Sunday, April 28, 2013
I Remember When I Could Easily Buy a Vintage Handsaw Without Spending My Life Savings
Yesterday, I went to my favorite used tool website, Sydnas Sloot and once again discovered that I was too late to consider buying a vintage saw from Mr. Moss. Sandy Moss is one of the best used tool dealers to buy from on the Internet, several of the tools in my arsenal I purchased from him.
I also realized that the last tool I purchased from Sandy was seven years ago (I reached a saturation point in tool collecting about then) and that the world has changed mightily since those days. There was once a time when you had a few days to consider buying a hand saw from an Internet seller before it would be sold to another, now you must snap up a vintage saw immediately or it will be sold. I also remember when most hand saws were priced under $50 and most saws at a flea market were under $20. Again, those prices and saws have gone the way of the buffalo.
There is currently a Handsaw Craze that is sweeping the nation, when did hand saws become so popular? Am I the only 50 year old man who remembers when the old timers discarded handsaws for a bandsaw and table saw because they thought those machines were the best things to use for ripping and crosscutting wood?
These days writers for the glitzy woodworking magazines have discovered the potential of hand saws. That has created a "revival" among men who retired from their regular day jobs and finally got the chance to do what they wanted-work with the wood. There is nothing wrong with that, but I wish that they didn't drive the prices of tools out of the reach of those of us who haven't retired or, in my case, never will.
I use power tools at my day job because they make me more efficient. I use hand saws to make guitars, to use a bandsaw or table saw for me removes a very personal aspect of guitar making. A guitar is such an intimate instrument, why instill noise into the wood and then into the spirit of the guitar?
I honor an allegiance to my father, grandfathers and great-grandfathers by using hand saws. For me a handsaw is not a fad and the last thing I want to do is drive the price of a vintage handsaw so high that a newbie to traditional woodworking would be better off buying a $235 saw from Lie-Nielson or Wenzloff and Sons. I guess I could say that for the entire vintage tool market at the moment.
I don't apologize for this rant. A woodworker should use the tools that they need and should be able to purchase them at a reasonable price. I plan on working with the wood until I can no longer get out of bed, woodworking for me is not a fad, but a way of life.
All of us need to make wood working accessible to those who are younger and make it fun for them. I do not want to deny a young person an education just because the market is driving up the price of the tools (or college tuition for that matter) needed to get ahead in life.
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