I go to all these auctions so you don’t have to. As our fearless leader says, “Believe me”. It’s not always enjoyable but it is necessary. I do what must be done.
Take an auction from the fourth quarter of 2016. The weather was miserable and I didn’t want to go. But I knew I must. And how was I rewarded? I walked in and this is the first thing I saw:
An end view provides you with important construction details should you want to make one of your own:
I did see one of the nicest gout stools I’ve seen in a while:
I will be saving the examination of this book for a time in the future when I will compare it to the original 1917 volume as to form and content:
You are running for (insert elected position here). You feel you just need something for your campaign office or TV commercial set so add a level of sincerity or gravitas. I attended an auction preview and found what I believe is just the ticket. From 1962, I offer you credibility in a frame.
This might not reflect your exact demographic but I’m sure your campaign manager can spin it…
At this auction I also found this Continental Tall Graduated Chest of Drawers owned by a closeted patriot:
I looked in the top drawer and found this:
They love their country and are proud of doing the right thing. They just didn’t want anyone else to know.
In a recent allegedly satirical blog I wrote:
You know bistro height tables are passé but you are such a hipster that you are on the leading edge of the early 2000’s retro movement.
The Rolling Stone today reported:
MTV Launches ‘Classic’ Channel Dedicated to 1990s
MTV plans to rebrand VH1 Classic as MTV Classic starting on August 1st. According to a statement from the company, the new channel will focus on “an eclectic mix of fan-favorite MTV series and music programming drawn from across its rich history, with a special focus on the 1990s and early 2000s.”
You just got back from a tour of duty civilizing and acculturating those in the far corners of the Empire, er, Commonwealth. You like everything about being out there in the field. Your Campaign furniture greatly enhances your gender identity. You bring most of it home with you but some of it does not fit your urban, hipster lifestyle. You’ve just purchased a vintage bistro height table. You know bistro height tables are passé but you are such a hipster that you are on the leading edge of the early 2000’s retro movement.
One issue is that your favorite Roorkhee chairs don’t really work with your bistro height table.
Your civilian brother-in-law can only afford a set of Kaare Klint Safari chairs.
Now there is a solution to your conundrum. I present the Roorkhee safari stool:
It’s got wood. It’s got leather. It breaks down. It’s got straps.
Now, your task is to go out there and find the right clip on instant man bun. You may be in the service, but you have a reputation to uphold.
See, this blogger walks into a small antiques shop. Nothing special. Nice stuff but nothing there that’s blog fodder. He is about to leave when he spots an interesting looking wooden box. He looks at it thinks it might be one for the collection. The spring latch yields allowing the box to open. Inside are a few sheets of crumpled packing paper. The paper is extracted and below is a smaller, homely footed box.
He assumed that it had been place there by someone hoping to get the smaller box out of the shop unnoticed. An attempt to smuggle it out and make it disappear.
As he walked out of the shop, it occurred to him it was probably the dealer.
Today, I was on the receiving end of some cranky phone calls from disgruntled interior design professionals representing the two national interior design/decorating trade organizations. They were upset about my post concerning the polishing plane. They felt it mocked and diminished their profession.
It seems that in 2011 both organizations independently voted to replace the antique bicycle horn with the wooden jack plane as the decorative item to be artistically placed on a stack of slightly worn copies of either Garden & Gun Magazine or Architectural Digest depending on the client’s age, region and party affiliation.
Other planes were approved for specific situations. Coffin smoothers are to be used with smaller hardcover books.
Jointer planes are to be used with stacks of coffee table books.
Obscure or foreign books require similar obscure, foreign planes.
The felt on the bottom of the plane is meant to preserve the cover of the chosen magazine in the event the client chooses to have them bound into annual volumes.
This seldom happens but the pretext of preservation is important.
If that blog offended you, I apologize.
I conservatively see two hundred wooden bench planes a year at antiques dealers and flea markets. Jointers, jacks and coffins smothers are the norm. Every once in a long while I see something outside the norm. This is one of those:
Imagine my surprise when I turned it over and realized I had discovered the long rumored wood body polishing plane:
I think the topside blade is used to replace the felt when worn. A nasty job scraping off the felt. It is well adhered.
I will keep looking for more outliers and unique planes. It is my gift to you, my loyal readers.
Back down here in Louisiana, I have found the bench of my dreams at a price that won’t break me. It is already disassembled so shipping and restoration will be greatly simplified.
The shoulder vise is mostly complete:
Tail vise is intact.
I found the base nearby.
Now I just have to figure out the best way to flatten it. If I flatten to too aggressively, there might not be much benchtop left. In deed, a conundrum.
Then there is the whole tool tray issue. Not everybody loves (or likes) tool trays. I have found them to be useful but they do fill up and encourage us to work in a slovenly fashion.
Over in the annex is a similar bench in better shape:
Tail vise is complete.
Shoulder vise needs a screw.
Depressingly, I took a quick look on at Google images and the first two sites I clicked on were offering them as kitchen islands or console tables. One of them offered to fill the tool tray with vintage marble or granite.
That could be the fate of these two benches if we don’t act now to stop it.
French work benches. A terrible thing to waste.
If I can find four that match, what do you think of adding wheels to my bench?