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But, after some discussion, Tanay decided that she wanted to first decide on her next project, and then choose tools to support that. Fair enough.
Meanwhile, though, I kept looking at the photo he posted of all those chisels: I kept coming back to it -- especially the ones with the doorknob-like handles. And also the linesman's pliers: I'd recently read a guy's woodworking blog entry where he talks about the simple beauty of linesman's pliers -- and I realized that I didn't own any.
Finally, after about two weeks of deliberation, I figured I'd stop by and check out what he had -- without my colleague. Even though I don't need any more chisels, I thought I'd find some good, solid "users", pick them up, and either sell them (at cost) to Tanay or my co-worker Danielle (who also is beginning handtool woodworking). Or, maybe add them to my kids' toolboxes.
So, I stopped by today. On my way out the door, I told the kids that anyone who came with, I'd let them choose a tool. Only B1 (blondie boy) took me up on the offer.
Just ten or fifteen minutes to the guy's house from mine. I poked around the guy's garage for about an hour -- he had the tools along the floor on one side of his garage. About twice as much as what he'd posted online -- so it took me longer than I expected.
B1 behaved well. Oddly, when I reminded him that he could choose a tool, he didn't express any interest.
A lot of good stuff, in reasonable condition, at good prices for around here (Brisbane, Australia) -- although apparently not as good as the flea markets in the midwest and east coast of the U.S.
I went through and grouped everything that looked good into a little area. Then I realized how much I'd accumulated -- and the cost -- and started paring down, putting the less-good and less-interesting things back. For example, I ended up putting back about half the chisels because of cracked handles or other structural warning signs.
It took me a fair while to weed through my pile. We chatted about tools as I went through the pile, and every once in a while he'd take something from my not-yet-sorted pile and toss it into the "no charge" pile. Sometimes he justified it by saying that he was just happy I'd actually showed up (he gets a lot of calls from people who say they'll stop by, then never show) -- and sometimes he gave me tools for free just because it was clear that I liked tools. (He's a retired carpenter.)
Once I'd finished my paring down, we both tallied up. He stated his total -- which excluded the "free" pile -- and I made a pair of counter-offers: what I'd **hoped** I could get it for, and a more reasonable price. He agreed to the more reasonable price -- which was halfway between his price and my lowball price.
I won't tell you what I paid -- but I will say that based on my estimate of the prices he **would've** listed for his non-advertised tools -- and once you include the tools he let me have for free -- I ended up getting 40% off the advertised prices. And those were very reasonable prices to begin with (e.g. $6 for a hammer).
Some of my favorite finds were the linesman's pliers (one of the reasons I decided to go: I already owned a few different types of pliers, but -- oddly! -- no linesman's pliers), and especially a silver one with jaws that are always parallel (pictured in the final photo of this blog entry). He actually had five or so linesman's pliers, but I chose the two with the longest handles -- figuring "more leverage".
Some interesting clamps: one might be a clamp for welding; not sure about the others.
Also a bundle of spade bits, in a variety of sizes -- both metric and imperial! Prior to today, I only owned one spade bit.
There's also a head for a hewing hatchet (also to the left of the hammer in the photo above). Hewing hatchets are reasonably rare around here: The Lady and I used to go to a lot of antique stores, and I'd never seen one. You can tell it's a hewing hatchet because there's a bevel only on one side (usually hatchets are ground symmetrically). Ten bucks. And the guy was very fair: even though I was excited to find it, he didn't raise the price on me when I told him what it was.
(BTW -- I've heard that turning an old file into a chisel isn't a good idea, unless you re-temper the steel: to be harder than the metal they're filing, a file is tempered to be hard -- but brittle. This means that if you turn an old file into a chisel or lathe tool, it could shatter on you.)
I like the hammer: although I own a few hammers, the barrel(?) of this one is an interested truncated-cone shape, which is different to anything I own. So, it's a keeper.
Also for five bucks was the small mitre gauge (the 45 degee angle layout thing): I didn't own one, and now I do.
Also a smaller marking gauge. Five bucks, essentially new.
The Girl wanted a trysquare as well, so she used some of her allowance money from previous weeks to buy it off me (this one **is** square!). Likewise B2 liked the look of the pliers, so he bought them off me -- including the "parallel jaw" pliers. He actually wanted all three of the pliers -- but since one of my aims had been to pick up some linesman's pliers, I told him he had to leave me with one.
And: that's my haul!