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Vintage, Antique, and Old Carpentry and Woodworking Collectibles

If you’re looking for old carpentry tools, eBay has many types and categories for you to browse. Some are vintage and others just old. However, all possess their own beauty and serve as reminders of bygone times.

What categories of old woodworking tools are available?

There are many categories of vintage hand woodworking tools. Some are antique, others vintage, a few are just old tools that remain special in many ways. These are only a few of the categories available for sale:

  • Planes – Vintage planes were often made by hand by skilled carpenters or woodworkers.
  • Chisels – Major categories here include woodworking, carpentry, and lathe.
  • Vises/clamps – There are blacksmith bench clamps, vise, jeweler, or picture framing types.
  • Hammers – Some have heads made of lead, copper, brass, or even wood. Old hammers sometimes came in three pieces to make for easier storage. Unique heads on hammers include multiple heads or a moveable head.
  • Rulers/tapes – A few of this tool type might include a zig-zag rule, tools that included other items like squares or levels, and some have brass tabs at one end.
How do you determine the value of antique tools?

The value of any antique tool depends on the collector and differs depending on who looks at the tool at any given time. The manufacturer’s stamp is handy but not always necessary. Rosewood, beech, or other fine woods were often used for handles. The level of detail for the era is a good value indicator. It helps to keep four ideas in mind. One is the provenance of the tool. This is basically a history of who owned the tool. Most tools will not have this, and it does not detract from the tool’s authenticity or beauty in any way.

A second determiner is the rarity of the tool. This might include a famous carpenter’s handmade plane or an item that is very hard to find. A third way to assign value is in how desirable a tool happens to be. This really depends on the collector and what matters most to them. Desirability is not something easily measured or assigned. Finally, a fourth way to determine value is what the tool’s condition is, as well as the condition of any box it may have with it. All four of these measurements are subjective and depend on one person’s view. Another person may take a completely different view of a tool’s value.

Details found with vintage carpentry tools

Old carpentry tools contain so many different varieties and details. These are just a few of the many features and details you might see with reasonably priced vintage woodworking tools.

  • Levels, plumb bobs – A few have intricate carvings. Others were made with brass or precious metals.
  • Saws – A sturdy saw usually had handles made of rosewood, apple, or beechwood.
  • Drills – Some have details like a hollow space inside the wood to store bits.
  • Axes, hatchets – These might include types like mast, coachmaker’s, single or double bit felling, broad, cooper’s, or goosewing.
  • Other collectible carpentry – May include items like wrenches. Some had multiple heads for the end. Other carpentry tools like old knives or screwdrivers have wooden handles.
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