Save the Date — “Martin J. Donnelly Antique Tools” Summer Auction

Mark your calendar for July 24-26, 2014, and note the location of Avoca NY.  It’s never too early to plan or set the date aside.

We are living in a golden age of tools.  New woodworking tools, from the legion of gifted makers ranging from comparatively large concerns like Lee Valley or Lie-Nielsen to small makers like Raney Nelson or Lee Marshall or The Brothers Abraham, with scores of others populating the toolism landscape, are widely available for a fair price.  And vintage tools?  I don’t have to look too hard there, either, with wallet-vampires Patrick Leach and Martin J. Donnelly hovering in my consciousness on a nearly perpetual basis.

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One of the year’s highlights is Martin’s “warehouse clearance” auction in July, where everything that has not been in the past year’s scheduled auctions gets sold off in three days, usually with about 3,000 lots.  One advantage to this sale is the higher proportion of “user tools” vs. “collector tools.”  There’s plenty of both, and sometimes startlingly good deals can be found.

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Here is part of my haul from the last time I went, including two magnificent four-foot hand-forged-blade veneer frame saws.  The large one was the only tool I was determined to bid on, the second was as surprise I had overlooked in the listing.  Given the final hammer price, apparently everyone else overlooked it also.

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Even if you do not buy anything, a great time of fellowship and tool-gawking awaits you.  See you there.

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