Retirement is an interesting animal, especially if you aren't prepared for it. Besides the financial aspect, one must consider what will occupy the free time that was previously taken up by life. It took about a year to discover that. I was fortunate enough to decide early that whatever the road taken a shop was a must knowing that working with one's hands keeps them and the mind sharp. Woodworking was always an intermittent love so a woodworking shop seemed to fit the bill.
The shop built the next question was how to fill it. Though power tools clearly dominate the hobbyist woodworker's shop human powered tools really test one's ability and versatility. Knowing only what was remembered from high school woodshop power tools seemed the most versatile. With a small stockpile already in hand the next acquisitions involved the larger floor machines. (Thank you craigslist) A particular project required the assistance and subsequent investment in a new block plane, purchased from the local large department store with a former reputation for selling high quality craftsman's tools. Sadly it turned out to be a piece of junk. Wondering if there wasn't a better tool out there a search started and a quest began.
After first discovering hand planes as a student many years ago I began anew, learning more and more about their history and how they fit into the early history and westward expansion of the USA. To make a long story a bit longer, I fell in "love" with the simplicity and inherent beauty of handplanes and collecting them quickly became a passion. One thing however, became quite apparent - that collecting anything required ample funding and since retirement income is relatively fixed, an outside income flow is essential. Finding old derelict user grade planes, retuning them to a useful life has become a fun and rewarding way to finance my habit and it keeps me as busy as I want.
On this website you will find some of the wonderful planes I have been able to find and will care for until the next generation of collectors is ready for the task. You will find as well a few for sale that will help me continue financing this quest. You can also find them on eBay if you prefer that venue directly. Feel free to contact me with questions or if additional photos are needed.
Mark "Marvin Pumpernickel" Nickel
President, Board Chair and CEO
Established in 1964, our heritage goes back a long time. A family owned business we've resisted hostile takeovers, declined friendly acquisitions and remained true to our original family values.
Nestled in the beautiful hill country of Southern Oregon, our headquarters campus covers over two acres of woodland and meadows providing a beautiful backdrop for our company and dedicated staff.