Vacation Acquisitions

As any of you who may have noticed my lack of online presence may have guessed, I've been away on Vacation. Every August we trek up to Lake George for our family reunion. Over the passed few I've made a point of picking up vintage woodworking bounty. This year I feel I've had an exceptional haul of items I can't wait to use.

As the only things sold in Lake George proper are chachkas, the surrounding towns must be visited for items of value.

Saratoga Springs
Even before our family reunions moved to Lake George, I visited Saratoga Springs as a child for the annual Jazz festival with my Dad. While there, we would always find the time to stop in at the Lyrical Ballad Bookstore. Housed in an old bank vault, the Lyrical Ballad is a used book store of the first degree with room after room stacked floor to ceiling with book upon book.

This year was the first time I actually found the woodworking section and I was very pleased with my finds. I picked up "Hand Tools: Their Ways & Workings" written and illustrated by Aldren A. Watson and "The Artistic Crafts Series of Handbooks: Wood Carving: Design & Workmanship" by George Jack. Hand Tools is a fantastic how too manual from the mid 1980s. It reads like a text book on every hand tool you could imagine, explaining what the tool does and how it is used. The author's illustrations are also great, making the book the complete package. The Wood Carving book is from 1903. It's written like a technical manual from 1903, which is to say it's not exactly my cup of tea. No worry though. It's going to make a good gift.

Stanley #26
Pottersville is a small town just outside the Natural Stone Bridge & Caves. If you have little boys and find yourself in upstate New York, the Natural Stone Bridge & Caves is a must see. And, just outside there is an antique store called The Stagecoach Antiques & Home Decor which has not only planes, but Matchbox cars too! There, I picked up a Stanley #26 (my first wooden soled plane) and 4 mid-1980s Matchbox cars for my twins.

Bolton Landing
Stanley #4
Bolton Landing is a quaint little village just north of Lake George. It houses actual antique stores. For the third year in a row my wife and I snuck off their while the children spent a day with their grandfather. This year my usual favorite store was unimpressive in their plane inventory. However the store across the street, Black Bass Antiques, which specializes in antique outboard boat motors, had a nice selection. I picked up a Stanley #4 & #6. Though I was surprised when I got home to find I already had a #6 in my "to be tuned up" pile, the new one I picked up has a corrugated sole.

Stanley #6
Though not a tool I bought during the trip it is also worth mentioning that inspiring me along the way on my plane buying was Chris Schwarz's article "Bench Planes: The System of Three" from the Winter 2009 issue of Woodworking Magazine (yes, even after a week's vacation I am that far behind in my woodworking magazines). While I plan to eventually make all of these planes users, I'm hoping to at least tune some of these new planes (along with some others I have) quickly in order to make Chris' "System of Three."

Since getting home I've begun tuning the #4 and I've bought another used plane. What tools do you have waiting to be tuned up?