I try to keep my tool kit as small as possible. So if I don’t use a tool for a few years, I try to get it into someone else’s hands so they can use it. Sometimes that means selling it or giving it away.
Back in 2010 I sold off a bunch of tools to both cull the herd and pad our savings account – I was preparing to quit my day job. One of the tools I sold was a Bridge City SS-2 Saddle Square because it wasn’t getting much use. Plus I had the Veritas Saddle Square, which was less expensive and did the job.
During the last couple years I realized that the Bridge City version would come in handy for my work, especially for marking around bevels and chamfers on my chairs. For a while I made do with a brass butt hinge. And I briefly considered making a wooden-hinged saddle square. But then I broke down and bought a Bridge City SS-2 from eBay.
The SS-2 was new in the box. Unused and in its original wrapper. Obviously it was owned by a collector and was intended for someone else’s tool collection. I recycled all the nice packaging and tossed the square into my waist apron (apologies to the tool collectors, but I think I just made your mint SS-2 a little more valuable).
There have been a few other tools that I have “rebought” over the years. Most recently, I bought back a Wayne Anderson miter plane from the estate of Fred West. Fred had bought the tool off me many years ago and kept it in his collection. It still has my edge on the iron (that was back when I was experimenting with tertiary bevels, so it was easy to recognize).
I must be getting old and soft. I got sentimental and simply missed that beautiful plane. Let’s hope my memory starts to fail so I simply forget about all the other tools I sold. This could get expensive.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. I’m sure that some of you are thinking that Crucible should produce a saddle square. Honestly, not many people need this tool for their work, so I think it would be as profitable as a woodworking poster.