We call them “tool pushers” in the collecting world. People who find out what sort of stuff you are interested in and feed you a steady stream of it until your wallet is dry.
One of the worst tool pushers is Slav Jelesijevich, a Chicago area tool collector, cabinetmaker and cat-loving wild man. Get to know Slav just a bit and you’ll receive photos of his cats (some of them in attack mode) and you’ll get leads on old tools that are new in the box. That’s his specialty. I bought a 1970s-era Rockwell band saw from him. In the box. A Work-Mate (in the box). Hammers with 1970s-era Super Bowl tags on them. And too many rasps and files to mention (I guess I just did mention them).
At Woodworking in America, Slav sold a lot of stuff. And a lot of it went home with the other toolmakers on the selling floor with him.
While I was yakking with someone (Harrelson Stanley?) Slav walked by and dropped something in my pocket. Then he disappeared. I knew that whatever it was, it was going to cost me.
It turned out to be something I’ve always wanted: A never-used Millers Falls bench stop. It is the height of gizmo-cool. Sure a simple block of wood can be your planing stop – you Philistine. Or you can get this remarkably sophisticated spring-loaded, quadra-sided piece of tool engineering awesomeness.
Here’s how you install it: Drill two holes in your bench – a 1″ hole inside a 2″ hole. Screw the stop in. You’re done.
Here’s how it works: Loosen the screw and the stop goes loosey and bouncy on a spring. Rotate the head until you have the type of stop you want. There’s a flat stop, a V-shaped slot, one with four big teeth and one with 10 little teeth.
Set the stop at the height you want – anything up to 1-1/8″ and then turn the screw to lock it. Done.
I’ve seen these in old catalogs, but I’ve never seen one in person. And now I own one that’s never been used. But that last part is going to change.
— Christopher Schwarz