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MattInPA's picture

Marcou Planes (post #103861)

Go home and have your wives hide the check books. It looks like there are a few new models over which we must drool. Check them out! Which one of us is going to step up and get the single 1 year anniversary addition? Can we battle for it on Ebay?


The Christopher Schwarz review was a fantastic read, too.


www.wktools.com


They all look quite welcoming Mr. Marcou.


Matt

wiktor48's picture

(post #103861, reply #1 of 36)

No plans for eBay....


WK


Wiktor
Wiktor
9619's picture

(post #103861, reply #2 of 36)

Wiktor,
Why don't you suggest to Fine Woodworking, that Knots start change one of its folders to do auctions. Only paying members of Knots could use it. No sophisticated computer program would be necessary. It could be run as I have often seen "silent auctions" run. You put something up for auction. I decide to bid first and I put up $100. Anyone who wants to bid more than that sends in a message after mine with their bid, and so on until the closing of the auction. The time stamp of the message will show if it came in too late.

Then when there is a winner, the deal is between the seller and the buyer. Knots and Fine Woodworking and Taunton have nothing to do with it -- no responsibility. If I am selling a plane, and the winning bid is $530, then when I receive payment, and the check clears at my bank, I will ship the plane to the winner.

One takes a chance when one crosses the street on the way to work. This type of auction would be a gamble for the buyer. The seller has nothing to lose. The seller doesn't ship the plane until the actual cash is in his bank.

There is risk for the buyer because the seller might just not send anything, or say they sent it, but actually did not. However, that seller would not be welcome in the world of Knots again.

There is another possibility. How about if Fine Woodworking worked a deal with EBAY in which the EBAY auction is used, but the only people who could bid are dues-paying members of Knots. I wonder if EBay would be open to such "private auctions".

There is another possibility. I wonder if Fine Woodworking would be willing to take on a small business in auctioning VERY FINE tools on Knots, as I described above, but Fine Woodworking would actually have the plane in hand, before the auction started, and they would receive payment, and when the payment was REALLY received, they would send the money to the seller (minus a fee), and send the plane to the buyer.

I doubt that any of these ideas will see the light of day. However, if one does not attempt to think out of the box, then improved ideas are harder to come by.

It would be a boon to the woodworking community if there could be a safe way for people like Philip to auction his planes to a select community.

Have fun. If nothing else, I hope you enjoyed the ideas.
Mel.
PS - If I win the lottery, the first thing I am going to do is to buy one of Philip's planes. Of course, it will not go in my shop. It will go in a glass-encased, alarm-protected box in my living room, with special lighting and nice background music.

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

Lataxe's picture

(post #103861, reply #3 of 36)

Mel,


If you put one of Philip's planes into a glass case and encourage art critics to view it, I will arrange for a break-in, so the abused plane can be taken to sanctuary in a proper shed, where it will be able to realise its natural inclinations to plane wood beautifully.


As I once opined to His Excellency concerning a picture of one of his planes, captured and displayed on a website, in a glass cabinet of ostentatious design such as that you describe: "It looks like a tart in an Amsterdam window" - not a fitting role for such masterpieces of engineering and utility (although I did have mine in the bedroom for a night or two; just to look at, you know, nothing else, oh no).


Lataxe, plane liberator.

9619's picture

(post #103861, reply #7 of 36)

Lataxe,
If I had your skills, I'd use the plane too.
Letting me use a Marcou would be like letting me use a Stradivarius.
I'm also tone deaf.
Now if it was a $10,000 really high class biscuit joiner, then I'd put it to good and frequent use. :-)
Enjoy.
Mel
PS - as you probably knew, there was a bit of tongue-in-cheek in my previous message. Heck, you might have seen some of that in this message. If people were looking for high quality woodworking wisdom, they would read the writings of Richard Jones, Lataxe and Ray Pine, not Mel.

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

wiktor48's picture

(post #103861, reply #8 of 36)

Gentlemen,


In the next day or two and no later then Saturday morning I will announce the price and availability of the Anniversary Plane on wkTools.com.   First email I will receive with order will be the lucky buyer.


I have spent considerable time reading your comments about auctioning this plane and discussed the options with Philip.  For this time around we will stay with simple sale - first email order gets the plane.


All your comments are very valuable to me and generated some new ideas and thoughts.  We are planning to sale Philip's planes as we did so far.  On special and absolutely unique planes - well, we will have to get back to this very soon.


Auctioning planes on eBay at the moment is off the table.  However, Mel's post brings some interesting points.  If there is a demand for place to sale exclusive type of tools and limit the bidding community to selected group (Knots, etc.) this can be worked out.  I would be interested to discuss this further.  The auction on Knots or associated with Fine Woodworking in some way - well, I think this will not fly. 


In any case, thanks for your comments. 


Wiktor


Edited 5/23/2007 5:01 pm by wiktor48


Edited 5/23/2007 5:03 pm by wiktor48

Wiktor
mapleman's picture

(post #103861, reply #9 of 36)

Wiktor/Philip,


Would the "anniversary plane" in question be the one with the blackwood handle/tote (and piano finish) or are we speaking of one of the new introductions Philip has teased us with in a recent post?


I think a photo or two would be in your best interest to generate a small frenzy (like chum in the shark infested waters) ;)


Lee - looking to sell lots of the wifes things before Saturday!


 

wiktor48's picture

(post #103861, reply #11 of 36)

The anniversary plane is S20A with African Blackwood.  Picture attached.  Also, on www.wkTools.com it is a plane right in front of you.


 


I also posted a letter to all from Phlilip;


http://www.wktools.com/planes/S20A-SE/M20A-Special.asp


Regards,


Wiktor
Wiktor
PreviewAttachmentSize
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highfigh's picture

(post #103861, reply #10 of 36)

Would this method be similar to the private auctions on ebay? If I understand correctly, a bidder needs to be invited.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
wiktor48's picture

(post #103861, reply #12 of 36)


I don't know...  I guess I would be interested to organize auction like that if there is an interest and tools to sale.


 


You guys would need to tell me…  High end tools, private auction, by invitation only… sounds interesting.


Wiktor

Wiktor
woodman2263's picture

(post #103861, reply #13 of 36)

I ask this question with great respect for Mr. Marcou.  Maybe I just need to be educated.  But why would I pay that kind of money for one of Mr. Marcou's planes?  From what I gather, it seems I could buy 4 or 5 Lie Nielsens for the price of one of Mr. Marcous. 


Are these planes just for collectors or are they for using?  If they are for collectors, maybe Mr. Marcou could make a line of planes that are designed to be used?  I cannot justify paying that much for a plane that works just the same as a Lie Nielsen.  Can someone educated me?  AGAIN, I ask this question with all due respect to Mr. Marcou, because his end product is outstanding.


Jeff

highfigh's picture

(post #103861, reply #14 of 36)

Apparently, they don't work exactly the same as a Lie-Nielsen, since I have seen reviews that said they had a bit of trouble with squirrelly wood. Some of Philip's have an adjustable mouth, as opposed to frog, and it seems to me that this is a better way. The last reviews by Derek and Chris Schwarz included testing on woods that are more difficult than oak, maple, mahogany, burl walnut and probably anything we have in the US.

We had the same discussion, although that one was more contentious, about justifying the purchase of a Holtey plane. One person saying that they can't justify buying one of these planes doesn't really matter to anyone other than that person. If nobody can justify it and nobody buys one, it matters to Philip but people have bought them and they're not the most expensive planes out there. I can't justify buying one from the money end but if I wanted a plane that has passed the "difficult wood test" in more than one review, has some unique design features and will probably never have a maintenance issue or parts break, I can.

For this reason, the attraction of British made cars escapes me. Nice to look at but they need to be tweaked all week long just to drive on Sunday.

The discussion is the same for cars or anything else- they all perform the same basic function, which is transporting the driver and maybe at least one passenger from one place to another. The difference is in how it looks, feels, performs and a ton of intangibles. Quality of manufacture, fit and finish, materials used, appearance and how well it's designed don't come free and mass production cuts the cost of manufacturing each piece. Obviously, these aren't mass-produced.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
derekcohen's picture

(post #103861, reply #15 of 36)

Jeff


One of my favourite reviews is actually a mini review that forms part of the article/review I wrote on the Marcou S15 a year ago. This was penned by my friend Peter Berne. He wrote, comparing the Marcou and the LV BUS:


 The Marcou plane is something else. Its length approaches that of a jack plane. Its sharply dovetailed construction of steel sole and brass sides is massive and well finished.  The screw-down bracket and holding bar is equally massive. The handles are well made and finished from an exotic wood I did not identify, the tote being not quite so upright as the VERITAS. ‘Over-design’ comes to mind.


Overall appearance summary: the VERITAS is “VERITAS”- function-over-form, not pretty; the Marcou is traditional/modern, it draws the eye, demands to be picked up.


These planes take a bit of getting used to. They are designed to be pushed along more than down. The handle designs indicates this. This is sensible as modern benches are higher than those of fifty years ago. I find that I still push down more than these planes require. As I progressed I pushed down less as I discovered the intended angle of force.


The tests were done on a variety of woods, some very hard, using effective cutting angles of the conventional 45 degrees and about 60 degrees.


At 45 degrees, both planes smooth superbly taking off full width wispy shavings. In this mode I could detect no difference between the planes.  There was a noticeable difference experienced when taking a heavier cut (sometimes we do need to reduce the size of a piece of wood, not just smooth it!). With the heavier cut the Marcou was noticeably smoother and easier, doubtlessly due to its extra mass. Once moving it feels like a train. The only other difference I could detect was on some Tasmanian Blackwood on which the Marcou gave a noticeably superior finish against the grain. (Yes, we planed both ways with both planes, mostly without tear out!) At 60 degrees there was no noticeable difference in cutting performance at all, and no discernable tearout against the grain – a reminder of one of the advantages of these planes – the potential for different angled blades.


I brought along my 1890s Slater smoother (souped up with a Hock blade) and added it to the routine. Planing with the grain it is every bit as good as these newcomers. Against the grain it is not in the same game. The new breed has dashed the superiority held by good quality infills for a century or more. These planes are very, very good.


Not being used to bevel-up planes I found the positioning of blades and adjustment annoyingly fiddly. I was surprised at the sensitivity of the setting screws, despite the fine thread. It may be my familiarity with infills, but I found tapping the heel and toe of both planes with a small mallet better for setting depth of cut than trying to fiddle with the setting screw.


The mouth setting is simpler on the VERITAS with its control through the front knob and its cleverly considered setting stop screw. This is probably not a big concern as the width of the mouth is not usually changed often.


Without any doubt at all, the VERITAS is superior value for money. But, hang on, that is probably answering the wrong question before it is asked.  If asked which plane I would rather have, it is the Marcou. So I should start again.


The VERITAS does the job, superbly, at a quarter of the price of the Marcou. So, why would one buy a Marcou? Well, it is beautiful. It combines the best of new design with the tradition of the dovetailed infill planes of the late eighteenth century. It has heft, it has been lovingly hand machined, it says “pick me up and use me”. It is a plane to visit, take down and make a few gossamer shavings before retiring for the night. It is a plane about which to say to the progeny “someday this will be yours” (if you are good). It is a plane which, when acquired, will demonstrate once again that men are as romantic as women, and for that reason alone it was a bargain.



Regards from Perth


Derek


 


Edited 5/24/2007 9:56 am ET by derekcohen

Ronaway's picture

(post #103861, reply #16 of 36)

Jeff,

I think the difference is how it's made, and the standard to which it is crafted. Obviously Phillp's planes (like the planes made by other sole proprietor plane shops) are made by Phillip with pain staking attention to detail. The construction standards are very high and only the best materails are used. Further more these planes are hand made by one person, not manufactured in large quantities.

I believe that these planes are made to be used and or collected. I have recently read an article written about this level of planes that stated "the wood doesn't know the difference), this is a true statement, however the user does know the difference. Working full time in my shop, I started using planes as a way to limit my exposure to sanding dust. As a comparison I 've replaced the time I used to spend sanding with the first two or three grits of the sanding process with planing. The point is I do a lot of planing, especially work with smoothers. Heavier planes are actually easier to use. I know because I use them side by side with standard bench planes including Lie-Nielsens. A lot of effort is required to push a lighter plane thru the cut, with the heavier plane mass equals leverage, once started thru the cut much less effort is required on the part of the user. This means at the end of the day I am less tired than I would be otherwise.

We are not talking about a $6000.00 Holtey here, so the the advantages of planes in this price range are per dollar quite reasonable and rewarding. Does one do enough hand planing to justify purchasing a plane of this type? Only that person can decide.

Ron Brese

If you're too open minded your brains will fall out.
If you're too open minded your brains will fall out.
highfigh's picture

(post #103861, reply #26 of 36)

Another reason for buying one of the limited production models like these is that in the review, it did a better job against the grain on a figured wood and if that is the main material being used by someone, it's a no-brainer. If nothing else has proven it can do the job as well, why bother buying the less expensive one only for the lower price. I did car audio and security for a long time(too long, actually) and I didn't need to use Snap-On tools but I got so sick of replacing Craftsman stuff that it was worth it to me. Sure, it cost more but I didn't have to waste time going back to exchange things that shouldn't have broken or worn out as fast as they did. I really appreciated the quality when I was working on boats, full time.

If your planes are as good as I hope they are and Philip's are as good as they have been said to be, I would say that it's a good time to be a woodworker using hand planes. Suffering with bad tools is no fun, wastes time and materials and can make someone want to stop.

I don't have any expensive planes. Yet. I haven't been using them for very long and I really think that starting on something other than the very best has its own value. Learning to set up, fettle and use a group of planes that are run-of-the-mill is really a good way of getting to know what works, what doesn't and how to tell the difference.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
wiktor48's picture

(post #103861, reply #17 of 36)

Jeff,
For obvious reasons I am not best qualified to answer your question.  However, I see posts that explain a view of many on this forum including technical justification.


Just recently I was helping my daughter to buy a car.


 She spent $1500.00 and got the vehicle that takes her where she needs to go. 


The dealer we were working with drives Mercedes that costs in a range of $130.000.  It also takes him to where he needs to go.


I drive a car that I paid for about $30,000.  It takes me where I need to go.


How do you justify these differences?  Many different factors go into the choices we make.


Best regards,


Wiktor
Wiktor
Tony Z's picture

(post #103861, reply #19 of 36)

Wiktor,


Could you do it on your site and provide links to the auction on the various woodworking forums?  Might also be a good venue for some other select items (read limited).


Tony Zaffuto


 


 

wiktor48's picture

(post #103861, reply #21 of 36)

Tony and All,
If we would ever decide to do a private auction, I would do it on www.wkTools.com .   I would have to design and program something there, similar to eBay but much simpler.


Since this group brought the subject, I would expect some views specific to this kind of project.  What kind of tools this group has in mind, would there be a bottom threshold in prices, i.e.  Tools starting at $100.00?  Hand woodworking tools?  Power tools? Tools that can be shipped only?  And on and on…


What about participants?  Selected group?  Everybody who wants to attend?  Members of Knots only with membership at least of 3 months?



Logistics of sale are fearly simple.  Seller has a product, post is done on the website, sale is completed, money goes to ???  Product goes to buyer from the seller...


Hm…. ;-)


 


Wiktor
Wiktor
9619's picture

(post #103861, reply #29 of 36)

Wiktor,

There have been great auction houses for generations. There must be ways of coping with fraud and abuse. I don't have the answers to the questions about how best to run auctions of fine tools. In my previous message, I was searching for a method. I was trying to devise something. It will take some research, and then some "trial and error". Certainly it can be done safely if it is done conservatively -- that is, the seller does not send the item to the buyer unill he has the actual cash in hand in a guaranteed way. For very fine tools, I believe that a collector would be willing to wait a month or two to get the tool.

One could mandate that the winning bidder must wire the cash. One could look into bank-to-bank fund transfers. If I were you, I would ask your bank what methods of receiving funds are the most reliable. I am sure they will give this information to you at no cost.

You are correct, in my estimation, that the software for an auction would not have to be complex. As I said, simple emails would work.

Certainly, no scheme is foolproof. Some fool could bid a million dollars and then never pay. It would be too much trouble to take them to court. But if you don't receive the actual cash, then you don't send the tool. So having a fool bid a million and not pay, would merely be an inconvenience for a month or so.

IMHO, it would not be worth the trouble to set up such an auction house for items that are less than a few thousand dollars apiece.

I believe that for things like Philip's planes, you could have a privately run auction in which all bidders must have previously submitted an "intent to bid" and have sent bank references. Even this is not foolproof.

I believe that for fine tools, there is a very limited audience that numbers in the thousands. There are websites like Knots, which cover many, if not most, of those people. It would be worth asking FWW if they might be interested, for a price, to do something like this.

It would be worth writing to EBay about starting a new branch of EBay devoted to collectible tools. Their expertise is hard to match.

If there were going to be 100 (or so) fine tools being auctioned off, I am sure that Southeby's or some other high-class auction house, would be willing to use their expertise to run the auction. They would get their profits from the "winner's fee" that they add to the sale price.

I hope that these ideas are of some use to you in thinking about a mechanism to auction off fine tools.

Mel

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

Cincinnati's picture

(post #103861, reply #4 of 36)

As a seller, why would I want an item only to be bid on by a select private class of prospects? I want as many people bidding as I can get.


Unless I am missing something, restricting who can bid is good for the buyer, but not the seller.


Why not post your item on eBay and then notify the Knots community of the auction?   . . .  or just post a buy it now price to the knots community prior to the auction?


GREG

•••••••
Exo 35:30-35

Greg

•••••••

Exo 35:30-35

highfigh's picture

(post #103861, reply #5 of 36)

"As a seller, why would I want an item only to be bid on by a select private class of prospects?"

So some nimrod won't bid $9.9M for something he has no intention of buying, maybe? When more people can see and bid on it, the chance of a wingnut getting involved increases greatly.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
9619's picture

(post #103861, reply #6 of 36)

Greg,
There was a previous thread concerning selling Philip's planes on EBAY. A number of people warned Philip not to do it because of the bad things that can happen when you sell an expensive item on Ebay. A lot of evidence was presented. Prior to that, Philip was considering EBAY. After that thread, Wictor said that EBay is no longer being considered.

My guess is that folks on EBay would not realize what a Marcou plane is. Folks on Knots know what it is. In any auction, you want to get visibility to as much of the potential buying public as possible. I was trying to come up with a safer way to do that. If what I was trying to do was easy, someone would already have come up with it.

I guess that if you hadn't been around for the previous thread, my message would not have been understandable. Sorry about that.

Have fun.
Mel
PS - I have never had trouble on Ebay. I suppose that I have bought about 50 things since it started, but none cost more than $100 and there was only one of those. Most were less than $30 and I used Paypal, so I was safe. I also do not buy from sellers who have not established a good and long list of problem-free sales. Selling a plane that costs in the thousands is an entirely different story. You should read up on EBay. While I believe it is one of the great changes to the modern world, there is probably more fraud on EBay than everywhere else combined. That does not mean that one should stay away. It does mean that one must be knowledgeable and aware. A fool and his money are soon parted.

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

VTAndy_'s picture

(post #103861, reply #18 of 36)

I guess if one wants to split hairs, that miter saw's cost divided by the number of cuts would play into the calculation of what that special handmade dovetail layout marker costs.

To each his own: some people can get by with simple, homemade or old tools, others think that LN products are high-end, and still others reach for ever more exclusive, one-of-a-kind tools. The only use for psychologists in this domain would be to explain why some people are so judgmental about others' choices. "Cheapskate" and "Penny wise, dollar foolish," for instance, are not listed in the DSM-IVR.
-Andy

derekcohen's picture

(post #103861, reply #24 of 36)

... not listed in the DSM-IVR


Andy


I just loved that!


Nevertheless I must correct you... you are just looking in the wrong section. I suspect that Voyeurism might fit with some onlookers, and for others (I do not exclude myself here) this is akin to Substance Abuse. And then again, I have been known to want to pull my hair out when I can't afford what I desparately covert (Trichotillomania).


Regards from Perth


Derek


Apologies to any I might have upset - all said in jest. I'm a shrink in my day job.


Edited 5/24/2007 9:35 pm ET by derekcohen


Edited 5/25/2007 9:57 am ET by derekcohen

mapleman's picture

(post #103861, reply #25 of 36)

Derek,


Apologies to any I might have upset - all said in jest. I'm a shrink in my day job.


Since you are a shrink, any chance you could give a fellow knothead some free psych. advice? You see, I'm hearing these voices in my head.... they are telling me to buy the anniversary plane, quick, before someone else gets it..... I'm not sure what to do.


Lee

derekcohen's picture

(post #103861, reply #27 of 36)

You see, I'm hearing these voices in my head.... they are telling me to buy the anniversary plane, quick, before someone else gets it..... I'm not sure what to do.


Lee, if the voices are coming from inside your head, then you are crazy. Sorry. However, if the voices are coming from outside your head, it is likely that it is Tom Lie-Nielsen!


Of course, when I heard those voices, I went into a state of denial and claimed that they were my wife's, and went out and bought one!


Regards from Perth


Derek

DickL's picture

(post #103861, reply #33 of 36)

>>Of course, when I heard those voices, I went into a state of denial and claimed that they were my wife's, and went out and bought one!

Aha! As we used to say when I was a computer scientist at Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.: 'Vee haf a test fur dat!'.

Regards,
Dick

VTAndy_'s picture

(post #103861, reply #31 of 36)

Hi Derek,
I was hoping you'd like that! The compulsive hair-pulling thing: perhaps that's for those who compulsively shave their arm hair to test their incessant sharpening? I think that the more old-fashioned system of classifying temperments might well be applied to handtool forum denizens, i.e.:
Choleric: "This is how I do it, it's the only way."
Sanguine: "I started another project. Yes, it's the 10th one I've got going. What have I finished? Haha, finished? Yeah, right! Oooh is that how you make a saw? I've gotta try that..."
Melancholic: "Tools aren't what they used to be. Quality hardwoods are no longer available. No one understands the old methods any more. Whoa is me."
Phlegmatic: "I spent the whole weekend planing a board. Just watching the shavings. Lovely. I could just plane boards for hours."
-Andy

mufti's picture

(post #103861, reply #32 of 36)

           You have missed one:-


Mihi sic usus est; tibi, ut opus est facto, face.

VTAndy_'s picture

(post #103861, reply #34 of 36)

Mufti,
Nice one -- that would make a nice tag line after all posts here from the more 'balanced' contributors -- Mike W and Derek come to mind. (Loose translation: "So it is requisite for me; do as you require.") (Even looser: "This works for me; your mileage may vary.")
-Andy

mufti's picture

(post #103861, reply #36 of 36)

           And I think of Ray, And yes Forestgirl and many others generous in their contribution to the common good. From Terence Via Michel de Montaigne on Friendship.