Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Yet, even the most hardcore possession-purging, dumpster-filling non-hoarder alive today would surely hang on to a few things from their past. Most would at least keep their Tinker Toys, Cabbage Patch doll, or their Calico Kitties.
We Galoots hope that old tools make the short list of items that even the "Clean & Purge" crowd would keep.
Followers of Skiving Off realize that I have a thing for Panther Saws, and a few days ago another showed up on Ebay. (The auction ends tomorrow).
I sent off an email to the seller asking for some additional information, and I was delighted to get a response from Wanda in Alabama, telling me the story of how this saw arrived on the open market. Apparently, a few years back Wanda purchased the saw along with a box of hammers at an estate sale because her father collects hammers. Wanda's dad didn't want the saw, so she decided to keep it, simply because it was intriguing. She and her family called it "The Mad Monkey Saw" because without the preconceived notion of a big cat, the carving does look as much like Lyman F. Baum's Flying Monkeys as it does a panther.
Now a quick statement about Wanda's Ebay listing. I think she did a really good job of listing the saw, considering that she is not a tool collector. She describes all of the defects that she sees along with lots of pictures. She did not attempt to disassemble the handle from the blade or do any chemical treatment to bring out the etch, which likely would have done more harm than good. Instead, Wanda described what she sees and provides enough photos for anyone to realize with 99% certainty it is a genuine Panther Saw. I think this is a good thing.
Panther Saws are rare, but it's hard to quantify. We still don't have accurate census data on Panther Saws. For the last three years I have talked about starting a Panther Saw Registry, just to finally get an idea of how many of these kitties are out there, but alas, I have still not done it yet. I just haven't had a chance given most of my free time is spent building a 3 bedroom ranch home out of Tinker Toys to house my "crazy cat lady" Cabbage Patch doll and her hoards of Calico Kitties.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Similarly, Erin's skateboard touched me. I love card games. I can pass the time playing spider solitaire just as easily as I could explain the finer points of playing Omaha Hi-Low. I don't know if that's why I wanted that skate board or if it was something else.
I just know that on Monday, I emailed Erin and asked if she would consider selling it. Erin and I agreed upon a price, and she informed me that not only is it the first skateboard she has done, but this is the first thing she has sold since graduating from Herron School of Art and Design.
I realize that if Gail and I lived with my parents and saved every dime we made for two years we could purchase a Sam Maloof rocker that is truly beautiful and almost universally loved by everyone who has the opportunity to gaze upon one. However, I am thrilled to be the owner of an O'Brien.
Erin, may you be greatly blessed in your career. May you find an audience that fully appreciates your efforts as you create the work that rises up from your soul. Thank you for letting me have the chance to be your friend and patron.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
While most of us spend our lives striving to rise above the level of mediocrity with just one gift, there are a rare few who can headline on more than one stage. Nike made sure we knew about Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson playing two professional sports. However, the average American doesn't know that the guy who won a gold medal in the '84 Olympics and was the number 2 overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft was arguably the greatest bass guitar player ever. I'll admit, I didn't know of his talent until 1996 when I picked up "In The Zone."
In addition to that Gold Medal with Coach Knight, in 12 NBA seasons Wayman averaged over 15 points a game; so his talent on the court is understood. The shocking thing is that Wayman was a better bass guitarist than basketball player.
Paul McCartney and Peter Cetera made a lot more money with the bass. Leland Sklar appears on a LOT MORE tracks than Wayman. Stanley Clarke, Mark King, and Marcus Miller... well, they're the reason I said "arguably" up above. Yeah. For real... Wayman truly was THAT good.
Wayman, I miss you. Although you and I never met, we shared at least one friend in common. Still, when I would listen to Channel 71 on Sirius and hear your immediately recognizable sound, I felt like we were friends, too. I'm sorry you're gone, Wayman. Nevertheless, I am just glad I was blessed to get to experience it when almost 15 years ago I heard you request, "Come and Watch Me Play."
discovered Wayman's musical gift or his amazing smile.)
Monday, September 20, 2010
Last week a homemade Panther Saw showed up on Ebay. There were two signs that immediately told me it was not genuine. However, I gladly made the opening bid of 99 cents because I would love to have this guy as a side by side comparison with my genuine Panther saw.
However, a couple of days ago the seller canceled the auction and relisted it with a Buy It Now price of $349.99.
Here are the three pictures that accompany the auction.
Is it just me, or does this saw appear to only have a "panther" carved on one side of the handle? Wow, that is what we humans would refer to as a "RED FLAG." (In other far, far away galaxies they would call that "A disturbance in THE FORCE.")
Also, do you see that pointy area inside the opening of the handle (in the area where the ring finger knuckle would be)? That shape (pointing toward the front of the saw) is normally seen on other saw brands (like Disston Saws). Woodrough & McParlin, the company that patented the Panther Saw, is often seen with a rounded opening inside the handle. I believe I've seen "pointy" areas on some Woodrough & McParlin handles, but I have never seen a Panther Saw with an outwardly pointy area.
Here, let's look at the opening on my Panther Saw as a comparison.
So I realize that this much data would not carry any weight with OJ's jury, but to me, it more than implies that the saw on Ebay was an experimental carving by someone. Nevertheless, I wanted to get additional information. Also, I wanted to let this apparently genuine seller realize that she was most likely overstating the authenticity of this item. So I sent her the following question through Ebay's proper channel:
Subject: jeff has sent a question about item #230528219160, ending on Sep-26-10 10:07:24 PDT - Unusual Old Carved Handle Lion's Head Saw (Panther?)
Sent Date: Sep-20-10 08:05:22 PDT
It appears you have a fake/home-made Panther Saw. Can you confirm the "panther head" is only on one side? Also, on a real panther saw the area of the handle was enlarged at the front to allow enough room for the head to be carved. From the photos you provided it appears a Boy Scout carved a tiny little panther head into the existing wooden handle (and only on one side).
Do you have any Larger/Better Photos available?
Folks, I honestly thought I was being helpful. Then, a few hours later I receive this response:
You don't have to be rude. If you don't like the saw don't bid. This saw was inspected by a Director of the Midwest Tool Collectors Association, and he set the value.
I will admit her response triggered multiple WTF thoughts in my head. And after months of experiencing what TRUE internet rudeness is and just trying to avoid anonymous conflict, I made the decision that as the owner of a genuine Panther Saw I would defend the honor. (It's sort of like those websites where a genuine former Navy Seal goes through the effort of out'ing all of the Seal impostors who attempt to pick up chicks by saying they were Navy Seals during the Revolutionary War.)
So, here is the latest email I sent to the seller of the "Carved Disston Saw":
What part of asking if you have other (different) photos is rude?
Also, I was trying to help you avoid the suffering in case you got a buyer who would immediately realize what you have is NOT a Woodrough and McParlin Panther saw.
As for your statement that you had it inspected by someone with the Midwestern Tool Collectors Association, I don't know of any M-WTCA guys who would look at a saw with a Disston handle with a "panther" carved on one side and declare it to be a genuine Woodrough and McParlin panther saw.
So, please, rather than incorrectly calling me rude, are you able to answer the questions I posed?
1) Is the panther carved on only one side?
2) Do you have additional (better...more detailed) photos available?
That's it. That's where we stand. I will let you know if we get a response to my questions. By the way, if you are inclined to jump over to Ebay and pay $350 for a home-made Panther Saw.... take a look at the Medallion, too.
Gee, is that a Disston Keystone I see??? Oh yeah, I'm sure "This saw was inspected by a Director of the Midwest Tool Collectors Association."
There is one other thought....perhaps in the early 1880's Disston paid Woodrough & McParlin for the rights to put a panther of their own on this very special saw. Holy Crap!!!!!!!!! Call Antiques Roadshow!!! I just realized that what we have here is...... An American Treasure.
(Now if we could just figure out why the patina on the blade doesn't line up with the "panther" head. HMMMM....)
Note to self (and my father)...when I Google'd images of "Woodrough and McParlin handle" on the WorldWideWeb and was greeted with my own pictures of my adorable dog (Peyton), I got the best belly laugh I have had in weeks.