Does anyone really find anything at flea markets?

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I went to "the Big One" in Memphis this past weekend. If I was looking for cell phone cases, peanut brittle, or scented candles I'd have hit the jackpot, but as it was, nothing in the way of "old" tools, i.e. Disston saws, Stanley planes, etc. etc. Their website advertises 1,000 vendors, "antiques", and deals galore. .. (And I don't consider the "deals" like beat up 18V DeWalt cordless drills for $189.)
I've been to this 4 or 5 times, and similar ones in nearby towns with absolutely no success. I rarely find anything worthwhile at yard sales either. ( I would guess that out of 50 I have been to, I may have seen 1 WW "tool" that may or may not have been worth buying.)
When I read magazine articles or stuff on the rec it seems like there is just a plethora of old stuff (saws, planes, chisels...) out there and everyone has easy access to it, except me:
(see http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/fea.asp?id 65 Check out all those tools...is this for real? )
Am I better off just buying from a dealer that specializes in this stuff, Ebay?,...
--
Cheers!



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I bought my first large tool at a grand opening sale. The jet regional sales support guy was there and was very personable and knowledgeable. I was showing some hesitation about buying a new tool. He encouraged me to check the classified ads and local "greensheet" to see how many good used stationary tools I could find. He told me I just wouldn't find many. I think he was right.
Perhaps most good stuff is sold word of mouth from one enthusiast to another. I think I'm joining the pattern set by many others before me. Wait for the grand openings, the woodworking shows and the special sales. About 10% off is typical on stationary tools.
Bob

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You boys need to hang out at http://www.owwm.com /
There are MANY deals but you gotta be serious....
Bob Davis wrote:

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I'm missing something, pat. I knew about the site but I thought it was a historical site to get information on tools. I don't see anything for sale on it.
Bob

sales.
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http://www.owwm.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.pl

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There are almost daily posting on "where" tools might be found. It requires a great deal of patience in the old/used tool business to find the real nuggets. Many people are after the same goods. The OWWM has many auctions that are reported almost weekly. This requires at least scanning several hundred messages a week to keep up...
The major interest on http://www.owwm.com is looking for "old power tools"..."the bigger the better".
Bob Davis wrote:

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Well, now that I've been pointed to the link and had a recommendation, I went for a look. Uh, let's just say its not my style of used power tools. I don't have much use for a 1930 vintage Rockwell or a 36" saw of any brand name. :-)
Bob

sale
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On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 20:17:42 GMT, "Bob Davis"

Once at the site, go to "Features" then "classified ads"

Mike Patterson Please remove the spamtrap to email me.
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My one and only flea market find was a Stanley model 20 for $35. Rest of the time, all I've seen is junk. But, I have found a local old tool dealer who can fix me up with good "user" tools for a reasonable price.
Henry Bibb
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I have had rather good luck myself, http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&th db8cbff4920c87&seekm>FEFE50.9050807%40earthlink.net#link41 Tony D.

for
beat
WW
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Here is a fellows web page, http://www.madrona.bizhosting.com/photo5.html

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&th db8cbff4920c87&seekm>FEFE50.9050807%40earthlink.net#link41
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Mon, Feb 23, 2004, 9:51am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@NoSpamyahoo.com (Duke) laments: <snip> When I read magazine articles or stuff on the rec it seems like there is just a plethora of old stuff (saws, planes, chisels...) out there and everyone has easy access to it, except me: <snip>
You didn't know? Word has been left at every flea market in the free world, hide the tools when they see you coming.
Does 5 (five) Disston saws, for $15, count? I didn't keep them, swapped them off later. I'm not hugely into hand tools, no space for a decent bench, but pick up one or two once in awhile, when I run across them. Could get a lot more, if I was interested. You been making your sacrifices to the Woodworking Gods? Probably not. They get irritated when that happens. Just sent them along to me, I handle their administrative work.
JOAT Georges Clemenceau supposedly said, "War is too important a matter to be left to the military". If this is so, it is then obvious that peace is too precious to be left to politicians.
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 28 Feb 2004. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/SOMETUNESILIKEVOCALS /
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote in message (Duke)

Does a shopsmith 10ER for $35 sound good? How about a 14 Delta for $80? Had to clean them up real good, but it was alot of fun to do it. Got to know the machines real well that way. Or a Delta 6 inch Jointer for $200.
Like one of the post's said, don't expect anything and you wont be dissapointed. When you do find something good, its a great surprise. Treat it as a day out with the wife...look for things for her, pretty soon, she'll be looking for things for you. Got a 5hp snowblower for $200. Take it as a chance to see the other subdivisions in your area..sometimes you meet some nice folks. Sometimes the price they'll give it to you, will be much less than the price marked on it, if you convince them you're going to use it. I think every man who sells his father's stuff knowing he can't use it, wants to see it used by someone who will.
I've found that the garage sales that you least expect to have anything are the ones that have a tool or something for you. I do stay away from the ones that have all baby stuff on the driveway tho...can't stand them.
Al Morgan
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All I can say is if you don't enjoy the hunt, you will find it very frustrating, unless you go to tool-specific sales. I go to garage sales, fleas, and the occasional auction, and the "hits" can be found at all three, but are in the 15-20% range, depending on what you are looking for. Actually, I have been very successful at garage sales, virtually all my user planes are from garage sales, inclusive of bench planes ## 3,4,5,6,7, plus ##78, 45, 79, 80, 220, 110, 9 1/2, a few dunlops and sargents are in there too. I've gotten some spokeshaves, chisels, mortising chisels, turning tools and the like. My two vises, polishing head, grinder, brace and set of boxed Irwin bits are all products of about 5 years of spending 2 hours each saturday morning. I never pay more than $15 for a bench plane, and after a while it gets hard not to buy another #4 or 5, or my fifth 9 1/2 block plane, especially when they give them away. I must have half a dozen #5s, maybe 8 #4s, Disston crosscut and rip saws, tenon saws, I even have 3 stanley saw sets and 3 saw vices. I tell you, its a sickness; I'm gonna have to get an ebay account one of these days and sell some of them off, so I have some room to start buying again.
Keep at it, there's gold in them there hills. Mutt
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Mutt, thanks for the candid description. You've aptly described a key difference in the argument of buying used tools at bargain prices. Some people (like me) are just out to buy the tools needed at the best price/quality/availability balance. Others pursue "the hunt" as a second avocation and get as much thrill out of finding a steal as actually using the tool. Good price far outweighs time for some people. Neither is better than the other. I travel 50-100% of the time. I'll pay extra to get what I want, when I want it if it saves my time to actually use the stuff I buy.
Bob

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Bingo. The "hunt" also gets me out of bed at 6:30 on saturday mornings when I would otherwise sleep until 9:30, and my bride likes the idea that I power walk through the fleas scanning all the aisles. Its them old hunter-gatherer genes buried deep in my DNA I guess. I tend to upgrade, i.e., my first line "user" #3 changed 4 times, so eventually I end up with Sweetheart era bench planes in cherry condition. Still looking for a 92, 93 and 94, the collectors pick them up quick, but if I may brag, I did get a Stanley #1 (cracked mouth, tote, alas but all original) from the bottom of a kid's tool box at one of them baby clothes and toy yard sales in Indian Trail, NC, and paid $1 for it. I was not sure it was what I thought it was until I got back into my truck and rubbed off the grime. That was my only big "bargain." regards.Mutt.
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Mutt wrote:

Yes, it's called The Hunt.
To make an analogy, If all grocery stores closed most people wouldn't know how to feed themselves.
The most successful hunters are those who enjoy the game.
If all you hunt is big game, or one type of creature, you'll miss out on the enjoyment of scoring a squirrel.
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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Duke wrote:

It depends a lot on what part of the country you're in. The stuff is out there and the ease of finding it varies. In the Mid-Atlantic and NE you can get hurt stubling over the buys. I've got a few places inside 1 1/2 hr drive from me that might as well be old tool hardware stores. I fill my trunk when I drive from Va to NY. If you are looking for handtools, flea markets and antiwues malls are definitley the places to go. I don't even bother looking at estate sales. The companies that run them take a look at Walter's book, decide that whatever they have is mint and then add 25% for their take. Yesterday I got a Greenlee skew for $11 and a norris style smoother #4 for $22. I saw a bunch of overpriced stuff and left it there. Where are you?
Dave in Fairfax
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reply-to doesn't work
use:
daveldr at att dot net
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I agree it must vary on location. I'm in the Memphis, TN area, and have been to many many yard sales (2-3 nearly every Saturday for 2 years) like I said w/o luck. I'm glad to some of you are getting "finds", I guess I am getting there too late!
S/OT: I've been wanting to buy a nice treadmill with automatic incline, etc. all this time w/o success as well. My sister-in-law came across (and bought) one I had priced at ~$500 for $30.00 Yes, that's thirty bucks. She is 4 states away however.
-- Cheers!

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I
etc.
She
I hear ya. My swmbo is a quilter who wanted such a machine. I scored treadle machine with oak cabinet (OWWM)..... I talked him down from 100 to 65. The cabinet finish was rpetty well trashed on top, but the shellac finish was not that tough to repair.
Fully functional, all accessories except it needed a belt (a new leather one was found for <$5).
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