Category Archives: Tools

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Tools, Tools, Tools!

On Saturday the 15th of September, my brother, Berry, and I went to the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association annual tool meet here in Raleigh, NC.  This is one of my favorite meets as it is not far from my home, the weather is usually not too hot, and there are tons of tools and experts to tell you all about them.

Here are some of the highlights of this years meet:

  • An Estate sale with a lot of different quality levels of tools and lot of bargains
  • Lots of vendors
  • A talk from a couple of members about the “Antique Roadshow” and “American Pickers”
  • Bar-B-Que otherwise know here in this area as a “Pig Pickin”
  • A tool auction

I love the excitement of the meet and how everyone loves to talk tools.  I learn so much, and like to talk to the “Old Timers.”

Height Adjustable Cast Iron Legs

The real action for me this year was the Estate Sale.  The prices dropped throughout the day, and if your item was not snatched up before it got to your desired price, you could get some pretty good deals.

I purchased several items during the meet (I’ll spare you the detailed list) but the one that has the most potential is:

A set of iron workbench legs

I know they don’t look like much now, but when I get them sand-blasted, painted and installed under a marble or stone slab it will be a whole different story 🙂

Now just 362 more days (give or take) until the next meet.



Tool Mod Disaster


It all started when I followed Chris Schwarz’s advice and bought the Glen-Drake Tite-Mark marking gauge.

The Tite-Mark gauge has been as useful as Chris described it, and I love this gauge! It is not the problem.  I also have a 90’s version of the Veritas marking gauge from Lee Valley tools[1].  This is a nice gauge also, and I have used it for years without a problem; however, after seeing how useful it was to fully retract the blade into the body of the Tite-Mark gauge, I came up with what seemed to be, a brilliant idea:  I would drill out the body of the Veritas so I could fully retract the cutter in it.  It is brass and easy to work … right?

I  proceeded to secure this gauge in my wood clamp and started drilling away.  So far so good.  I was making good headway, and then disaster.  The body fell away, leaving only the face of the tool in the clamp.  Apparently,  this was NOT one solid piece of brass. It is made of a solid brass faceplate, with a cylinder turned on it that is inserted into the mystery metal body.  Now I only have one functional gauge again.  Oh the sadness,  I now have a base comprised of two pieces where there was once one.

Actually three pieces, but the base should be one

Determined to fix this, I planned to finish drilling into the black base about 2mm further, drill and tap 2 screws through the faceplate and into the base, and secure with two brass metal screws.  This should be sufficient to rejoin the two parts and I will have achieved my initial goal, albeit with a little extra work.

My plan was to drill screw holes and tap them to fix the faceplate to the base.  After careful examination, I noticed the base was not very thick and the screws would not be very deep, and therefore weaker.  What I decided to do, was finish drilling down to the needed depth in the base, and then glue the faceplate to the base after I finished.

Things never go as planned.  As I started drilling, the remainder of the brass tube came out and got stuck on the drill bit.  After extricating the small brass ring from the drill bit, I noticed a small rubber grommet coming out of the hole.  This grommet provides friction for the rod and helps set the depth more accurately, so I had to make sure to get this grommet fixed back into place.

I decided to file this small ring flat on the drilled side and slide it back into place to hold the rubber grommet in place. After mixing up some epoxy, I glued the faceplate back on the base and now it is a fully functioning gauge with a retractable cutter.  Yea!

[1] The current Veritas gauges now have the retractable cutter.


A Trip to the Store

One of my favorite places for purchasing old tools is located right here in central North Carolina.  The store’s name is “Antique Woodworking Tools” and is run by Ed Lebetkin.  Ed is very knowledgeable and  very friendly. He has a huge array of hand tools in stock.  His store is located above Roy Underhill’s Woodwright School and if you sign up to his mailing list he will send you his store schedule.  So if you are ever in Chatham County N. C. near Pittsboro, do yourself  a favor and stop by his store and you too may leave with some new “olde” toys.  Also, Ed does buy as well as sell, so if you have tools you do not need, or want to offer up for store credit, make sure you bring them along as well.

Here is Ed’s Contact Information:

Antique Woodworking Tools
Ed Lebetkin

89A Hillsboro St
Pittsboro, NC

Thanks to Chris Schwarz for this video of Ed’s store