The Live Free or Die Tool Auction (and the sale out in the lot out back), also known as the ‘Nashua Tool Show’ is one of the few times a year I am happy to get up at 5am. I rarely if ever go into the actual auction; I spend all my time and money out in the parking lot tracking down odd and old tools on my list and all the things I didn’t know I needed until I found them and realized how I could not live without them. It’s a great event twice a year and well worth the trip if you are into old hand tools.
Below is a highlight reel from this weekend’s show and sale:
A stout, but short workbench.
An interesting tool tote/tray that holds the tools off the ground for easier access.
Shur Stop Glass Ball Fire Extinguishers
Neat antique fire extinguisher grenades by ‘Shur Stop’. I never saw a full technician’s case of them before along with several of the holders for them. If they were exposed to enough heat the hammer would spring like a mouse trap, smash the glass causing a violent chemical reaction that would remove oxygen from the area and hopefully put out the fire. We’ll often see these over old boilers or up in the attics of old homes.
Full Case of Shur Stop Glass Ball Fire Extinguishers
Apparently you could also throw them at the base of a flame — giving them the nickname: ‘Fire Extinguisher Grenade’
1897 Folding Sawing Machine
If you are living in the 1890s and want to use a 2 man saw to fell a large tree and don’t have any friends willing to help, you should check out this ‘Folding Sawing Machine’ from 1897. It helps hold the saw perpendicular to the tree and allows you to use a lever to push and pull the saw.
1897 Folding Sawing Machine
Shave Horse aka Schnitzelbank
A nice oak shave horse or schnitzelbank It was made from heavy oak, pegged and secured with cut nails.
Small Traveling Tool Chest
Pair of tool chests
Metal Tool Cabinet
An interesting commercial tool cabinet made from metal with what looked like mediocre post WWII tools.
Machinist Tool Chest
Saw till on lid closed. Lid back on tool tray in chest — Nantucket Tool Chest
While no Anarchist’s tool chests were to be found this year, this solid old chest, presumably from Nantucket given the huge painted label on the front. It looks like it was based on traditional designs, made in the 20th century but built a bit more like a modern carpenter with very simple joinery compared to a traditional joiner who more likely would have used dovetails, mortise and tenon etc.
Sliding Tool Trays or Tills — Nantucket Tool Chest
The till lid screws were stripped and was removed for the above photo. There were 3 layers of tills and at least one division on the bottom to divide the bottom compartment of the chest.
Saw Till — Nantucket Tool Chest
Saw till was protected by a frame and panel that attempted to dress up the chest. The corners of the chest were reinforced with extra wood and hid the joinery, but I suspect the overlapping boards mean that the corners were potentially all nailed together which means this chest was likely built quickly.
Nantucket Tool Chest
The chest lifts were heavy cast lifts that looked of modest quality. It was interesting to see how the dust rim was screwed on.
My new treasures from the show this year
This year I did well. I found all the odd items on my list and only a couple of extras. I picked up a great double gear Miller’s Falls egg beater drill — recommended by Tom Fidgen and love it so far. Also got a nice set of Russel Jennings Pattern Auger bits, a nice Miller’s Falls push drill (just a novelty I wanted to try), and a few books. For my Sloyd related projects I found a real nice transitional jack plane, 2 foot folding rule, bit brace drivers, stanley square etc. As always I had a great time and I’m already looking forward to the September show.
(You can check out what happened last September here.)