Q: What’s the relationship between the Fine Tool Journal, Brown Auction Services, and Antique and Collectible Tools Inc.?

A: For the last 20 years or so, both the Fine Tool Journal and Brown Auction Services were owned by Antique and Collectible Tools Inc., which is owned by Clarence Blanchard of Pownal, Maine. In 2012, ACT sold the Fine Tool Journal to Jim Gehring, but kept Brown’s. In 2014, Clarence sold Brown's to Jim, and both auctions are now under common ownership again as Fine Tool Journal, LLC to best handle and market consigned collections. Clarence and Jim continue to cooperate in the evaluation and marketing of tool collections.

Q: How do the absentee auctions work?

A: We hold four absentee auctions each year. The lots contained in the current auction are described with photographs in each issue of the Journal, and the descriptions are also posted on the web site. Each auction runs for approximately a month after the issue is mailed, and always ends on a Sunday night. During that period, you can place bids by filling out the bid form included in the Journal and mailing or faxing it, by phone, or through the web site. You must place your bids by the Saturday before the end of the auction. On the final Sunday, you can call to check on your bids and raise your bids, but only on items that you’ve already bid on. You can’t place a bid on a new item for the first time on Sunday. The auction runs until 15 minutes have elapsed with no new bids being received on Sunday night. For more details, see the auction rules in the current edition of the Journal, or on the web site.

Q: How do I consign a tool for auction?

A: We are always interested in tools for consignment. The Fine Tool Journal is under common ownership with Brown Auction Services. Tools can be listed in either one of Brown’s International Tool Auctions or the Journal’s absentee auctions, which gives you two different potential auction venues. If you have tools you are thinking of selling, please contact Jim Gehring at (800) 248-8114. We will travel to look at a collection, or one of the many nationwide events may bring us into your area, and we will arrange the packing and shipment of your tools.

Q: If I am looking for a certain tool could you possibly have it?

A: Although tools are consigned to us primarily for auction, if you are looking for a particular tool give us a call and we can check our inventory to see if we have it, and if the consignor is willing to sell outright. 

Q: Is it possible to write an article for the Fine Tool Journal?

A: Yes, we are always interested in seeing the work of new contributors. If you have an idea for an article, give us a call.

Q: Can people advertise in the Fine Tool Journal?

A: Yes, the Journal accepts both display and classified ads. Classified ads are 25 cents per word. $3.75 minimum charge. You can run the same ad in 2 issues for 1-1/2 times the one issue rate. For more information about display ads, give us a call.

Q: Where is the Fine Tool Journal located, and how do I contact you?

A: The offices of the Fine Tool Journal and Brown Tool Auctions are located on the grounds of Ronora Lodge & Retreat Center in Watervliet, which is just outside of Benton Harbor in western Michigan. Our office hours are 10-5 Eastern time weekdays. Our phone number is (800) 964-9036, or you can e-mail us at www.finetoolj@gmail.com You can also reach Jim Gehring directly at (312) 953-6898.