The 56th Bud Brown's Tool Auction has completed at long last.
Originally scheduled for April 4th, it was rescheduled for this weekend.
Instead of an indoor dealer sale they allowed free tailgate set up in
the parking lot on Friday. For the auction, they doubled the size of
the rented hall and set the seats at the obligatory 6-foot intervals.
Gloves and masks were required for handling the tools.
Safe to say turn out for both dealer show and the auction was low.
Perhaps 20 dealers in the parking lot and no more than 40-50 people at
the auction. Usual number of people crying 'prices high' or 'prices
low'. For me prices were OK to lower than expected. But I don't buy
much and don't study pricing a lot. The high point of the auction was a
miniature block plane attributed to Israel white or perhaps one of his
progeny. It was missing its blade and an inlay on the toe but still
fetched $13,000. Yes, that is three zeros!
There were a lot of modern maker stuff by Holtey, Carter, Entwistle, Ray
Isles, Shepherd, Frietsche, and others. These planes run $4 - 6k new
and some were selling at $1200. I generally don't look at these because
they are too expensive. Maybe next time I'll look a little closer.
I got three lots. First was a nickel plated Stanley Miller's Patent 41,
type 9. Then a Fales Patent combination plane set. And last a japanned
Stanley Miller's Patent 141.
The 141 was advertised as missing the slitter, depth stop and holding
nut. Easy parts to find. What they failed to mention was that the
attached rod was wrong and didn't have enough threads to mount the
missing pieces. I don't have much in the way of extra parts but I do
have all of those including the proper rod. Whoopee!
The 41 was unremarkable, just sorta rare. The Fales Patent was the fun
one. How many people know what the Fales plane is? Hands? I had
glanced at these in the past. They have a high gizmocity factor but I
never really looked closely or tried to figure out how they work.
Here's a picture of a typical sale.
Lots of parts and looks complicated. They won't tell you a lot of the
blades shown in the picture don't go with the other parts shown; only
adds to the confusion. Simply stated the Fales Patent plane is a
multifunctional molding plane. Its claim to fame is that it has a pair
of purpose built plane bottoms for each of the advertised profile. That
makes for a lot of parts. Of curse there is an an assortment of fences,
knickers, etc. that go with it. This plane was in the auction. Body,
fence, arms, one set of bottoms and one wrong cutter. It sold for $150
(plus fees and taxes) http://billwebber.galootcentral.com/lot%2012.jpg
Lot 547 was the one I though I might go for:
Here's the write-up from the auction catalog:
"B56-547. COMBINATION PLANE. Fales Patent. Amos Fales' patent plane is
one of the most complex ever made, with an almost endless set of
auxiliary parts to produce various patterns. This one comes with two
examples of the main frame, one with rosewood tote and knob and the
other beech. The marketing materials recommended that the user have two
so that the user could switch between hollows and rounds. Also included
are long and short rods, four nosing attachments, one filletster, five
plow/dado, nine sets of hollows and rounds, eight side beads, six center
beads, 7/8" ogee, and two quarter rounds, plus the very rare chamfer
sash bevel gauge. 119 pieces in all. The consignor has included a
photocopy of the original instruction sheet and helpfully sorted all the
attachments and compared them to the list included in the instruction
sheet. All contained in the drawers of a Gerstner-type machinist's chest
(10" x 20" and 16" tall) that we're including and is very attractive in
itself. There's surface rust on some of the parts (particularly the
skate of the rosewood handled body), but overall very clean and one of
the nicest and most complete Fales patents you'll ever see. Fine 1000 -
I studied it for a while, figuring out some of the pieces. The cutters
and bottoms are all taped together, with masking tape that has been
there a long time. Lots of days to clean that up. The Chinese
machinist's chest had taken a dive at some point. I spent the morning
gluing it back together to make it serviceable. The best part is I got
it for quite a bit less than the bid range.
I keep accumulating projects I can't work on because of too many other
projects. Geez, retirement is soo much work...
Woodworkers visit me at http://bi