After KE and my swim meet in March, I decided to give Alameda another go in May. Weather was set to be beautiful the whole weekend and it didn’t disappoint.
My schedule worked out such that I could get up north Friday and I was able to hit the local sales in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada on Saturday. I always enjoy garage/yard/estate/barn sales up there. There are less shoppers, greater tendencies for tool ownership and also pleasant drives through the forest between sales.
The majority of the items came from a ‘barn sale’ sans barn just outside of town. I wish I’d been able to go all days of the sale because they told me new and different things were put out each day. The proprietor was definitely a galoot and had a respectable smithy setup in his front yard. He also really wanted to get rid of the adding machine. Nothing I bought was more than $15 from his sale; bargains were aplenty.
The stone is a Washita and in very clean condition. In the back you can see the table to a post drill. I was quite happy to run across this after snatching up a post drill missing its table. A couple of Stanley chisels and a wide tanged Butcher had to come home with me. The pliers are Crescent 777-7. I like the Lufkin tape but it took a little cleaning to put it in useable condition. The seller really liked coating things in 3-in-1, which is at least better than letting it rust. Also in there is a WareCo (Los Ang.)/US Gauge Co PSI gauge and a 60s/70s tube tester. There is also a Stanley (Fray) 12 wimble spofford brace. Needs a wing-screw and some attention at the threads. There’s a rough but ready Fray corner brace that I’m keeping in hope of some day needing one.
As far as volume and variety, Alameda was more tame. There was plenty of selection and I found some other tool-oriented shoppers. All the regular tool-hockers were there supplemented by a smattering of keen-eyed general flea merchants.
The froe and the pint-size holdfast came from the back-of-the-field-bargain tool guy. I think I’ve bought something from him on every trip including the downpour in March. The big score here was obviously the froe for $20.
I was unable to determine the manufacturer, but the logo (see close-up) looks familiar to me. I’m guessing its of German/Scandinavian make. Any ideas? After inquiring at the Old Tools list, it turns out to be a Woodings-Verona. No one on the list was aware they ever made a froe, so there are still some questions about this particular one. The seller told he bought 20-30 years ago and not much more. I’m not sure if he meant it was new then or if that’s just when he acquired it.
UPDATE : I was looking for information on another tool and Blackburn Tools page containing the old Rose Tools catalogs came up. What do you know, there was a Woodings-Verona catalog available the whole time. I quickly ‘flipped’ through it and found the listing for the froe. The best estimate on the date of this catalog is on the first Plant Illustration page. The is a stamp reading “Gift Publisher 1938″. I’m certain this was not intended to be in that drawing. On catalog page 37, the froe is listed: No. 158 Cooper Froe, 12 and 14 inch lengths. I have no idea whether that’s measured against the back of the bevel, but I feel it’s safe to assume that’s the bevel. Mine measures 16″ along the back and nearly 18″ on the bevel. The mark is nearly in the same place as pictured. In all other ways the catalog is like mine. However, the catalog doesn’t mention the tools being painted green.
The saws are nice. The first is a Bay-State panel saw with a decent etch. Next, a common No. 12 user that’s straight. Finally, an Eagle-head Disston. I haven’t tried to decipher the etch but it’s likely a 7/8 rip saw.
The cheap horror-fright vise shouldn’t have followed me home, but what can you do?
All around it was a great trip and I came home with a trunk of old tools.