Woodwork Tools Blog



How to turn £5 into £145,000 with your woodwork tools

I read with great interest this story about the £145,000 that was raised at the auction of 240 tools from the collection of a cabinet maker, and it all started with a £5 investment in a single Norris woodworking plane.

Admittedly, this was no ordinary collection – the owner of the collection, David Russell, has written a book on the subject of antique tools (Antique Woodworking Tools Their Craftsmanship from Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century). The book primarily focuses on edge tools (such as woodworking planes) and boring tools, and is based on his own collection of fine woodworking tools. Since being published, this book has become recognized as the bible on the subject.

I was initially drawn to this article by the seemingly ridiculous amount of money that was raised at the auction, but having read the article, it is the manner in which David started his collection that has really stuck with me. Whilst there aren’t many similarities between my measly collection of woodwork tools (which may raise $500 if people were feeling generous), and the collection in the article, I can definitely identify with how David first became interested in collecting woodwork tools.

“I had almost an irresistible urge to pick up and handle it whenever I saw it,” David is quoted as saying, speaking of a Norris woodwork plane that his boss at the time owned.

It is this feeling that really rings true with me, as I am sure it does for many avid woodworkers, professional and amateur alike. My first instinct whenever I see a fine woodwork tool, is to reach out and touch it – to feel the finish on the timber, to weigh it in my hands and feel the balance of the tool. This feeling is only multiplied when you actually get to use a fine tool such as a woodwork plane – the feel, and even the sound of a well tuned tool as it cuts through timber is one of the most gratifying things that I can do. So much so, that I have been known to plane a piece of wood down to shavings, just for the sheer pleasure of it (but maybe that is just me?).

So next time you find yourself with an irresistible urge to pick up a quality woodwork tool, and need to convince your better half (or yourself) that it is a wise investment, be sure to point them to this article, and remind them that a relatively small investment in your woodwork tools now could one day turn into a small fortune!!

Leave a comment