Before electric power, all woodworking was done with hand tools. These old hand tools are now antiques or at least sought as collectibles. In additional to their aestetic value as nostalgia from an earlier time, many of these tools are still excellent to use for their original purpose, which is working wood. Old hand tools are functional and intriguing collectibles.
Most of the early woodworking antique tool makers in the U.S. were located in the eastern part of the country. These tool makers designed and hand crafted tools such as saws, planers, scrapers, brace and bits and other tools using designs reminiscent of European tools. Eventually these tools makers developed their own designs and catalogs of tools. There are a number of online antique tools museums and listings of old manufacturer’s catalogs from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
An Old Hand Planer – An Example Of A Decorative Antique Tool
Among many tools, an old hand planer is an interesting item for collectors. The hand planer, which is still made today, is a handy tool for shaving off layers of wood. These tools have been made from a variety of materials and are nearly indestructible. Early planers were made from a wooden block with the adjustable cutting blade set into the block. Later designs were made from metal. These old tools represent an era of hand craftsmanship that spoke of quality and durability.
Another group of interesting and highly collectible antique hand tools are drill presses and hand saws. Old saws come in a wide variety of designs and teeth arrangements. They were used for ripping and for finish work. Perhaps one of the most distinguishing characteristics of these old saws were the handles. The handles were often decorative and uniquely shaped. Long before the word ergonomic was coined, craftsman understood that they would be using their tools for long periods each day and that they must be comfortable to hold and to use.
Most old hand tools are collected for the uniqueness and nostalgic qualities given to them. Most do not have great monetary value, like other antiques. Still, they are fun to collect. They can be found in antique stores, flea markets, estate auctions and backyard sales. They are also available on the Internet. One advantage to buying old tools on the Internet is that you can find greater variety, including many old hand tools from various countries around the world.