Thanks for visiting this page, I hope it will be enlightening and helpful when choosing your tools in the future. We will explain the pro’s and cons buyers should be aware of and highlight where and whom you buy these old tools from (IE: eBay) has an effect on future services that current reputable dealers provide.
Fact: ‘ Many old tools do have superior qualities and are full of potential if the correct methods and investment of time are applied’. We invest both the time and effort so the user doesn’t have to, we apply all the best methods, skills and techniques into our refurbishment process of the vintage user tools sold here.
Categories of User grade vintage tools
- General Used tools – As is
- Cleaned tools – To look more appealing only
- Refurbished – Accurate detailed refinement, replacement of proper parts and good repairs
- Near Mint – Very little use
General used tools: will vary in grade, some better than others but these will be worn and generally require work to get them working again. How well they will work will depend on a series of aspects such as experience, knowledge, equipment and the time and effort one is prepared to invest.
Cleaned tools : Cleaning tools is relatively an easy process and requires a small amount of effort to undertake.
Refurbishment of tools is very much down to the knowledge of vintage tools and their makers, resources of correct replacement parts, techniques and equipment used for example: how to test plane soles for flatness, float glass for example doesn’t cut the mustard here. Professional tool restoration can be seen for example in the skills used such as saw sharpening or illustrations of accuracy when describing a plane’s sole. Time and attention to detail is a major factor when buying refurbished tools and sellers doing this will have all different standards.
Near mint tools are by far the hardest to find and will command premium prices as a result.
This gives a basic guide to the tools sold online and they should be priced accordingly to their true category, but alas there are people who don’t understand this and ultimately pay too much or charge too much for what they are buying or selling. The astute vintage tool buyer will do their research to save themselves a lot of effort and unnecessary expense when purchasing their used tools.
What we do here:
- Our knowledge – when choosing used tools
- Our Prices – cause and affect of buying
- Our resources – to resolve issues
- Our skills – to undertake the work needed
- Our workshops – finishing vintage tools for sale
- Our ethics – how we work with people
- Service – Friendly & helpful
Our knowledge when choosing and grading old tools that we buy in, this primarily focuses on each tool’s merits and deficiencies. Tools such as those that have been welded are automatically stripped of good parts and are taken off the used tool market completely. We have yet to buy a used tool that couldn’t be improved, whether that is a vintage chisel in need of a new handle or a plane or old saw that requires a couple of hours work to optimise their performance. As you can appreciate we have refurbished thousands of hand planes for example and can identify foreign parts that often need changing. As with any good dealer we know our trade and have many years of experience that our customers can rely on.
Our prices are a reflection of the market place, we are plugged in to what happens in a number of areas and can see what is happening with what we deem as the ‘general used tool market’. What happens in the unrefurbished world of tools has a knock on affect when we are buying tools and as a result our prices rise and fall in line with what people are paying online for unrefurbished tools. Sellers often use online market places to value their tools such as eBay with high expectations.
Our resources are vast as we hold a great deal of used tool stock here awaiting refurbishment, along with many spare parts (not for sale as we need these) to ensure all the tools we refurbish are correct and fully operational when they are sold. As you can appreciate many used tools initially have issues that can only be resolved with the correct parts needed to fix them, this is where many buyers of used tools get stuck and often buy something elsewhere that becomes a donor tool only.
Skills and methods are really important when it comes to used tool refurbishment, ask questions about sharpening and whether they understand what steps they took so not to effect the temper in steels etc. How much do they really understand the tools, we’ve bought many tools from people what say they “don’t need refurbishment” and nothing could be further from the truth. We are specialists at this and do this as a full time occupation rather than being a side line.
Our workshops are fully equipped with many specialised tools and equipment held in a 2500 sq ft unit. There are multiple areas for things like sharpening saws, plane refurbishment, blade sharpening, re-handling chisels, wood turning lathe for making bespoke handles, engineering equipment including a top of the range 5″ thick precision made granite surface bed for testing flatness plus lots more.
Our ethics are simple, we are always fair with those who sell us tools and to whom buy them from us, somewhere in between is a whole heap of hard work. Our aim has always been to be a reliable supplier of vintage tools to the trades and enthusiast hobbyists.
Service with a smile from a family business that spans three generations in the industry. We offer a friendly personal service to both buyers and sellers of tools.
Professional used dealers will know these categories and apply ethical pricing accordingly as they understand what they are and the different applications and effort that will be needed. There are many good ‘general used tool’ dealers who present their used tools in good ‘cleaned’ condition but there is a growing trend of sellers who sell any old tool they find on eBay, many have very little knowledge or passion for what they sell, other than for financial gain. The latter has become a problem for full time tool dealers and buyers alike so beware. We often receive the calls from some of these buyers who have been duped by poorly described items from such marketplaces.
Used tool dealers are the lifeblood of the industry and without them the future of Standards, knowledge and experience would disappear. Imagine what will ensue when the general public have no tool dealers to follow, I guess they will all be describing old tools as ‘rare’ when they are abundantly available, with problems they cannot recognise. We have seen hugely inflated prices for what we would regard as general used tools and again this is a sign of their ignorance or simply pure greed.
It’s important potential buyers of used tools learn the categories of used tools and their true values. Hopefully this will also give an outline to what our business offers and highlight the pitfalls many other users of vintage tools have faced.