Tools of the Trades (Show and Sale)


Some of my blog posts allude to “Tools of the Trades”. Tools of the Trades is a biannual show of The Tool Group of Canada, with 30+ dealers. It is arguably one of the largest antique tool sales in Canada (Pickering, ON). The next sale is November 17th. Sauer and Steiner usually have a booth there, with their majestic planes, but it’s hard to justify spending over $2K on a plane. Besides which there are so many other beautiful vintage tools. There are tools of all sorts, not just woodworking tools. I have picked up some true gems – two razee planes, made of lignum vitae, with aluminum handles for $40; a couple of good quality saws for $5 a piece; a Millers Falls No.42 coping saw for $17. Some of the regular vendors include:

  • Britools – specializes in British hand tools, Stanley, Record – saws, planes, chisels, levels – every tool has been cleaned/restored and sharpened.
  • Grandpas’ Treasure Chest – a great assortment of woodworking tools.
  • JP Plane Shavings – a good selection of planes, including some Millers Falls, tool catalogs, measuring tools, etc.

It truly is tool heaven. Last show in April I picked up a 26″ Boston Saw Co. rip saw (I think this was $5), an 18″ Welland Vale Special, a Hobbies fret saw, a Record No.77 bullnose, a Millers Falls No.1950 “Buck Rogers” brace and a couple of wooden spoke shaves. My workshop is becoming a tool space, but that’s the slippery slope – you end up getting so many bargains that you can become a vendor! I usually spend 2+ hours at the sale. I go with a “list” of tools I’m looking for, and search for those on first pass. I’m also on the lookout for tools that are unique ,or exceptionally good value. Second pass is looking for anything I missed on the first pass, after which it’s looking for oddities which may be more for show than anything else. There are those who believe they will find it cheaper elsewhere – but don’t forget you still have to pay postage on stuff from eBay/Etsy… and the fact that someone did the searching through flea markets etc. to find the tools in the first place. So come along to “Tools of the Trades”, buy a few vintage tools, restore/refurbish them, and start your tool collection.

One of the dealers tables.


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