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Thread: Oldest Tools?

  1. #1

    Oldest Tools?

    Hi all!
    Just wondering what the age of the oldest tool that you use its? I swear old tools last forever if taken care of!
    My own is an 1873 Stanley type 3 #31 transitional hand plane.
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    right side.jpg
    G. Roseboom, Cincinnati, OH....1/4" plough plane, 1864. Has been rehabbed to replace broken/missing parts..
    grooved.jpg
    Works fine....arms tend to be a bit long.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Connecticut Shoreline
    Posts
    79
    I USED to have a Kenyon Backsaw, that experts dated to 1780-1790. I had Mike Wenzloff sharpen it and I used it (very gently) for 10 years but sold it to pay off medical bills :-( It was a lovely saw, great balance!

    I wish I didn't sell it.

    DC

  4. #4
    Grandfather's Type 5 (1885-1888) #4 Stanley-Bailey. I Tormeked it last year to a perfect 25 degrees. With honing using veritas-jig and diamond stones it is probably in its best functional condition ever, tho the knob and handle show the years. I expect it will be the subject of negotiation between son and son-in-law in about 20 years.

  5. #5
    "Grandfather's Type 5 (1885-1888) #4 Stanley-Bailey. I Tormeked it last year to a perfect 25 degrees. With honing using veritas-jig and diamond stones it is probably in its best functional condition ever, tho the knob and handle show the years. I expect it will be the subject of negotiation between son and son-in-law in about 20 years."
    Thats great!
    I had to restore mine (the 1873 Stanley type 3 #31 transitional hand plane) when I did though, I was told by someone that I shouldn't have done anything to it because it decreases the value. I had the overwhelming urge to tell them that it doesn't have any value if you can't use it! Why would I buy something just to have it sit on a shelf?
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,694
    I've divested myself of most of the antiques. I do have a couple old Stanley Spoke shaves, circa 1880. Nothing any older that I know of.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  7. #7
    Very old tools are scarce in my area, so my oldest is probably my great-great-grandfather's Sweetheart-era Stanley #110 block plane, circa 1930.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,749
    Here's a molding plane that I modified. It was a profile that I would never use, so changed it to one I needed. If I'm remembering correctly, it's from 1735. I bought it for something less than 20 bucks, back when a small packet from the UK was 6 dollars. Others equally as old were used in the process of changing the profile on that one. They took better care of molding planes over there than what I've seen here.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    No offense.... but ouch! A tool that old being modified makes me cringe! Now had it been 1850's on.... I would have been all for it. Around where I live old tools are a dime a dozen and most were well taken care of except for during the past 10-15 years as the "Greatest Generation" passes away. I know that in New England we have tons of old tools because they were passed down generation to generation and since this area was the first to have been settled by foreigners, it goes without saying that it does and would have an abundance of old tools. Antique shops are everywhere around here and not overly priced too.
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,749
    I knew that some would cringe at such sacrilege, but it was an Ovolo that I had never seen around here, or anywhere else, and not even particularly attractive. It was close to the Ogee that I needed, and didn't require much of a change. I'm sure I would have bought it cheap only because no one else bid against me. The European Beech was wonderful to work, and I found out exactly why they liked it for making molding planes.

    I bought several hundred of them back before it was cool to collect them, but only ones that could produce work, without a lot of work on them. There are plenty of others here, stored in hermetically sealed, with desssicant canister, toolboxes. They should be good for longer than many other thousands sitting out in garages, or barns.

    I'm not a tool collector. I get paid to produce work.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Connecticut Shoreline
    Posts
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by Aiden Pettengill View Post
    No offense.... but ouch! A tool that old being modified makes me cringe! Now had it been 1850's on.... I would have been all for it. Around where I live old tools are a dime a dozen and most were well taken care of except for during the past 10-15 years as the "Greatest Generation" passes away. I know that in New England we have tons of old tools because they were passed down generation to generation and since this area was the first to have been settled by foreigners, it goes without saying that it does and would have an abundance of old tools. Antique shops are everywhere around here and not overly priced too.
    I certainly agree- if the tool is unusual or rare, and if modifying the tool obscures the manufacturing processes used to make it, then it should be left alone. But there still are a lot of very old tools to be found around, not all are museum quality. Most have been monkeyed with over the years. The saw that I mentioned in my earlier post has been poorly filed with missing and misshapen teeth, evidence of a lot of misuse and careless maintenance in the past 200 years. Not much to learn there, and although it wasn't rare (there are lots of 18th c. saws around) it was a nice example. I wanted to feel how it felt to use a true antique saw, set up to work, sort of to share the experience with our ancestors. So I sent it off to be refiled. I was surprised how thick the saw-plate was, much thicker than the modern dovetail and tenon saws I was familiar with. The weight and balance of the saw was amazing.

    DC

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    256
    I have a Spear and Jackson 30" rip saw that Pete Taran dated to +/- 1860 after seeing pictures of it. I have it pretty sharp. The handle is loose in the winter and tight in the summer, I don't use it when the handle is loose.

  13. #13
    "I have a Spear and Jackson 30" rip saw that Pete Taran dated to +/- 1860 after seeing pictures of it. I have it pretty sharp. The handle is loose in the winter and tight in the summer, I don't use it when the handle is loose."
    That would be because it is drier in the winter than in the summer. Maybe oiling the handle would add enough moisture constancy to stabilize it?
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  14. #14
    "I knew that some would cringe at such sacrilege, but it was an Ovolo that I had never seen around here, or anywhere else, and not even particularly attractive. It was close to the Ogee that I needed, and didn't require much of a change. I'm sure I would have bought it cheap only because no one else bid against me. The European Beech was wonderful to work, and I found out exactly why they liked it for making molding planes.

    I bought several hundred of them back before it was cool to collect them, but only ones that could produce work, without a lot of work on them. There are plenty of others here, stored in hermetically sealed, with desssicant canister, toolboxes. They should be good for longer than many other thousands sitting out in garages, or barns.

    I'm not a tool collector. I get paid to produce work"


    ​That would make more sense then if you have so many. Thats quite an impressive collection (even if your not a collector) of planes. I could help you get rid of some so its not a "collection" any more if you want?
    "The key to a long life is when you start to die, don't"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Borger, Texas
    Posts
    1,403
    My oldest tool, to my knowledge is a Disston panel saw from between 1878 and 1888. This by the medallion guide on the Disston Institute site.

    Stew

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