The Frau is not a fan of flea markets, so I rarely get to go to one. If I do, I usually wind up dragging her in to one that we stumble upon. Very rarely do I get to find any decent tools at these small markets.
Today, however, I made a plan. One of the largest flea markets in Germany was to take place today on the location of Oktoberfest! I invited my beautiful bride to accompany me, but she wanted to go to the outlet stores instead.
It was raining cats and dogs today. I got up and to the flea market early (OK, early for me on a Saturday) at about 8:30 or so. I figured if I got out of the house early, and since it was raining, that there might be fewer people shopping there. That could be, but I still thought it was crowded.
The rain was a disaster. Only about half of the stalls had any kind of tarp over it. My guess is that any old tools that weren't bought today will be ruined forever. For instance I saw two magnificent, big, old frame saws laying in the mud displayed next to a bunch of other old crap, just soaking up water. More than once I found wooden planes laying on the wet pavement, in the mud, or in a tub with standing water in it. I knew there were some tools out there that desperately needed rescuing before they disintegrated.
The second table I stopped at had a big plastic tub full of old wooden planes. Most of them were crappy junkers, but I pulled this nice little smoother out and paid 8 Euros for it.
I need another smoother like I need a hole in the head, but it would have been destroyed otherwise. I picked it out because it had what looked like a user installed patch on the throat. My opinion is this is a sign that a tool of quality was used well and taken care of. I think this will turn out to be a nice little user.
There were no markings indicating the manufacture of this plane that I could make out. The only marking other than a "48" on the heel was on the iron.
|Not familiar with this iron.|
Then, I felt like I hit the mother loade. I came upon a miter jack.
|It appears to have two working sides, one 45, the other 60 degrees.|
|Nice manufacturer's medallion.|
While the previous owner was helping me put this thing in my big framed backpack (thanks for the tip, Michael!), he saw the smoother plane that was already in there.
"You might be interested in what we have under this box!" he said, and opened a trunk full of old planes and mallets. It was fun going through all of that stuff. I chose a scrub plane that caught my eye. One can really tell the difference between the modern junk and the quality old stuff.
This thing feels so natural in your hands. I can't wait to try it out. Well worth the 10 Euros that was asked.
Oh, I have no need for another scrub plane, either.
I had almost used up my alloted time, so decided to make a quick run in one section that I hadn't even been to yet. While I was zipping down the lane, I stopped at one table and right in front of me was this, which I paid 6 Euros for:
|Nice mortise chisel.|
|I am also unfamiliar with this mark.|
When I bought it I thought it was a German mortise chisel. When I got it home, I noticed the handle was a hornbeam replacement. Not a bad handle, but it is round. This tool actually is an old English pig-sticker. When this one wears out, I will replace it with a traditional oval shaped handle. I'm not positive until I check against my plow plane irons, but I think it is a 3/8" chisel rather than the metric equivalent. Score!
I think over all I could have spent a lot more time there and hunted a bit more for some real bargains. However, there is no way that I can complain on a day when I found a miter jack in the wild. Who would have thought?
Besides, if I had spent any more time there, it could have really cost me and my bag was full.