Popular Woodworking 2004-10 № 143, страница 115

Popular Woodworking 2004-10 № 143, страница 115

News & Notes

$17,050 PENCIL SHARPENER (YES, YOU READ IT RIGHT)

Here's proof that even the most mundane task can have an extraordinarily expensive (and cool) tool to accomplish it.

A small 1906 pencil sharpener that works similar to a hand-cranked disc sander sold at auction in April for a record $17,050. The sharpener, made by the Chelsea Manufacturing Co., is a fascinating cast-iron gizmo that was expected to fetch about $3,000, said Clarence Blanchard, president of Brown Auction Services, which sold the tool. But two motivated collectors drove the price way up,

shattering the previous record for a pencil sharpener ($10,000).

This particular little sharpener was desirable because it's quite rare, it had never been used and it was still in its original box, Blanchard said. But how well does it work?

"It's a pretty foolish device," he said. "And pretty dirty, too. Makes a mess." But, he hastened to add, the sharpener was good for something. "For the collector, it's the best of the best." — Christopher Schwarz

SHIPYARD SAW DRAFTED FOR LUMBERYARD SERVICE

Salvaged from the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard (which shut down in 1996), this monster of a machine - a 67" band saw with 6' wheels - was once intended to saw decking for aircraft carriers. Today, sawyers at Hearne Hardwoods Inc., in Oxford, Pa., are using it to saw rare and large logs, such as a 60"-wide x 14'-long piece of English brown burr oak.

It took two years to get the band saw running. Refurbishing it required adapting its old castings to many custom-machined parts. Its manual wooden carriage - which feeds the logs through the saw - was replaced with a hydraulic one and a 30-ton crane was needed to install the carriage on the tracks.

The 1930 band saw was brought into the 21st century by adding computerized touch screens, a digital camera that takes pictures of each board as it's sawn for immediate archiving and a vacuum hoist that can take 1,200-pound boards off the saw's carriage, says Rick Hearne, owner of the lumberyard. In fact, only 20 percent of the original saw remains.

For more information and to see pictures of the saw in use, visit hearnehardwoods.com.

— Kara Gebhart

The band saw's Vs "-th ick by 10"-wide blade (above left) is cutting through a 32"-wide by 14'-long cherry log for a tabletop. In the photo at right, this 36"-wide by 9'-long black walnut log has been cut and is now sitting on the band saw's carriage.

THE ULTIMATE SCROUNGER BUYS 109 TOOLS FOR $100

Everyone knows tools aren't cheap - except for Hal Logan of Chadds Ford, Pa. A 15-year member of the Early American Industries Association (eaiainfo.org), Hal says he had a hard time finding fellow members who shared his interest in scratching around garage sales to find old tools. So at the end of the 2003 annual EAIA meeting, he drew up a list of 75 common tools he wanted to try to find for less than $100 to show off at the 2004 meeting.

Hal didn't hit that goal. He beat it.

In one year, Hal bought the 75 tools - plus 34 more - for a total cost of $99.55. Of course, many of the items were in terrible shape, he says, but he "cleaned them up and restored them, put new handles on them and fixed them up," helping capture many of his fellow members' imaginations during the exhibit.

Because he's going to try to match or beat that run for next year's meeting in Charleston, S.C. (a few of his fellow members said they'd give it a try, too), Hal donated the tools to the organization's silent auction. The collection was broken into smaller groups and sold for a total of about $650, he said. We can't wait to see what's in Hal's toolbox next year.

(Editor's note: For Hal's list of 75 tools and a photo, go to popwood.com and click on "Magazine Extras.")

— Michael A. Rabkin

112 Popular Woodworking October 2004

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