In my humble opinion as an antique dealer of over 35 years (OMG has it really been that long)for a budding antique dealer or hobbyist, having the right DIY tools is essential for maintaining, restoring, and showcasing antiques. Here are some recommended tools that could be worth looking at and wont break the bank: These are not set in stone, these are my suggestions, look through and see what sorts your preference.
Everything I recommend I either have or have used, I get almost everything from Amazon (almost) simply because it is so user friendly and if you have prime can get the items, normally the next day. So, some of the ares you may want to consider when getting started.
Screwdrivers Set: A set with various sizes and types of screwdrivers for disassembling and reassembling furniture or other antique items. It pays to have a selection of sizes and ideally magnetic, nothing worse than losing screws.
This set is great value and a must if you are planning on assembling or taking apart furniture, metalware etc.
Restoration Kit: This may include wood fillers, wood glue, sandpaper in different grits, stains, varnishes, and polish to restore and refurbish wooden pieces. Depending on what you are looking to restore there are literally thousands of products on the market. Where should you start. My advice is, get the basics and build on it. Wood fillers in maybe three shades, light, medium and dark. A good beeswax polish is recomended, dont skimp on tgis one, a quality wax will be worth the money and the final results. Sandpapers across all grades, get a mixed set to start. The tester stain kit is worth having and enables easy matching.
Small Hand Tools: Pliers, wire cutters, and small hammers for minor repairs, adjustments, or delicate work on smaller items.
Alternatively an all in one kit can be exceptional value when starting out. You can always add extra tools later on, if you feel you want to expand on what you are doing. The one below is great value in terms of what it includes as it covers just about every tool you might need at the beginning.
Precision Tools: Calipers, measuring tapes, and levels for ensuring accuracy in measurements and alignment when working on antique pieces. Stanley are the go to name for tape measures, accurate, reliable and normally very good quality.
My advice is buy a set of two. Why? Simply because if yiou are anything like me you will misplace one and there is nothing more frustrating when yiou need to measure an item and have no idea where you left your measure. (You have been warned).
Cleaning Supplies: Soft brushes, microfiber cloths, and specialized cleaning solutions suitable for various materials such as metals, glass, or fabrics. You may well find that you possess a number of ceaning solutions that will tick most of the boxes. I would advise getting a good supply of microfibre cloths, I buy them in bulk via Amazon - see below. I use different colours for different tasks - Blue for silver polishing, yellow for waxing furniture etc. etc.
Safety Gear: Safety glasses, gloves, dust masks, and ear protection to ensure safety while working with tools and materials. This is an absolute 'must', do not overlook eye protection. Very much persnal taste, go for what you like, these are light and pretty inexpensive. But choose wht works best for you. And dont ever drill, hammer or use abrasive liquids without eye protection!
Magnifying Glass or Loupe: Useful for examining fine details and identifying marks or signatures on smaller items or jewelry. Silver and gold hallmarks needs not just good optics but decent light, this offers led lighting for excellent visual reference. Once again, very much personal preference.
Storage and Display Tools: Shelving units, glass display cases, and lighting options to properly store and showcase antique items.
Digital Camera or Smartphone: For cataloging and documenting inventory. Photos are essential for online listings and keeping track of your collection. To be honest, our mobile phones are so advanced these days that it really is not necessary to spend on cameras. lenses etc. SLRs are wonderful if you already have one but not really needed to begin with or at all in my honest opion.
Reference Materials: Books, guides, or online resources related to antiques, restoration techniques, and identifying authenticity.
Always prioritize quality tools that suit the specific needs of antique restoration and maintenance. Additionally, seeking advice from seasoned antique dealers or restoration experts can provide valuable insights into the tools necessary for your particular line of work.
If furniture is your thing and yoiu have very little know how, this may help. There are many variations on a theme so have a search for exactly what you are looking to do and find the right guidance to get you started. Whatever direction you choose, have fun with it. Restroing, repairing or just enhancing an antique is incredibly satisfying.
We earn a tiny commission from any of the links you may click on and purchase, our endorsements are based on our belief oin the items. There are many alternatives and these are just our suggestions. Enjoy!