A Once in a Lifetime Deal

Every few years I get a deal of a lifetime when buying tools. Many years ago, I bought my 15″ Powermatic planer from a company going out of business for $700. I bought my Contractor SawStop table saw from SawStop corporate through Pop Wood for $1000, and yesterday, I bought a six piece Porter Cable combo kit for $25.00.

20171122_160102.jpg

As you may know, I’m a sales rep for Oldcastle selling patio block, mulch and soon composite decking to Lowe’s and Home Depot. While visiting one of my stores yesterday, I walked in the back of the store by receiving to talk to the RTM clerk to see if there were any credits I needed to give for broken patio block. While back there, I saw a Porter Cable tool bag full of tools lying on the floor and asked the RTM clerk what they were doing there. She told me that it was a return that the customer said the batteries wouldn’t hold a charge. Knowing that Lowe’s will take back anything no questions asked, the first thing that came to my mind was a customer buying a tool, using it to do a job, then returning it to get his money back.

She told me she had to get rid of it somehow and asked if I wanted to buy it, so I said “sure”. She asked what I would give for them so I told her $20.00. She then told me she would have to call the manager to see if that would be okay. I told her before I buy them, I wanted to make sure that my current batteries from my Porter Cable set would work on the tools. I’ve been using the same drill and jigsaw from the same set for a few years now, so I was hopeful my batteries would be compatible. I went to my car to grab my tool bag while she called the manager to make the deal happen. When I returned, she said “what about $25.00”. I said fine and hooked up my battery to the all the tools to make sure they all functioned. I took the bag of tools and walked up to customer service to buy them. I couldn’t believe it. I just bought a $300 combo set for $25.00. I didn’t care that the tools were a little beaten up and used. Almost all of my hand tools I buy are used. Many from a hundred years ago.

20171122_133927.jpg

When I got home, I laid the tools on my bench to see what I got. A drill, an impact drill, a sawsall, circular saw, multi tool, flashlight, and a battery power checker with USB ports. I took the battery it came with and charged it up. It works perfectly.

20171122_160821.jpg

Why the customer returned the tools is anybody’s guess. There is only one battery for the set, so it may be the guy wanted a free battery so he simply didn’t put the extra one back in the bag when he returned it. I don’t care. I’m just glad as hell I got the deal of the year. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Advertisements

Reclaimed Lumber in the Cincy/Dayton Area

If you’re in the need for some reclaimed lumber and live n the Cincinnati, Dayton area, there is a new place inside the Antiques Village Antique Mall in Centerville, OH that may have what you’re looking for. The booth is called Dayton Reclamation and Restoration Architectural Salvage and is in the back right of the antique mall.

 photo 20151028_124636.jpg

The booth is somewhat new as it’s only been open for a few months however, they do have a lot of reclaimed wood and architectural salvage like old doors and windows to choose from.

 photo 20151028_124241.jpg

 photo 20151028_124225.jpg

They also have a couple of racks of dimensional reclaimed wood in the front. The pricing is not bad with some 2″ x 6″ x 48″ pieces only being $4.00 a board. I didn’t buy anything because I have too much on my plate right now and don’t have a need for reclaimed lumber, but it’s nice to know where I can get it when I need it.

 photo 20151028_124214.jpg

This picture stinks, but it shows some of the longer pieces they have in stock. I didn’t notice any chestnut in the rack so I’m sure the majority of the wood is either oak or poplar. I’m sure the longer they’re in business, they’ll add to their inventory.

 photo 20151028_124203.jpg

A Saturday Afternoon at an Estate Auction

Not much has been going on lately with woodworking, but I have been picking up some more tools. Yesterday I went to a local estate auction and scored some serious tools. I saw the auction on AuctionZip a few days ago, but they only had a couple of pictures of a few tools. When I arrived at the auction and took a look around, I nearly crapped myself when I saw all the tools that were sitting on the tables.

 photo 20150627_152847.jpg

I have a blast at auctions as you can see with my winnings. I always try to remain reasonable and not get too carried away with my bidding. Fortunately, there weren’t a lot of tool collectors at the auction, so I was able to buy a whole bunch. In fact, most of the time I was bidding on several tools at once in one box.

 photo 20150627_152851.jpg

At the end of the day, I brought all the tools down to my basement and tried to calculate how many tools I actually bought. I had to separate the good tools from the junk that was packed in the boxes. I won a about a dozen junky block plane beds that ended up in the garbage can.

 photo 20150627_152909_1.jpg

In the end, I bought over 150 tools with nearly 100 planes. I’ll be busy over the next few months cleaning all these babies up.

 photo 20150627_152920.jpg

My first winning bid was for a box of steel wool for $8.00. I use a lot of steel wool when cleaning tools and I’m sick of buying those little packs for $5.00 at Lowe’s. I should have enough steel wool here to last me a couple of years.

 photo 20150627_152929.jpg

Probably the best buy of the day was this old BedRock 605 plane. It should be cleaned up and for sale in a few weeks.

 photo 20150627_152950.jpg

Woodworking in America

I stopped by the Marketplace at The Woodworking in America show in Covington, KY today after work. Living in Cincinnati I’m spoiled that I get to waltz right in like it’s no big deal when the majority of people who attend have to make travel plans and hotel accommodations. I attended the first WIA a few years back in Berea, KY and had a blast listening to presenters like Roy Underhill, Brian Boggs and Frank Klaus. However, the money has been too tight for me to afford to attend any of the seminars since then.

I picked up a few things while I was there, nothing much. I mainly went there to buy the book “By Hand & Eye” by George Walker and Jim Tolpin. I’ve read good things about it and knew Lost Art Press would have a booth so leaving with that was a no-brainer. I also picked up a couple of DVDs about using SketchUp. I’ve been wanting to learn how to use this design software for years but after fiddling around with it in the past, it never clicked. Hopefully the DVD’s will make a light bulb go off in my head.

I stopped by the Knew Concepts booth and looked at their fret saws again. I see them every year but they never bring any inventory to sell. They would give me a card and tell me to go on the website and use it for free shipping. Every year I took the card and just forgot about it. Well not this year. They finally brought saws to sell so I bought one.

I’ve wanted one of these saws for a few years now. They are much stronger and hold the blade much stiffer than an ordinary coping saw. I’ll use it mainly for cutting the waste out of dovetails as well as some fret work from time to time. The difference between a Knew Concepts saw and a coping saw is night and day. I may turn a new handle for it out of cocobolo to beautify it someday, but I’m in no rush for that.

With my Knew Concepts saw, my coping saw is perfectly happy in his new home.

All in all, the Woodworking in America is a good show that’s worth going to. It’s not like The Woodworking Show that travels around the country. It’s mainly focused on hand tool woodworking so you won’t find a lot of power tools or boxes of discount belt sander sanding belts. About three quarters of the vendors focus on hand tools which is fine by me.

I was disappointed not to see Welch chair maker Don Weber again this year. He hasn’t attended in a couple of years and I’m not sure if he will again. I took a blacksmithing class from him a few years ago at his shop in Paintlick, KY. He’s extremely knowledgeable about woodworking and a hell of a craftsman, as well as down right a nice guy. I did talk to a few young chair makers who were selling some sweet ass chair making tools. I wanted to buy a drawknife sharpener and adjustable calipers but my funds were already spent. I got their cards so maybe sometime down the road I’ll buy them off the internet.

 

Empire Dresser

The Empire dresser is officially done. My wife Anita found some nice oil rubbed bronze drawer pulls on the internet after looking locally for some with no luck. It originally had glass knobs on it, but a few of them were in rough shape and not all of them matched. I think the drawer pulls she picked out look really nice and add to the character of the piece. She applied four to five coats of hemp oil to the dresser. It gives it a warm aged look without making it look too glossy.

I put a few hours in this as well. I had to strip all the old stain off, patch a veneer job, re-band all the drawer fronts with sapele, replace a brass key escutcheon, and reinforce some of the drawer bottoms with pieces of poplar.

She plans on selling this in her booth with her painted furniture and antiques this Saturday at a local street fair in Milford, OH called the Longstone Festival. She was lucky enough to get a booth as there is usually a waiting list every year. Hopefully it will sell there. I will let you know if it does. http://www.longstonestreetfestival.com/

Frames, Frames and more Frames

Last night, my wife Anita took me to an old frame factory in downtown Cincinnati. The factory stopped operating over a hundred years ago, but it looked like the frames hadn’t been touched since the workers packed up and went home.

Anita met a lady about a month ago who was selling some frames from the building and told us that she was going to have an open house on Aug 23rd to try to get rid of some more and invited us to come. Because Anita makes chalk boards out of old frames, she made an appointment with her to view the building before the open house to buy some of her frames, but going back to the open house was still a no-brainer as she wanted me to see the place.

When we arrived, there were people greeting us offering wine and cheese. I didn’t know if I was coming to a rummage sale or a gallery viewing, so I grabbed a glass of wine and headed upstairs. When I got up there, all I saw were tens of thousands of frames stacked everywhere. The floor was probably 5000 square feet and every inch was packed with old frames. It took five minutes just to absorb all of it as I wandered around checking everything out.

The factory stopped operating in 1910 and must have specialized in round and oval frames as there were thousands of them spewed out all over the floor. Every shape and size from tiny to gigantic were available as an oval. They did have some square frames available, but 95% were round of some shape. The owner said the building sat like this undisturbed since 1910.

Not all the frames were primed. They had some really nice ones made from mahogany in all sort of sizes. My wife bought a few of these before and cleaned them up with hemp oil. They look fantastic cleaned so she bought a few more last night . You can see the hundred years of dust that laid on these frames undisturbed.

Sadly, all the old machinery were long gone. I looked around the building for remnants of the machinery, but only came across this glue applicator directions inside one of the posts of the building. It’s from the Casein Manufacturing Company explaining how to properly use one of their mechanical glue pots.

The only big machine left was this nice old blower. There were a few pieces of duct work that went throughout the building, but I’m not sure what it was used for.

Anita ended buying 50 frames for $250. Dirt, dirt cheap as some of the old frames she picked out can go for as high as $35.00 a piece in antique stores. Now she needs to clean all of them up and turn them into chalk boards.