I'd buy used Stanleys, but from a reputable dealer and not from Ebay. I
purchased three such planes a few months ago for near-ebay prices. The
difference was that I knew what I was getting and they came already tuned
and sharp. My girlfriend bought me a new Stanley block plane for my
birthday which is complete CRAP, although I still use it when she's around.
For harder-to-find items like block planes, I buy LN or LV.
Everyone look for my forthcoming business I'm going to start. In light of
some of the replies here I know I can retire selling old user Stanley planes
for profit. If $60-90 is "going rate" I'm going to make a fortune! Maybe its
my area I don't know but soon I will have a website up with old tools on it
for sale! Cant wait....Now old Stanley chisels are another story. I have had
NO luck at all finding good user everlasting Stanleys.
I'm guessing you are referring to my post about buying a foreplane.
If so, please note that I recommended that he go through a
*reputable* online dealer. Yes, it will be priced higher than the
stuff you see on Ebay, but you will get a tool that you know will be
in good condition, and you will have a seller who will back up the
Ebay can be a crapshoot; I picked up a lovely type 12 #7 for $65
there, but I've heard too many horror stories about people buying
planes that turned out to be awful. If you are a newbie who doesn't
live in an area where oldtools can be easily found, it is definitely
worth your money to pay a bit more to get something you know will be
BTW, if you think you can "retire selling old user Stanley planes
for profit", I suggest you contact a fellow named Patrick Leach.
He'll give you a quick dose of reality.
I live in an area of West Texas that does not have very many people in it.
In fact the town I live in was not even established 120 years ago. The
ability to go to estate sales an pick up vintage tools is very limited
because there are few estates that even existed in the 1900 - 1920 time
frame. Rarely will you find anything for sale at an estate auction that
isn't 1950's junk. The people, like myself, in this area of the country are
stuck with the "going rate" of sales on ebay and at other internet tool
dealers if they want quality Stanley planes and other vintage tools.
That doesn't narrow it down much, now does it? Don't yall have First
Monday? Head for the nearest town that has it.
For those who've never had the pleasure, driving acrost west Texas
isn't a vacation; it's a career.
As someone whose daughter is going to college at Texas Tech, I am
convinced that West Texas is why gawd invented cruise control.
As for the previous suggestion that we look for "First Mondays" or
"FMM" down here ... well, in the seven years I've been looking for
oldtools down here (Wimberley area), I can honestly say that I've
gotten one or two good deals. Mostly you get folks who think that
saws and planes are "antiques" just made for displaying to give that
"rustic charm" to your country decor. The few folks I've run across
who actually know something about the tools charge about on par with
(or slightly higher than) the reputable online dealers I have dealt
The flea markets I've been to have been absolutely horrible; rusty
Handyman and Craftsman planes with knobs, totes or frogs missing, yet
priced as if they were in mint condition. The good tools are even
I bought a #5 Bailey in the big tent in Roundtop one year for $35. It is as
sweet as can be. The rosewood handle just lies in your hand, begging to be
caressed like a lovesick puppy. The iron sings as it performs it's duty on
miscreant piece of wood. It'll produce shavings like a Steve Knight
smoother. (There's a couple of his planes in there too, but they come out
Then I found out it is a #7 (1893-1899) in excellent condition, and it
immediately went into a wall display case.
Sigh . . . . . .
That's still a nice driveby. :-)
I have gotten a couple of good deals down here, but they are few
and far between. Little things like getting a crispy SW-era #80 for
$20. Or a huge Ohio Tools wooden jointer for $40. But the Stanleys I
normally run across are pretty much in the normal range of prices I
see from the online dealers.
It's also why radar detectors were invented. Those West Texas towns
have speed traps as the largest item on their income statement. I made
the trips for four years without getting stopped but sure came close
several times. I know many others who weren't so fortunate.
I must have been to the same flea markets as you. I did however find a
beautiful Stanley #8 Type 9 for $20.00 in one of our antique/junk stores.
It was pretty dirty when I got it and didn't look good at first glance, but
I look close in the store and decided it was just gunk on the plane and
: Now I think I want a bigger beast for smoothing and jointing.
: Ive been looking on ebay at old stanley planes (cheap) as a
: possibility or would I be better off buying a new (expensive)
: Lie Nielsen.
A glance at my web site - Planing Notes - Coping With Gnarly Grain might
help Tombo to come to an economical decision.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email address is username@ISP
username is amgron
ISP is clara.co.uk
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