May 13th, 2010 by Jane
No matter how prepared we try to be for the elements, a momentary change in conditions can wreak havoc. Last Sunday we were set up in our usual place at the antique show in Peterborough, NH, with tent, tables, etc. It was quite breezy, so we attached our concrete blocks of about 40 lbs each to the corners (as usual) and for good measure, tied the tent to the van. All was well for a few hours – the vendors with lightweight items were continually chasing them, but our tools stayed put. Then, a very strong gust of wind came roaring through, picked up the tent with all its weight blocks, and carried it over to the next vendor’s space. I couldn’t have held onto it if I tried. It if hadn’t been tied to the van, I think it would have sailed across the parking lot to a stand of trees a hundred yard away. Somehow, no one was hit in the head by the concrete blocks, only two metal ribs on the tent were broken, and we were able to fold up the tent to take it home for repairs. At first I thought perhaps we should have fastened it to both ends of the van, but the wind was so strong for that instant, I think it would have ripped the cover off the frame, and the whole tent would have been destroyed.
This is why I don’t deal in glass! Luckily none of my more delicate machinist tools were damaged and the display case of small items stayed put on the table. The previous Sunday, we were complaining about the heat, this week we had high winds and temperatures in the 50s – so it’s time to have a nice day to be outside selling. This coming Sunday calls for sunny and 70. Then it will fee like spring! Come by to see us.
April 19th, 2010 by Jane
Last week we were selling at a tailgating event and noticed a disturbing (and annoying) behavior by some shoppers. Several tags were ripped off items and then the shoppers wanted to buy them and demanded to know the price. Now, since I am the one who purchased these items, researched current market values, and placed the tags on them, I remember what price was attached. So, no advantage to the buyer who thought he might get a deal from an unsuspecting seller. However, it was extremely inconvenient to know that an item was sold, but not have the stock number. The tags I put on items show the results of my research: name of maker, date range, shipping weight, price, and most important, my stock number. Without this, I cannot remove the correct item from the online store, or the corresponding photos from my computer without taking inventory of the remaining like items. My time is better spent photographing, researching and listing for sale new items!
Otherwise, the event was fun as usual. It was raining, which is not a problem for us as we have a good tent and attached a sidewall to the van to create a nice, dry oasis which drew so many customers, it was standing room only! It was our best sale day ever at this event and I also bought some very interesting items which will be added to the online store in the next few days.
Here are a couple of my favorites: A beautiful, heavy metric caliper and a mainspring winder
April 7th, 2010 by Jane
I am very pleased to announce that my new online store is open – see http://www.TimelessToolsandTreasures.com I have listed 200 or so items – but there are lots more available. I will continue to list a few items on one previous outlet – that pervasive bloated e-commerce site we all know, but I’m tired of helping to support it. There’s nothing like having control of your own business! I have managed a diverse group of retail stores over the years: chain fabric store, rural general store, motorcycle parts and accessories, and yarn and weaving supply. Retail can be fun and rewarding, but you have to be able to make business decisions based on current conditions, not because of policies established by people who are out of touch with reality.
I look forward to meeting some of you at our summer shows – see the rest of the web site for details.
March 7th, 2010 by Jane
I am very pleased to announce that soon I will be selling my vintage tools right here on my own site. My favorite web designers, GloDerWorks, based in NJ and the UK are doing their magic as they have so many times for me over the years. Perhaps you have noticed the new color scheme – that was the first step in moving away from a focus on fiber art toward an emphasis on tools. I’ll have all the usual conveniences internet shoppers expect today, and a lot more inventory than is currently listed on the other e-commerce sites. If you want to get a notice when the store is open, just sign up for my occasional e-newsletter. If you’re looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to write.
A selection of measuring devices from recent purchases:
February 21st, 2010 by Jane
Tool shopping events are certainly limited in the winter up here, but we were invited to the home of a collector last weekend and acquired a few nice planes, saws and measuring tools. He is still working and using some of his hand tools, so would not let me buy all the ones I wanted. My favorite is this Birmingham No. 7 manufactured in CT 1899-91.
Also in this group is a rare No. 90, 60 1/2 and a 103. Not pictured: a nice clean Stanley No. 181 and a No. 75. The calipers and saws are yet to be photographed. At this point I must have three dozen assorted calipers and dividers from 3″ to 20″. They are always popular at shows and useful for many trades and hobbies.
February 3rd, 2010 by Jane
I’ve been enjoying that new series, “American Pickers” – it really captures the fun and challenges of finding treasures buried under piles of junk in dark barns and cellars. Everything they show is true – some people are grumpy and others are warm, friendly and sharing. Some people think they have valuable antiques and I have to tell them that the items are broken, missing pieces and commonly available in better condition. I advertise that I buy tools, so I get many interesting calls. Someone might say they have “hundreds of wood planes” that turn out to be mostly suitable for kindling. Others will forget that we have an appointment, or they have only a handful of items to show me after I have driven an hour to get there. Sometimes I have to take a whole garage full of stuff to get the “goodies,” but then I have items for my bargain boxes of $1 and $2 items at shows. My favorite items are some of the ones that are complete mysteries as to their purpose and history. Even with all my reference books, I can’t always determine the name of a tool. But, then it’s really fun to test my customers at antique shows – everyone like to show off what they know!
January 5th, 2010 by Jane
All I wanted for Christmas was shelving in the basement so when I unpack from all the summer shows I can organize my inventory. From mid-April until mid-October, my tools live in my van and are unpacked every weekend for various shows. It’s always an adventure to find items that sell online mid-week! During the winter they come inside and now I can spread out all those planes and chisels 100s of other items so that they are easily identified. My husband built me 72 linear feet of strong, deep shelving that can always be moved to a new location if I ever open a store. In the meantime, tools can be viewed by appointment if you can’t wait till spring.
October 22nd, 2009 by Jane
I have been fortunate to become temporary steward of a great collection of tiny anvils in several different metals: iron, steel, aluminum, bronze and brass. Some are just ornamental, but most will meet the needs of jewelers and watchmakers. The average width is approximately 3″. They are listed individually for sale at http://tiny.cc/GoAntiquesTTT
September 7th, 2009 by Jane
One of my customers brought this item to me at the Peterborough Antique show. It is missing some parts, but we would like to know more about it. It is marked “Howe”, a company that still makes industrial scales. It appears to be brass or bronze. It is 43″ long and 7″ high and marked to accommodate up to 2,000 pounds. Most towns in New England would have a scale like this for weighing hay and other items. However, I have not been able to learn anything about it from local source or on line. Any information would be appreciated.
August 31st, 2009 by Jane