Tools are for Using, Not to look at....... But it was so ..... OK, who's guilty?

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Forum topic by KenBry posted 04-24-2012 10:18 PM 2025 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 3360 days

04-24-2012 10:18 PM

I was a FIRM believer in the theory, tools are bought to be used. These guys that collect tools should be beaten with a wet noodle.

Now….. I have to admit…. I bought a tool because I just admired the engineering and the look. Now it sits on the shelf and looks nice next to all the other tools I have been buying because I thought they look nice… OH NO, I am collecting these DARN things…..

I need help….. Someone save me

I am up two 8 hand planes now….. Yesterday I went into an antique store and nearly walked out with 3 tools till my pocket book slapped my desire….in the arse..

OK, who is guilty of this? Buying a tool just to look at?

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

26 replies so far

View MichaelR's profile


42 posts in 3342 days

#1 posted 04-24-2012 10:38 PM

I really want a treadle scroll saw but would never consider using it. It’s just a wonderful thing to look at. I hope I don’t actualy spend money for one.

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4490 days

#2 posted 04-24-2012 11:01 PM

As far as planes go I’m around the 55 mark ,but I do use mine … well sometimes…well a little …. ok seldom.


View jdmaher's profile


470 posts in 3492 days

#3 posted 04-24-2012 11:15 PM


Got pictures?

Maybe if I look at yours, I won’t have to collect my own . . .

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7041 posts in 4107 days

#4 posted 04-24-2012 11:20 PM

I also try to buy tools that I will use and often, (I hope)....My shop is filled with tools, and at some point I use them all, depending on the project, but I do use them….As far as things like planes, I have 3… #5 Jack, 2 small block planes…one is an antique, so actually only 2…....I have a DeWalt 788 (the yellow one) scroll saw that I turned on one time….so it just sits there, gathering dust, and the only time I try to look at it, is when I brush the dust off of it…..As you figured, I’m not a scroller……. I have no choice but to look at this yellow beast…..I’ll trade it for a bunch of planes…..I’d really use them…yea right…...!!!!!!!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Loren's profile


10784 posts in 4561 days

#5 posted 04-24-2012 11:31 PM

If you buy, you gotta sell. That’s how I keep it under control.

All sorts of serious collectors recognize the attraction of a focused
and pruned collection.

View knothead's profile


163 posts in 4861 days

#6 posted 04-24-2012 11:59 PM

In my example I currently have many myself but I am reminded that I have 3 Bailey #4 smoothers, all of them have been cleaned up fettled and tuned, and yet of the 3 planes there is one that just outperforms the others so well that I really only use that one smoother – I think sometimes I should get rid of the extras but still there they sit in their cubby in my cabinet – Yeah it is a sickness alright, but a good one to have as sicknesses go. Enjoy


-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3219 days

#7 posted 04-25-2012 12:11 AM

Well I’m guilty of buying because the tool looks cool and I should have it my collection. I am happy to say I have used every tool I’ve ever purchased, not for every project, but at one time or another. I like having it in case I need it, is what I convince myself when I see a cool looking tool. And yes some tools I have only used a half a dozen time, and I might have had a few of them of them over 20 years, but isn’t it nice to need something and know,” hey I bought that 6 years ago, now where is it?” I can’t bring myself to remove any of these tools, just in case. I have given a few away when I got a newer version, or I just outgrew it, or my skill set got better and warranted an upgrade.

For the last 15 years I have been looking at my mechanics tools, specifically the brake tools, I said I should get rid of these, then low and behold, I needed brakes and The brake pads were on sale. Mind you I have not done a brake job in 17 or 18 years, well that changed last Friday, I am sure now that I can’t part from any of them.

Bonus, when a friend, fellow woodworker, family member, work colleague needs a tool 99% of the time I can say, ” I have that, you can borrow it”, to me being able to help another person is also worth the extensive collection of tools. Just my 2 cents.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3851 days

#8 posted 04-25-2012 12:39 AM

I’ve been saying for years ” sometimes it’s better to just own a tool than it is to know how to use it ” That was my story then and it’s my story now…............................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19748 posts in 3480 days

#9 posted 04-25-2012 12:47 AM

yea, its kind of addicting. Its still better to be loved on a shelf, then rusting in an antique shop, damp basement, or cow barn.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 3329 days

#10 posted 04-25-2012 04:59 AM

20 hand saws/panel saws. 8 tenon saws, 5 dovetail saws. lots of assorted ‘various other saws’. 60+ chisels. 14 iron planes. no idea how many wooden planes and 1 workshop that is waaay too small

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View knotscott's profile


8392 posts in 4288 days

#11 posted 04-25-2012 10:45 AM

I never meant to start collecting these things, but once the bug bites it’s tough to pass up some of the many great deals out there. I’ve got over 30 hand planes, most of which I use, but there are a couple that I just show off and admire. I’ve also got 9 or 10 bit braces…never used any of them. I have no logical explanation for the 60+ saw blades I’ve used….they’re not even old! (I’ve thinned the herd down to maybe 20 that I’ve kept, and I do use them, but many are redundant).

Well said Don W…”Its still better to be loved on a shelf, then rusting in an antique shop, damp basement, or cow barn.”

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3910 days

#12 posted 04-25-2012 11:22 AM

Warm up my wet noodle fiirst.
I do not collect them, think of it as”I just HAVE TO HAVE them.”
I now have too many to say I use all of them.
I use a lot of them, occasionally.
Don W said it …....”Its still better to be loved on a shelf, then rusting in an antique shop, damp basement, or cow barn.”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3839 days

#13 posted 04-25-2012 02:18 PM

Guilty as described… and loving it!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View MrRon's profile


5954 posts in 4156 days

#14 posted 04-25-2012 07:02 PM

I’m not a tool collector. I buy tools when I need them, but if I go to a garage sale or flea market, and I see a tool begging to be taken home, I buy it. The way I look at it, I’m giving it a good home, much like finding a stray dog that follows me home.

View plang's profile


137 posts in 4267 days

#15 posted 04-26-2012 03:23 AM

No tools, but I do have several pieces of some beautifully figured wood hanging on the walls. One being a two board foot piece of Bubinga I purchased about eight years ago that I just can’t bring myself to cut. I suppose that is for another post though. Have fun.

showing 1 through 15 of 26 replies

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