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post #1 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Setting up a wood shop/weird questions

Okay, I have a question.

Ha! This is going to require some explanation.

As I said in my introduction, I am, while not new to woodworking, still more towards being a beginner than a master, certainly. I now have the opportunity to set up a dedicated wood shop in the upstairs garage (meaning no cars there ever, and also an environment which is much drier than the cellar) which I would like to start in on come spring.

Here's the thing.

I have the tools.

And when I say, 'I have the tools,' I really really mean I HAVE THE TOOLS.

See, my father was a hoarder, of an extreme kind. Have you seen those TV shows? Like that. Only maybe worse. He was a mechanic and generally 'handy' (in quotes because he never actually got anything done), so he saved all kinds of, well, metal things. My sister and I since June have removed six tons of scrap iron from the property. Yes. Six tons. That's just scrap iron, too, nothing else.

So my problem is not in acquiring the basics; it's paring down and in some cases identifying the tools in the first place. For example, do I need a hand plane? Well I've got probably fifty to choose from. I honestly don't know where to start. I just don't know enough about tools to know which ones I will need, and which more specialized ones I might want for later, or which ones are ones I will never need. Some of them are antique, probably, too, which is fine with me, as I'm under the impression that a lot of older hand tools are actually better made than stuff I could buy new today. Also older stuff tends to be smaller, which fits my womanly hands rather better.

So I guess my questions are:

If you had to pick, say, twenty hand tools (and we're not even talking power tools, just hand tools) that you would consider necessary to a well-functioning wood shop, what would they be?

Also, if I post some pictures here of odd tools I can't identify (and who knows, they may end up being something used to fix motorcycles with and not actually for woodworking, because, that's the thing, I don't know) would you be able to help identify them?

And lastly, if I simply have too many and would like to get some to a good home, is it okay to sell some of them here? I looked through the FAQs and rules of this forum, and, while it's okay to have a link to a business in our signatures, didn't see one way or the other if something like that would be okay. I'm not a business, well, not a woodworking business (I'm a self-employed freelance artist for work).

Thank you!
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 06:46 PM
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Tools? Too many? Nonsense.

First, if you don't know what you have or what it's for, find a trusted friend or someone who does. You can have 20 hand planes and still not have enough for some folks. Old tools have intrinsic (useful) value, sentimental value,and even historic value, so it's best to have someone to help you go through and sort them with you. You will likely get a few volunteers from here.
In order to determine which of the "keepers" you'll want you'll should to say..... hmmmm. "What do I see myself making...furniture, cabinets...bird houses?? and as a sculptor myself even "scupture!" So, some of the more esoteric ones like moulding planes with specific cutters may not fit the bill. How much storage or display space is available? It doesn't cost anything to keep them, just regrets that you didn't.
If you want help here then probably spread them out on a big table with a number close by and post some photos. WE'll tell you what they are and what they do.
Values are a whole 'nother subject.
So, to sum it up, get a friend, sort them, post photos, determine your needs and wants. Let us know if we can assist. bill
FYI I represent the point of view that "you can never have too many tools" . I'm a tool addict.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-11-2011 at 09:33 PM.
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 07:24 PM
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I'd welcome that "problem". In your place, I'd do just what Bill said and I'd keep them all at least until I had figured out my own needs/wants,
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 08:39 PM
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Hi Thalia,

Your dad sounds a lot like mine. Hoarding is a real sickness and tough to overcome.

I would welcome the challenge of identifying your obscure and unknown tools, so post away! Regarding how to figure what you have, the value of it and what you need, I strongly recommend the books by Garrett Hack (The Handplane Book and Classic Hand Tools). An Amazon.com search will get you the books fairly quickly.

Keep in mind that a lot of what your father obtained can have great value. Do your homework, take your time and be patient. That way you will come out ahead. Ebay is likely to be a good resource for both figuring out what you have, what the approximate value is and maybe even selling items.

Regardless, you should keep the good stuff for yourself, and to use if you really get into woodworking. If you are so inclined, there is a great deal of benefit from having multiple copies of the same tool in the shop. That way each tool can be setup for a specific function, resulting in a bit of time savings.

Good luck to you and your family.

Greg

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Isaac Newton

Last edited by Greg in Maryland; 02-11-2011 at 08:46 PM. Reason: To correct bad writing
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 09:26 PM
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Thalia,

You lucky lady! You've received the best advice in previous posts so I have nothing to add but for sure be patient, take your time and do the research.

The people in this forum are great folks and you could not have come to a better place for assistance.

Best of luck in your new endeavers.

Jeff
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the suggestions; I will definitely look up those books, Greg. And thinking about what I intend to actually build with them is also a very good idea and I hadn't thought of that, so thank you Bill. The space my wood shop is slated to go into is probably I don't know 20 by 25 foot square or so? So I should have a good bit of storage space for things. Also I know that some of the stuff I'll have to actually use to figure out if I want to keep it, like which whatever fits my hand most comfortably, that kind of thing.

I'll work on getting some pictures to show.

Hmmm. The thing, though, is that we really are talking an awful lot of tools. And the wood tools are only one small piece of the whole thing—there are also plenty of power tools, tools for working on cars (specifically old Volkswagens, since that's what my father did), and other random tools; then there are the VW parts like engines, transmissions, hoods, fenders, generators, clutch plates, brake drums, &c &c &c as well as whole (well, they used to be whole) cars; and there are piles of wood, old antique doors, windows, mantelpieces, I mean the list is huge. I guess what I'm saying is I kind of can't afford to get too precious about things. So while looking all of them up and researching what they are and what kind of value they might have with an eye to selling would normally sound like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, in this case there's just so much stuff. I could do the same with all the VW parts, the salvaged architectural stuff, and I intend to do that with some of it, yes, but if I do that with everything I will never get this place clean. The goal I've set is to try to get the property clean within the next five years. As far as I can see that's a pretty rushed timetable, too.

I have a blog about cleaning the place up if anyone wants to see the scale I'm talking about (and we've already spent a few years cleaning, since my father went into a nursing home):

http://tetanusburger.blogspot.com/ (I hope that link is okay; it's not an ad.)

And yes, hoarding is definitely a mental illness, in my father's case rather a severe one. I would not be able to clean at all, even a little, if he were still here, honestly, because he was just impossible.

Last edited by Thalia; 02-11-2011 at 10:11 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 10:30 PM
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collecting vs hoarding ?

I don't envy your situation.
Hoarders may have some great collection if the stuff can be organized to reveal it?
There are categories of things that would be well served by having a estate sale or auction for that specialty. You will still need an expert to value the items or lump them together for your best return. You may not even care about the financial aspect that much??
The woodworking category will be well attended I'm pretty certain and things will go quickly if priced right at an estate sale,. but maybe not so quickly at an auction? I donno? So, your own future plans come into play to retain those items most useable and useful to you. You mention your womanly hands and that implies a feminine stature, not capable of handling heavy tools and those requiring "brute" strength. In those cases a power tool is your friend, rather than a hand tool requiring a lot of upper body strength such as a hand plane or handsaw.
It gets back to the sentimental vs intrinsic value. If you have no need or use for the tool it's better off in another's hands. Maybe go through the stuff with some marking tapes and have 3 categories yes, no and maybe? bill
Holy Crap I glanced at the blog. Call the American Pickers Show and have them make a whole year long series with all that stuff. Incredible! Like I said I don't envy your situation!

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-11-2011 at 10:39 PM.
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 10:48 PM
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Pretty cool blog. I actually envy the task. I wish my family was that interesting.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalia
Okay, I have a question.

Ha! This is going to require some explanation.

As I said in my introduction, I am, while not new to woodworking, still more towards being a beginner than a master, certainly. I now have the opportunity to set up a dedicated wood shop in the upstairs garage (meaning no cars there ever, and also an environment which is much drier than the cellar) which I would like to start in on come spring.

Here's the thing.

I have the tools.

And when I say, 'I have the tools,' I really really mean I HAVE THE TOOLS.

See, my father was a hoarder, of an extreme kind. Have you seen those TV shows? Like that. Only maybe worse. He was a mechanic and generally 'handy' (in quotes because he never actually got anything done), so he saved all kinds of, well, metal things. My sister and I since June have removed six tons of scrap iron from the property. Yes. Six tons. That's just scrap iron, too, nothing else.

So my problem is not in acquiring the basics; it's paring down and in some cases identifying the tools in the first place. For example, do I need a hand plane? Well I've got probably fifty to choose from. I honestly don't know where to start. I just don't know enough about tools to know which ones I will need, and which more specialized ones I might want for later, or which ones are ones I will never need. Some of them are antique, probably, too, which is fine with me, as I'm under the impression that a lot of older hand tools are actually better made than stuff I could buy new today. Also older stuff tends to be smaller, which fits my womanly hands rather better.

So I guess my questions are:

If you had to pick, say, twenty hand tools (and we're not even talking power tools, just hand tools) that you would consider necessary to a well-functioning wood shop, what would they be?

Also, if I post some pictures here of odd tools I can't identify (and who knows, they may end up being something used to fix motorcycles with and not actually for woodworking, because, that's the thing, I don't know) would you be able to help identify them?

And lastly, if I simply have too many and would like to get some to a good home, is it okay to sell some of them here? I looked through the FAQs and rules of this forum, and, while it's okay to have a link to a business in our signatures, didn't see one way or the other if something like that would be okay. I'm not a business, well, not a woodworking business (I'm a self-employed freelance artist for work).

Thank you!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Post pictures of the planes! I love old hand planes, you may have some real gems!

And if you were to decide to sell some (or all) haha, I'll buy most (or all :)) of them... lol
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-11-2011, 11:43 PM
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I'm sorry I guess I don't see it. I've seen many places worse than that. At least you can see the floor of the shop and the wrench drawers look pretty well organized to me. Aside for an abundance of car "projects" that never got off the ground, which is not all that unusual, your Dad looked like a typical gearhead to me. He was probably very proud of his collection of tools as I am of mine. I counted 5 rollarounds in the one photo. Guess I better not show you the SEVEN I have! That's some metal lathe he's got there. I'd like to see a close up of that. And that orange-ish bandsaw looks like an old Craftsman King-Seely. Probably works better than most new saws today. I don't know, I guess see a room full of treasure where others see junk.
Oh, the S shaped wrenches in the first photo on your blog are called "S handle wrenches"! They're useful for getting at hard to reach places, typically in automotive repair. The things in the second photo are called Spanner Wrenches. They're used to turn pinned lock nuts, collars and bearings. Back when I was a volunteer fireman we carried them to tighten hose couplings. The things in the thirsd photo are called "Vee Blocks". They're immensely useful to hold pipe, rods and cylindrical objects while drilling or cutting.
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post #11 of 23 Old 02-12-2011, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Really? Not all that long ago there were 78 cars on the property, which is about an acre and half, and residential, not commercial. If that's a 'typical gearhead' well then holy crap I guess I've been wrong about my dad all this time. Also, the only reason you can see the floor in the cellar (not actually the shop, or the garage, which are separate buildings, yes, plural, and no, you can't actually see the floor in the shop proper right now) is because my sister and I have spent quite some time already cleaning it. So yeah, no.

Also, there's interesting, and then there's interesting. Seriously, I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I'm pretty strong for a chick I guess, though I haven't lifted weights in a while, so I'm not worried too much about upper body strength right now. Most power tools actually (though I certainly use them) are a little too big though to hold comfortably, which I really don't like and doesn't feel too safe. And anyway I do want to learn to use hand-tools; I really like the feel of things made that way.

Estate sale/experts that sort of thing is out of the budget for right now though it's a good idea.

But yeah I'll get some pictures.

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post #12 of 23 Old 02-12-2011, 12:54 AM
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OK I'll admit 78 disabled cars is a lot of unfinished "projects"! I bet whoever owns the salvage yard you used was salivating.
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post #13 of 23 Old 02-12-2011, 08:26 AM
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Hoarding

My father passed away in 1976. Electronics tech, he hoarded old TVs. Two 24x24 buildings full to the ceiling. You could barely open the door. At the time they were worthless, had to pay to get rid of. Many trips to the dump. Dad had 7 file cabinets full of paper. Receipts for a bag of nails 20 years old, just to give you an idea. I was going to just throw them away. My grandfather said I couldn't because there was a steamboat ticket to Cairo, Ill. from the civil war(great great great grandfather was a union surveyor) somwhere in that paperwork. I went through every folder, in every drawer, in every file cabinet. In the last cabinet and second to last drawer I found the ticket July 3rd, 1863 signed by the provost marshall. I complained to gramps about the tedious task and his answer was that it was my fault that I had started at wrong end. Still have ticket. I still have and use dads tools. Enjoy your task for what it is an insight into your dads life and passions. PS These guys and gals are giving you great advice. Go to ebay. Some of those planes can be worth $1000.+++
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post #14 of 23 Old 02-12-2011, 11:06 AM
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I can feel some of your pain. A couple of years I sold my farm where I've been living for many years. I don't consider myself a hoarder but on the other hand I don't like to throw away anything that someday might come in to be useful. On a farm just about anything could be useful..........

I spent about 6 months of getting rid of all the junk that was collected in various buildings and stowed away where ever possible. I found things I didn't know I had and things I hadn't touched in 40 years.
I saved most of my tools though, some of them I had duplicates of so I made boxes with them and gave to my grandsons. Some tools I knew I wouldn't have any use for I sold. In all this was not an easy process and basically what you have to do is to decide on a strategy and stick to it. I was under time pressure, you seemes to have a little more time on your hand? That will make it easier to make up your mind on what you want to do. All lot of good advice have been given here and I wish you the best of luck.
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post #15 of 23 Old 02-12-2011, 11:57 AM
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don't worry, be happy..yea right!...

i sometimes worry i'm a slight hoarder. i do the same "i could use that someday". i've been getting better though.
sometimes i wish i was a person with no hobbies and just watched tv and worked out a little. i can hardly relax cause i feel theres always something i could be working on...and when i do watch tv or relax, i feel guilty for not getting in the shop...but i digress.
i can understand hoarders i just hope i can contain it before it engulfs me. i'm glad i never became a car guy haha...i am obsessed with custom paint though...still learning everyday!!!

good luck Thalia...if i ever have kids i'll make sure i never leave something like this on them.

-Jason
(FiveOneSix)
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post #16 of 23 Old 02-12-2011, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalia View Post
Thank you for the suggestions; I will definitely look up those books, Greg. And thinking about what I intend to actually build with them is also a very good idea and I hadn't thought of that, so thank you Bill. The space my wood shop is slated to go into is probably I don't know 20 by 25 foot square or so? So I should have a good bit of storage space for things. Also I know that some of the stuff I'll have to actually use to figure out if I want to keep it, like which whatever fits my hand most comfortably, that kind of thing.

I'll work on getting some pictures to show.

Hmmm. The thing, though, is that we really are talking an awful lot of tools. And the wood tools are only one small piece of the whole thing—there are also plenty of power tools, tools for working on cars (specifically old Volkswagens, since that's what my father did), and other random tools; then there are the VW parts like engines, transmissions, hoods, fenders, generators, clutch plates, brake drums, &c &c &c as well as whole (well, they used to be whole) cars; and there are piles of wood, old antique doors, windows, mantelpieces, I mean the list is huge. I guess what I'm saying is I kind of can't afford to get too precious about things. So while looking all of them up and researching what they are and what kind of value they might have with an eye to selling would normally sound like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, in this case there's just so much stuff. I could do the same with all the VW parts, the salvaged architectural stuff, and I intend to do that with some of it, yes, but if I do that with everything I will never get this place clean. The goal I've set is to try to get the property clean within the next five years. As far as I can see that's a pretty rushed timetable, too.

I have a blog about cleaning the place up if anyone wants to see the scale I'm talking about (and we've already spent a few years cleaning, since my father went into a nursing home):

http://tetanusburger.blogspot.com/ (I hope that link is okay; it's not an ad.)

And yes, hoarding is definitely a mental illness, in my father's case rather a severe one. I would not be able to clean at all, even a little, if he were still here, honestly, because he was just impossible.
That was a pretty interesting blog. I like the humor in it. I must agree with a previous poster about "not too bad". I have seen similar situations but your father had some organizational plan which helps. It's just that he had SO MUCH STUFF. I would enjoy just going through and looking at all of it. Maybe I am easy to entertain but those old tools, especially hand planes are fantastic to me.

I have never in my life seen a cotter pin that big! The wiggly wrenches have their place and I have personally taken an oxy/acet torch to a couple of sacrificial wrenches to tighten a fastener I couldn't get to. Some of the best tools around are shop built, not unlike the jigs/templates we make. It looks like one of the pics was a spanner wrench that we used to fasten/loosen fire hoses to the hydrant or each other. I have also used a spanner to adjust a shock on my motorcycle. Might not use it a lot but if you need it you just need it.

Good luck with your project. I would like to echo the remark about if it comes time to thin the vintage tools out please consider offering them to some of the members here. I would imagine a lot of them will be purchased quick. They will go to good homes.

Be well

Scott
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post #17 of 23 Old 02-12-2011, 07:52 PM
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Ok Thalia, I think you have the rest of us beat by a mile. My dad doesn't have the amount of junk you have, but he does not have the organization either. Pretty much everything is jammed into his basement and garage. Somewhere down there he has a 1/2 or 1/4 sheet Craftsman sander from the 60's that I would love to get my hands on, if I could find it.

You had a picture in your blog of a 1960/1970's motorcycle that I couldn't quite tell the make and model. It looks Japanese, Honda maybe. Anyways, those have some value so don't just send it to the junk yard.

I like your blog and wish you and your sister good luck!

Greg

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post #18 of 23 Old 02-13-2011, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Honda sounds familiar; I'll ask my sister about it, since she knows those kinds of things better than I do. And no, we do have some idea of what things probably are going to be worth it to sell (like the TR3A up in the garage).

All right, some pictures (assuming I can figure out attachments at this forum). Let's see; I'll start with a group of planes. What kind are these? (Well okay the bottom one is kind of ordinary, if big.)
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post #19 of 23 Old 02-13-2011, 11:17 PM
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My guesses

Hi

Top row, left -- looks like a Stanley 48 or 48 tonguing and grooving plane. There might be parts missing, though I don't know much about this plane to have any real idea.

Top row, right -- looks like part of a Stanley 45 or 55 combination plane. If it is, lots of pieces are missing (at least from the photo). It looks to be in reasonable shape and if you have all the parts, the box and cutters it can be worth a fair amount. Otherwise, it would only be suitable for parts.

Second row, left -- looks like some type of duplex filletster/rabbet plane. My first thought is that it is a Stanley 78, but the front doesn't seem to correspond. That and the red/orange (can't quite tell) part near the blade. Miller Falls planes were accented with red, so it might not be a Stanley

Second row, right -- looks like a Stanley 48 or 49 tonguing and grooving plane, with the same comments as above.

Bottom Row -- from size alone, I would think it is a Stanley number 5 or perhaps 6 bench plane.

There should be markings in the casting of each plane to assist with the identification. i.e., 5, 7, 40, etc.

Here are some links you can use to try and identify what you have:

http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html
http://oldtoolheaven.com/bench/bench.htm

There are many other manufacturers of planes other than Stanley and Miller Falls, so the above may not be particularly accurate.

From looking at the pictures, the top four planes are not in the best shape, but they are not wrecks by any means. The bottom plane appears to be the closest to being a working plane with minimal effort. If you are going to sell them, a light cleaning would be appropriate. Don't go crazy and remove all the nickel plating.

If you have other planes for us guess about, it would help to have pictures from different perspectives (i.e., top, side, bottom, etc.) as well as any markings or stampings.

I hope this helps and I can't wait for the next batch.

Greg

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post #20 of 23 Old 02-14-2011, 10:53 AM
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Thalia - I have a strange mixture of sympathy and envy. Like others I would love to have a tool hoard like that to scavenge from.

I also feel for your father a little. There are hundreds of variations on most tools, all designed for different jobs. Where you see a load of wrenches which just look the same, other people will see slightly different sizes and styles of wrench for different types of wrenching requirements. (Imagine someone asking you why would need more than one knife in your kitchen).

And even when you have two tools which are exactly the same - tools are also not easy things to throw away. I bet you have a second best can opener somewhere, even though you have that swanky electric one for daily use.

However, it's also clear that in this case, things got a little out of hand. I really don't envy your Herculean task of clearing out so much metal. Ebay could be your friend? It's amazing what people want to pay to take away. The scrap metal value of that rusty chain might be peanuts - but somewhere there is probably someone desperate to find such a thing.

As for the tools - that drawerful of old wrenches might look worthless to you - but to someone, that would be Christmas come early (and they would pay you for it)

You certainly have a lot of junk there, but I am sure you also have some valuable stuff. I can't be sure, but looking at the pics, there seem to be a few red metal toolchests, and those costs hundreds of pounds here in the UK http://www.screwfix.com/prods/28229/...nt-and-Storage so you could probably get something much better than scrap metal value on ebay.

I understand why you probably just want to throw the whole lot away, but there are some lovely items in amongst it all, and probably some valuable stuff too.

PS. You are only the second person I have heard of called Thalia. My niece is the other one.
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