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Beautiful old tools


Berl Mendenhall
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Discipline, my friends.

I can easily get sidetracked down fascinating sidepaths (and I often do), but one needs to keep going back to the mission.

 

I love old tools i really do, but many of them require a lot of tweaking to get them to really sing -- this is a hobby in itself and I enjoy it.

 

If i were a pro maker deriving my sole source of income from making, I'd go straight to Lee Valley or Lie Nielsen and purchase a very limited number of quality tools and be done with it.

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I love old tools i really do, but many of them require a lot of tweaking to get them to really sing -- this is a hobby in itself and I enjoy it.

 

If i were a pro maker deriving my sole source of income from making, I'd go straight to Lee Valley or Lie Nielsen and purchase a very limited number of quality tools and be done with it.

 

 

That’s close to the way I work…I have in the past bought far more tools then I need in the search for what I feel works best for me, but the vast majority I sold on or gave away.

I work in a fairly small space and have ended up with the bare essentials (…in my opinion J…. ) of mainly high quality new/recently made tools.

The one area I have never found new being as good as old is in small bandsaws…you guys in the USA are amazingly lucky to have a fair amount of fabulous small cast iron bandsaws around on the used market.

 

neil

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Bare essential tools are my aim also. I recently sold four old Bailey/Stanley handplanes that I never used to buy a couple of Lie Neilsen tools that I use a lot.

A good quality old handsaw is hard to beat. The steel and the way the handle looks and feels is hard to find in a new saw. I'd also say some of the old gouges and chisels are hard for me to resist. My favorite being L&IJ White and old English cast steel.

Old Delta's are a road I won't ever go down...I use to restore old Willy's Jeeps...way too expensive hobby.

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That’s close to the way I work…I have in the past bought far more tools then I need in the search for what I feel works best for me, but the vast majority I sold on or gave away.

I work in a fairly small space and have ended up with the bare essentials (…in my opinion J…. ) of mainly high quality new/recently made tools.

The one area I have never found new being as good as old is in small bandsaws…you guys in the USA are amazingly lucky to have a fair amount of fabulous small cast iron bandsaws around on the used market.

 

neil

 

Yes Neil, but Germany still has one or two nice old machines. I just bought an early Elektra Beckum, ex technical school. I have restored it to virtually new, but in spite of it being a German machine, the only place where spare parts were available was Britain. I also made some new (better) guides. I love it. Be sure to print this off and save it. You can have it when I die. You will love it.  

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I still have some of my Great Grandfather's tools in my workshop stamped with his name H.C. Archer. I don't like things for simply being old ( old stuff can be crap) but I do like old things that are well made...especially if they are better made than we can buy today and a lot of old stuff that has stood the test of time can teach us something. That is something I find inspirational and often these items have a wonderful aesthetic flourish to them. I have an old plane iron in the workshop with a forge laminated cutting edge...There is some pitting on the blade but even after hours on diamond stones I have given up trying to lap it...the steel is unlike anything I have encountered but certainly is is an incredible blade formed from a lost art.

Not sure how old a tool has to be to qualify for this thread but my most recent acquisition is a beautiful USA made 1950's vintage cast iron Atlas 912 bandsaw. It arrived from New York yesterday and I am blown away by the old school quality and 'over engineering' of the thing....When I take a spanner to a machine I know pretty quickly if I like it or hate it...in this case it is love.

Melvin i thought you had just bought a bandsaw ,Was there a problem with it?  I agree you cant beat cast iron ones .

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Melvin i thought you had just bought a bandsaw ,Was there a problem with it?  I agree you cant beat cast iron ones .

Hi FC,

I caught the cast iron bandsaw bug from my good friend Neil Ertz. The first old saw I bought was a vintage 14inch  'Tauco' the brand name given to exported  Delta products. Examining it with a friend who works in wood and metal we discovered a gearbox and realized it was a wood metal saw. I could see the look of love for the saw in my friend's eyes and I knew it needed more restoration than I had immediate time for. I offered it to him at cost and he immediately adopted it. In the last few weeks I bought a lovely Swiss made Inca Bandsaw  and then I got the beautiful cast iron 1950s Atlas saw I posted pics of earlier in this thread. The Inca is a really good piece of kit and working well with a selection of Tuff saw blades I bought for it. The new Altas needs to be set up with a stand and a transformer so I can run the beautiful original motor but It feels like a lovely piece of kit and despite being a 12 inch saw it will cut 6.5 inches and can take a riser. I will set up one saw for cutting curves and the other for opening backs cutting ribs etc...I feel that set up with band saws is everything so ideally I want two bandsaws with different set ups rather than taking time changing blades & set ups etc...

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While i agree with Neil there are some lovely old cast iron bandsaws from the US, I'd love to get my hands on one of the Incas Melvin has. They are powerful, accurate and portable. 

 

I'm Canadian and have an old cast iron General 490 (15in) -- it is utterly overkill for what I need. Speaking of overkill a friend of mine has one of these in his shop. A Yates y30 the thing is  work of art. Its shear presence in his shop is a sight to behold

post-45462-0-90066900-1395965016_thumb.jpeg

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Thats what i do , i have a biggish 18" bandsaw for resawing and an inca for curve cutting, Its the tinyiest inca (205) which cuts well with blades from the same place you mention but it has a problem with the wheels which i cant seem to solve.The blades dont ride well on the wheels and the slightest backing off whilst cutting has the blade off the tyres. As you probably know the incas have the blade running on the edge of the wheels not in the middle like most saws. I had a 12" cast iron delta years ago which i now wish i had kept .

post-3446-0-95115400-1395965331_thumb.jpg

post-3446-0-69223800-1395965396_thumb.jpg

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While i agree with Neil there are some lovely old cast iron bandsaws from the US, I'd love to get my hands on one of the Incas Melvin has. They are powerful, accurate and portable. 

 

I'm Canadian and have an old cast iron General 490 (15in) -- it is utterly overkill for what I need. Speaking of overkill a friend of mine has one of these in his shop. A Yates y30 the thing is  work of art. Its shear presence in his shop is a sight to behold

 

Mine is not quite so antique , a 16" do-all, it rips beautifully,with a 3/4" blade.  

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I've been collecting a bunch of ragged Delta machines and restoring them, with the ultimate goal of having a nicely equipped shop for about what one new machine would cost. I've restored a 1945 Unisaw and 1952 24" scroll saw. Currently restoring a 1949 6" jointer. It's a lot easier to drag this crap home than it is to find time to restore it. I have a garage full of old machines that look like scrap iron. I love the looks of the old heavy cast iron machines restored to as-new condition. Also enjoy restoring and using old hand planes. They are so smooth when properly sharpened.

Delta Jointer Pics:

post-76438-0-35719200-1396153381_thumb.jpg

post-76438-0-42468700-1396153431_thumb.jpg

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I just bought some additional new tools yesterday...and used them sucessfully!  Woohoo.
 
However...not for violins - although I suppose you guys must have something similar in your arsenal.
 
I am just learning how to adjust bassoon reeds...a more complicated (and expensive) process than one would anticipate it being...
 
Needle rasps:
 
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=30286&cat=1,42524

Stick sander:

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=20187&cat=1,42500

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While I knew of needle rasps...I had never seen a stick sander before...very handy!

 

I'll have to look up your DIY version...although I don't think I'll be doing all that much sanding in total...a reed just isn't all that big! :D

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Speaking of motors and old tools I've got a doozie. This is the tredle powered motor from a dental drill. All I have is the motor, wish that i had the flexable shaft and the drills. I bought it in an antique store fifteen years ago. I was going to make it into a treadle lathe but never got to it. The bearing is bronze I think and the action is amazing. It will contiue rotating for several minutes after you stop pumping and you can reverse the direction and stop rotation immediately. i saw one exacly like it in the mining museum in Virginia City Nevada. Probably 1880s.

post-3813-0-61897700-1396202378_thumb.jpg

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I've been collecting a bunch of ragged Delta machines and restoring them, with the ultimate goal of having a nicely equipped shop for about what one new machine would cost. I've restored a 1945 Unisaw and 1952 24" scroll saw. Currently restoring a 1949 6" jointer. It's a lot easier to drag this crap home than it is to find time to restore it. I have a garage full of old machines that look like scrap iron. I love the looks of the old heavy cast iron machines restored to as-new condition. Also enjoy restoring and using old hand planes. They are so smooth when properly sharpened.

ouDelta Jointer Pics:

Ken, you might like this.

post-34360-0-14297100-1396310111_thumb.jpg

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Speaking of motors and old tools I've got a doozie. This is the tredle powered motor from a dental drill. All I have is the motor, wish that i had the flexable shaft and the drills. I bought it in an antique store fifteen years ago. I was going to make it into a treadle lathe but never got to it. The bearing is bronze I think and the action is amazing. It will contiue rotating for several minutes after you stop pumping and you can reverse the direction and stop rotation immediately. i saw one exacly like it in the mining museum in Virginia City Nevada. Probably 1880s.

  

 

:blink:

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