Every other week or so I’ll make time to visit the two antique malls within easy striking distance and have a wander about. I don’t really go with any sort of intention other than to eyeball the old tools on offer.
My last excursion turned up two items I’ve been after for a while, in a price range I was entirely willing to inhabit. The trick for me is that the tool has to be within an afternoons refurbishment of working order, and not have a collector price attached.
Time for a rant
There is one booth at one of the markets that I frequent that has a wonderful selection of un-refurbishable tools, all at a uniform ‘patina’. There are several bow saws and draw knives I would happily buy except they are 3 times the price they should be and would take a month of sanding and soaking to clear the awful crud of whatever stain has been applied to make them look nice hanging on the wall as part of rustic decor.
The well used and beautiful European style bench at this place, with (I kid you not) a 1/4″ of lacquer finish applied is another rant entirely. Yes, I measured it.
I think the fact they’re all together, and thus obviously doctored, is what irritates me. Besides the inflated price of course.
I’ve been desirous of a boxwood folding rule and hand-drill (ref: One more thing) and all of a sudden they were both plentiful at a reasonable price in functional condition. I love it when that happens.
The hand drill is a Rapid brand made in England that I can’t seem to find anything online about. It has a bit of rust on the chuck, but was successfully tested with a twist bit on some scrap by the Small Shop Assistant with great success and fun.
The folding rule is a Stanley No 84, partially bound by brass in boxwood. The alignment pins are all missing, and the joints were loose until I peened them with a nail set using a small sledgehammer as an anvil. I did a cursory clean with borax, but there are some marks that might be burns rather than grease.
I spent $35. I am content.
This little rule is goddamn fascinating. Back to the toolbox problem next.