Sourcing Antique Hand Tools


Last week’s opening of registration for the second term of our Apprenticeship program vastly exceeded our expectations. What took two days last time took only four hours this go around. We could not believe our eyes to see the list filling that quick. We are excited about this term. These look like some enthusiastic people.

But… if you weren’t quick enough on the draw, we have good news: We decided to add a few more slots to enable additional folks to sign up. There are a handful of open spaces as I write this, and with the frenzy now died down, you’ve got a window to get in. But seriously, do not delay. It’s open now, but I have no idea for how long.

Meanwhile, our new students are submitting their sizes for their Apprenticeship T-shirts and ordering their course materials, tools, and lumber. If it’s like last time, I’m sure we’ll end up getting questions about antique tool sources. Mike and I made a video for them walking through the required tools, but we hear that sourcing this stuff is difficult for some people.

We shop locally. Probably 90 percent of our tools came from Skip Brack at Liberty Tool Company, and other antiques stores around us usually have at least a few planes and saws. I realize that’s not a helpful recommendation to anyone outside of Maine. So, after compiling all the web resources I could think of, I’ve created a list of places one could purchase antique tools from. No, it’s not exhaustive. And no, I don’t have personal experience buying from each of these folks. But this list is a place to start: – Yes, there’s actually decent stuff on there. – Hand Tool Mecca. – Call Ed for your specific needs. – Higher end, quality tools

With antiques dealers, it’s pretty common that not all their inventory is on the websites, so you should email or call to them with what you’re looking for. If you have any online stores to add to this list, please name them in the comments below. It’d be great to know of any I’ve missed.

These places should more than set you up for eight weeks of sweaty hand-tool woodworking with others. We’ll have lots share from this round of aprpentices soon. But first, they’ve got some tools to gather.

– Joshua


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