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About Union Hill Antique Tools


  This site and store is owned by Steve Johnson, member of most of the tool collecting groups in the USA and across the globe. I've been researching antique tools since purchasing my first house in 1982 and finding the need to build some furniture. Most of the offerings on this site come from my personal collection and have been stored in a humidity- and temperature-controlled environment for decades.  I don't mess with my tools and they have not been cleaned or retouched -- they are the way I bought them years ago.


I created my first antique tool web site in 1995. This makes it among the first tool-related web sites on the internet! Over time it has also proved very popular, getting about 3000 hits per day as of early 2000. It is dedicated to the use, preservation, and extension of wood turning and antique tool knowledge,

Human-powered tools, invented and used before the advent of electric motors, made possible all subsequent advances in mechanical and electronic machinery. The history of these tools, the ideas of the men who invented them, and the skills required for their use are all areas I feel it is important to preserve. Tools are an extension of the human mind - the capabilities of the tool not only extend and shape the ways we think of things, but limit our thoughts as well. Factories cannot produce without tools, and neither can any artist. I believe that a knowledge of tools and their use is a foundation upon which you can build anything - understand the tools involved, and you can create whatever you can imagine.

The scope, variety, and ingeniousness of tools is virtually mind-boggling. People have invented tools to do practically everything, and it would be impossible to try and present the entire breadth. Instead, this site will present information on some of my favorite tools, those basic tools used in the wood and metal industries to create works of art, practical necessities, or other, more complex tools. In general, I categorize these as woodworking and metalworking tools. Choose the Tools section for information on antique and collectible tools, and to view the list of old tools I have for sale.

Note: One question I often get in email is "How much is my widget worth?" See my tool appraisals page for more information.

Other Sites

I believe this to be the finest web site in the world for information on antique tools. Why? What other site has:

  • Megabytes of free information on old tools, tool restoration, catalog reprints, and original type studies?
  • A "Beginner's Guide to Tool Collecting"?
  • A free tool collectors database to let you catalog and keep track of your collection more easily?
  • Only high quality tools for sale, with each tool pictured, graded, and fully guaranteed?
  • A list of reference books at the lowest prices anywhere?
  • Free want ads for use by all hand tool collectors and users?
There isn't any other site with all that. But, if you do tire of looking through my information on old tools and wood turning, check out some of my recommended Other Sites for a different perspective. In this section I link to several related web sites which you may find interesting. Unlike most other sites, I provide links to "competitor" web pages which I believe to offer interesting content. Happy surfing!