Monday, March 16, 2009

Patina Report

My friend, Scott, and I arrived for the tailgating at 6:30 a.m., a cruel hour, and hustled from seller to seller looking for bargains.

If you go in future, be sure to take a flashlight and wear long johns. It was very dark and colder than a [insert mom-in-law's colorful West Virginian metaphor that would garner this blog an NC-17 rating].

Nonetheless, my first experience at the Patina Spring Auction and Dealer Tool Sale was great fun: tools, tools, tools, and a surprise glimpse of the flash known as Saint Roy.

Roy seemed to be on a tear to buy tools and I spied him on more than one occasion flipping open his billfold. With ninja-like prowess I snapped a few pics, but unfortunately the camera was on the wrong setting, hence the fuzziness. (Or maybe it was just that Roy was moving too fast?)

One guy, who told me he owns 700 saws, overheard me asking Tom Law about his handsaws, of which I know very little, and took it upon himself to escort me around to all of the tool dealers who were selling saws, including a very expensive panther saw ($750).

I asked Tom to help me choose a crosscut saw and he said, "You know how to choose a saw? You pick it up and feel the 'hang'. If it feels right, it's the right saw for you."

So I found two that were not at all pretty but felt absolutely perfect in my hand. Scott asked why I chose such short ones—24" and 18.25"—that his own are quite a bit longer. They just seemed "right", I told him.

Yesterday I tried them out and in using the longer of the two at a saw bench, discovered that it came within an inch of hitting the floor on the downstroke. At my height, I would not have been able to use a longer saw. Turns out Tom's advice was spot on.

Other items that came home with me were a snipesbill plane ($28) and three books ($24).

Will I go next year? Absolutely. I'll be the one wearing the down snowsuit and mukluks.