need/want, and you could shop in the comfort of your home.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

969 posts in 575 days


#7 posted 02-21-2020 11:14 PM

You need to decide whether your “journey” is speculating on used tool values or wood working.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View SMP's profile

SMP

1876 posts in 577 days


#8 posted 02-21-2020 11:36 PM

Personally i would just buy an old Stanley 4 and 5 for $100 total. Millions of videos on how to sharpen and tune them all over youtube. Replacement irons and chip breakers and whatever else parts you need readily available. Then if you decide its not for you you sell them both for what you paid easily.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19540 posts in 3239 days


#9 posted 02-21-2020 11:47 PM

IMO a used wood river should be about 50% retail. Although they can be decent users, they don’t hold value like LN or veritas.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Tommy2Times's profile

Tommy2Times

3 posts in 36 days


#10 posted 02-22-2020 02:21 AM



You need to decide whether your “journey” is speculating on used tool values or wood working.

- Phil32


I’m not really sure what that means.


Personally i would just buy an old Stanley 4 and 5 for $100 total. Millions of videos on how to sharpen and tune them all over youtube. Replacement irons and chip breakers and whatever else parts you need readily available. Then if you decide its not for you you sell them both for what you paid easily.

- SMP


I do have a newer Stanley #5 as a starting point. I will start looking at some youtube videos for use and care. Thanks!

And thanks again to everyone. I do appreciate the rapid reaponse.

View SMP's profile

SMP

1876 posts in 577 days


#11 posted 02-22-2020 03:36 AM


You need to decide whether your “journey” is speculating on used tool values or wood working.

- Phil32

I m not really sure what that means.

Personally i would just buy an old Stanley 4 and 5 for $100 total. Millions of videos on how to sharpen and tune them all over youtube. Replacement irons and chip breakers and whatever else parts you need readily available. Then if you decide its not for you you sell them both for what you paid easily.

- SMP

I do have a newer Stanley #5 as a starting point. I will start looking at some youtube videos for use and care. Thanks!

And thanks again to everyone. I do appreciate the rapid reaponse.

- Tommy2Times

This video is long, and aimed at restoring an old plane and tuning it up. However, most of this applies to new Stanley planes as well. As the casting and machining is not the greatest and these planes can really benefit from hand tuning the parts where the manufacturer skimped to save costs. But this one is definitely worth watching the whol thing:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RYyV6IUpsYk

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

2622 posts in 2165 days


#12 posted 02-22-2020 12:04 PM

Used hand tool prices vary across a huge range.

As others have said, high end planes from LV or LN tend to lose less value than cheaper products.
Since most every mfg has occasional sales where you can get 10-20% of list prices, I have a very hard time convincing myself to pay more than 60-70% of retail for high end used or NIB tools, mostly as they do not have any warranty. All it takes is small hidden defect on blade/chipbreaker, and you end spending more on used with replacement parts than new with warranty.

Wood River planes are decent tools, but on same category as high end names. WR planes have also been sold for 25% off list several times, which means your $600 price may have $450. My best offer would be $250 on the above set of planes, as that is about same cost as refurbished user grade Stanley planes with new A2 blades.

If you want to know more about used tool pricing, use the advanced search feature on ebay. Can search fleabay for SOLD listings, and see what market thinks planes are worth, and condition that made them worth more/less. There will be a wide range, but it’s a helpful reference when you have zero information. :-)

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Don W's profile

Don W

19540 posts in 3239 days


#13 posted 02-22-2020 01:10 PM

https://www.timetestedtools.net/

I just did a video series. I tried to break it into smaller section so you can go back to parts.

There is also several post if you want to read longer and better explanations.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7850 posts in 3585 days


#14 posted 02-22-2020 01:17 PM



You need to decide whether your “journey” is speculating on used tool values or wood working.
- Phil32


Personally i would just buy an old Stanley 4 and 5 for $100 total. Millions of videos on how to sharpen and tune them all over youtube. Replacement irons and chip breakers and whatever else parts you need readily available. Then if you decide its not for you you sell them both for what you paid easily.
- SMP


IMO a used wood river should be about 50% retail. Although they can be decent users, they don t hold value like LN or veritas.
- Don W

^...All good advice above…^
Well, other than Don and I are particularly fond of Sargent Planes… ;-)
Plus Don has many tips on several planes/types on his website too.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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