Thanks for visiting this page which will give an insight into who we are, our ethics, and why we are good people to deal with. I’d like to go through many aspects that have brought me to this point and hopefully, reading this will explain how our ethics in running our business evolved into what we are doing today. I’m now in my mid 50’s and it’s been a long, hard journey, one I hope you enjoy reading.
Where tools first came into my life:
My name is Steve and it seems my life has always been about tools, ever since about 10 years old when my father used to take me around the markets back in the 1970s selling old tools. I was learning about things like woodworking planes, saws, and types of gauges when all my friends were playing with their toys and watching Woody the Woodpecker but I simply had no choice in the matter and never realised back then the importance of that initiation. By the time I got to sixteen, I’d got to meet many skilled craftsmen with some advising me I wouldn’t go wrong with learning a trade. I took this advice when I left school and joined a hard-working gang of sub-contractors who took no prisoners when it can to get things done and learning was fast-tracked through this process.
By the time I was 21, I had my own gang of lads working on my own work but I have to say it was a number of years after this that I could truly stand up and compare myself to the best in my profession and could tackle anything that was given to me with great effect. By my mid 30’s my skills had diverged into other relevant areas to ensure consistency of work was secured and this also included a deeper understanding of drawings and project management.
The heart of my training was the same as any good tradesman, pride in my work and dedication to whatever project I undertook.
As you can imagine my abilities allowed me the privilege of using a wide variety of tools and this has continued throughout my life. Tools have been a major factor in my life and as life progresses, it seems these tools have completely consumed me, I love them and what they have allowed me to achieve in life.
By my 40’s I was going through the motions, one commercial building project was very much like another. Changes in how things were expected to be done in the modern age made it very frustrating. There was more paperwork and pointless exercises designed for the less experienced, it was like being sent back to a kinder garden. Unfortunately, in the drive to raise standards, all it did was to drive skilled people like me away. I found myself growing ever more frustrated with correcting poor standards of work by others and the new authorities couldn’t understand why I rebelled against time-based tickets and irrelevant courses. There have always been good and bad tradesmen in any profession and in some way I do understand the drive to certify new tradesmen but it should not be at the expense of alienating those who don’t need it.
If I had to change and accept the new ways it was an opportunity to change further, it opened my eyes and inspired me to change professions and re-educate in areas that at the time I was weakest.
I found myself looking for an escape and with the web starting to gain traction in the early 2000’s it was building online and the importance of websites that piqued my interest. So, whilst working every day I used every night studying a completely different subject and eventually learned enough to start my own SEO (Marketing) company ranking on the first page amongst the best in the UK. It’s an important factor as this is important when promoting this website for sellers and attracting new buyers for their Antique tools. Anyway, it was successful to the point I was sitting on my backside, in a chair for 20 hrs. per day. Once it became routine practice, I thought about how best to use these
new skills for my family’s future, preferably where I can also adapt my other technical and research skills.
Where to go from that point:
Well, I did put together a website for my trade but again found the same issues were present with management, method statements, HSE, etc so I quickly cooled on this idea as I felt I was going back into what was the original problem. My youngest son then became a father and I now had 4 teenagers of my own (including triplets), a daughter-in-law, and a grandson living under our
roof. So working in the four corners of the UK on building projects wasn’t going to help in the long term of this situation!
What could I do?
It was Christmas 2014 and I was talking to my father about the good old days when Tooltique was brought up in the conversation, my father had retired at this point and he said he had always wished for me to go into the business.
This prompted a little research and I could see there was a continued market and Tony Murland (family friend) was still operating with his tool auctions.
Whilst user tools have always been a passion due to what they enable me to create and repair, it hadn’t occurred to me that there was still demand for the old hand tools. Mainly because many of us professionals had perused the new world of power tools to increase our productivity.
The historical aspect of how my trade had changed over the years also got me thinking about those early days helping my father. It also reminded me of the people I’d met and my father’s fond memories of how he had enjoyed the tool business.
So, I made a decision, researched the market for old tools, and for advice, I had my father help me when I needed it where he could. I’d say I’m a pretty quick learner but those years serving customers with vintage tools on a stall as a youngster certainly helped and Tooltique was re-ignited into what it is today, with a good reputation built on hard work, trust, and reliability.
So why have we built an Antique tools website:
Many will know Tony Murland who passed this website domain to us to continue the next era of antiquetools.co.uk. This will be the first specialised UK antique tool website to be exclusively online without using any third parties or sharing data with these companies.
Tooltique primarily focuses on ‘fully refurbished’ user tools, which are only undertaken to correct wear and to fine-tune them for craftsmen. Attention to detail is important and as such it becomes hard for us to sell un-refurbished antique tools on the same website as this would lead to confusion. Hence the need for this website which separates the two areas into two businesses.
This website provides an outlet to handle Antique & Collectable tools that require a tool collector’s audience, facilitating the transaction between the seller and collector. We wanted to create an alternative option for sellers, where we just promote and sell their antique tools in the best possible environment at the best possible prices. Tool collectors on the other hand want access to these antique tools which won’t be offered for sale unless the demand is there.
In the tradition of tool sales, it’s important that there are alternatives for sellers. Not everyone wants the arduous task of selling their tools online themselves at similar costs or the pitfalls that can arise if they are inexperienced.
We have seen for ourselves that there are many new people who are very much interested in working by hand and their interest in the tools themselves is very apparent, however, this website has been developed to introduce new collectors and users to the wider world of collectable and rare tools through our forum and articles.