Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Must Have Them ALL!!!!!!!

A few weeks ago we talked about Ken Wisner planes. Then about a week after that blog entry a very special Wisner showed up on Ebay. It was special (in my opinion) because it had WISNER cast into the side of it in the area where I have always seen Ken Wisner’s name hand scribed. Naturally, I had to have it. It would perfectly complement the one I own with the autograph.

As I followed the end of the auction on Ebay, I was pretty sure I was going to win it. It was going for about $85 and I knew that I had my AuctionSniper price set for at least 50% more than that. As the closing seconds ticked away, I waited to see my name and bid magically appear. Then, with 5 seconds to go nothing happened. AuctionSniper blew my bid. I watched as someone else won my plane (with the cast in name) for about $90. I was not crestfallen; I was PISSED. I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars through AuctionSniper going back to at least 2001, and it had never failed me before.

I emailed, called, did that whole “Automotive Engineer SENSE-OF-URGENCY Crap” and tracked down what went wrong. I put a permanent corrective action place, and I should have no more AuctionSniper trouble as long as I live. However, it is little consolation since I had missed the only Ken Wisner plane I had ever seen with the name cast in.

Then it happened.

In our universe where celebrities die in threes…apparently Name-Cast Wisners appear in pairs on Ebay. Less than a month after the AuctionSniper fiasco a second one appeared out of nowhere. The bad news is that it was due to end while we were in Ireland. I would have no choice but to trust AuctionSniper to bring it home for me. I placed my bid on AuctionSniper and left the country. I actually forgot about the plane…(the wood cutting plane….I thought a lot about jet planes while out over the ocean.) Then one day in Ireland while checking my email I found I had completed my Wisner collection by winning the auction. My successful AuctionSniper bid easily covered the second highest guy and I brought it into the fold for $107.50.

The plane actually made it to my house before I did. We were still in Ireland when my mother-in-law collected the package off of our porch. So along with the suitcases, the new Wisner got unpacked when I arrived home. Take a look at it.

It actually has grime on it.

I held him up to the light and tried to imagine his life over the last 30 years. I wondered what kind of work he had done to accumulate this kind of gritty patina. As I pondered his existence the little plane opened his mouth and yelled at me in a voice surprising like Mr. T’s, “I’m blue collar, Fool!!!! I ain’t no Bridge City sittin’ on a collector’s shelf. I’ve had to pay the cost to be the boss!!!!! Now give me somethin’ to cut on, Boy!!!!!”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him I already had a Wisner #95. I could not find the cojones to let him know I had only purchased him to complete my Wisner collection. I don’t think he could handle it. There’s a lot of working class anger pent up in this grimy little guy.

1 comment:

Bill Liebold said...


Just wondering if you have the Woodcraft 80th Anniversary Lie-Nielsen white bronze block plane yet? My local store only got in two! Happy hunting.