Friday, May 12, 2017

Garage Sale Finds

Once a year my town has a "city-wide" garage sale, where people list their garage sales on the city's website.  This is partly to keep down the amount of stuff going to landfills.  I found a few odds & ends this time that are worth sharing.

Some of the items I found were some old leather purses.  "Old leather purses!?", you say?
When I wavered about purchasing them, they said "two for $5", so I took them
Leather is great for various things in a workshop.  After using my wife's seam ripper to take them apart, I used one of them to make leather linings for my end vise.
Just the right size for this "chop"
I cut it to size, applied some wood glue to the chop and clamped it to the workbench.
Gluing the leather to the chop
Then cut out the areas around the counter-bore where the chop attaches to the vise jaw
Both jaws lined like this
And man, does this hold solidly!!  I mean, a board won't move at all in this vise.  I used to use a piece of shelf liner and that was OK, but this is great.  Time will tell if it stays great.

Another of the items I found were a set of old turning tools.  I don't even have a lathe, but I couldn't let these pass by - I hope to make some kind of human powered (or drill powered) lathe in the not-too-distant future.  These don't look like anything special, but they are about 60 years old.  The gentleman who sold them to me (for $1 each!) said he remembered when his father got them.
Two skew chisels and two gouges
The handle on the top chisel looks like it had been broken and glued back together.  I've got to do some clean-up on these and maybe eventually make new handles - if I ever get good at turning!
Three are missing the metal ferrule, if they ever had them
The last item I'll mention in this post is an old Disston saw that I bought from the same gentleman who had the turning tools.  I think it's a D-115.  He said it was his father's or grandfather's and clearly it has been stored poorly for a long time.  There is an area along the tooth line with very bad rust and pitting.
Looks to be in pretty rough shape
The medallion dates this saw from between 1917 and 1940
I'm going to write a separate post about this saw and about bringing it back to life.  I made my first cut with it today and it cut sweetly, but still may have some issues.  There's something about bringing a tool back to life.  I think about the people who used this saw before.  Was it their go-to saw for cross cutting?  What type of work did they do?

The man who sold it to me mentioned that he had a few bins of old tools from his father and grandfather that he didn't have a chance to go through before the garage sale.  He might let me know when he's had a chance to go through them.  Gosh, I hope he remembers to do that!  I get tingly just thinking about what he might have.  But I  hope they're in better shape than the saw!


  1. Good finds. That leather on the chops is a great idea, you wont regret it...
    Take the handle off the saw, derust the plate in some bath, light sanding then wax it. It does not have to be shiny just smooth. Then of course, sharpen it.
    The gouges i would dip into a bath handles up, not touching the bath.

    Bob, in our capital city until tomorrow, missing Rudy...

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    2. Hi Bob. The leather really holds - it's been great so far. I've already rehabilitated the saw and it's much better now - I'll post on it next week. And thanks for the idea on the turning tools - will get to that soon.

      You sure are a traveling man ...