And ME! There is an antique show in Central FL a couple times a year
that can be productive but mostly "valuable" block planes (missing
parts) for $50 or transitional Stanley stuff. The regular flea
markets in my neck of the swamp are similar to what you experienced.
Who knows when these good stuff comes up? I know
that there are antique tool flea markets, just check
in Google or other search engine for a listing of
societies that might be close to you.
In my local flea, I got a Stanley plane
and some other things fairly cheaply but no
"$5" bargin that turned out to be worth $1000 either.
I haven't been back in more then a year, but I watch
the garage sales listings in my area for the weekend and
caught two woodworkers who were getting rid of their
shops and got some good bargins there. Does your local
paper list them? Mine does.
EBay has probably become the easiest way of looking
for this on a consistent basis.
If you need it now you won't find it. I picked up a starrett 2 head
(protractor, center finder and 12 in rule) for $30, square head was not
marked. Stanley #98 twin beam marker $25. Look in order to upgrade not need
Can't say I ever got a deal on a tool. I did purchase a solid maple counter
top though a couple of years ago. Inch and a half thick forty inches wide
and twelve feet eight inches long for the sum of $20. Made a computer desk
and a good work bench top out of it.
I've been to the Sweetwater flea market (east TN) a couple times.
They have a tool section, but most of it is junk. Not bad for cheap
drill bits, sanding cylinders, weird wrenches, screws, nails, and
other odds and ends. Our sales tax of nearly 10% often makes it less
expensive to order online--you save gasoline and time. Never had I
found power tools of any quality or value.
I think that old tool dealers only sell at certain flea markets where
there is a critical mass of old tool customers as well as other
dealers to socialize and trade with. They don't want to pay for booth
space if most of the customers are looking for scented candles, Donnie
& Marie records, etc. There is supposed to be a major old tool flea
market and auction in New Hampshire every year, but I don't know what
it is called.
There is some more info on finding old tools here:
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