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
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."
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