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109148 "John Ruth" <johnrruth@h...> 2002‑08‑27 Re: Worst ever " I let it slip away story"
Well, the subjects of my "I let it slip away" story aren't as rare as 
Knowles planes, but I really have no excuses for these slip-aways except 

The scene: The great Stormville Airport Flea Market, Stormville NY, first 
meet of the 1989 Spring Season.

The resources: I have $600 in my pocket, and it is definitely "spending 

The Slip-Aways:

1) A $125 Stanley 55 in-the-box with all the cutter boxes and all the 
cutters. Labels on all boxes 100% intact.

At the time, I already owned one fairly-complete Stanley 55, but that 
example was, as of Spring 1989, missing the cross-grain spurs and a depth 
stop. (I've since obtained the cross-grain spurs from St. James Bay Tool 
Co., and the person who sold me the plane found the depth stop TEN YEARS 
after I bought the plane, and sent it to me!)

In the interval between 1989 and the time I finally completed the incomplete 
55 that I already had. I often thought about how I could have used a working 

2) (And this is the one that really hurts) A Footprint-made copy of a Norris 
plane for $125.  Why, oh why, didn't I buy this???  It woulda been my ticket 
into the lofty precincts of the FOYBIPO!!!

As I recall, I just wasn't in a buying mood, and went home from that 600+ 
vendor flea market pretty much empty handed except for set of NIB Forstner 
bits for a brace.  If there's a lesson to be learned from this, it's 
"Opportunity Knocks But Once". Yeah, I've had buyer's remorse a couple of 
times, but it's never as painful as NON-buyer's remorse.

I want to share something my father said to me when I bought the incomplete 
55, mentioned above, for $50. "John, there will be many times in your life 
when you will spend $50 on something that won't give you anywhere near as 
much pleasure over the years as this plane will."

John Ruth
Metuchen, NJ

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