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 10-4 EST Tuesday through Friday. 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.

Q: How do I bid through the website?

Some things to note about our
  • You must create an account and log in to bid. You will get a verification email to activate your account after you've registered. Check your spam folder if you don't see the email right away. 
  • Below the Login Form on the right side of the webpage, choose "Create an Account" Fill in the required information, and you can then log in with that account going forward to place or review bids. OR Log In if you've previously made an account on the new system.
  • Prior to placing your first bid, it will require you to accept the terms and conditions. After you hit accept, go back to the auction list by clicking Current Auction in the menu above and return to your lot you wish to bid on and try again to submit a bid.
  • When logged into your account, the new system allows for a watch list and review of placed bids (under the Current Auction drop down menu when on the auction system platform).
  • You will receive individual email confirmations for each bid placed. Please check your Spam folders and/or add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your approved senders lists in your email settings if you are not receiving the confirmation emails.
  • You can always check the "My Bids" section of the website to confirm or review any placed bids.
  • New search capabilities! You can search by keyword or browse by category.
  • Please feel free to email any suggestions you may have for the new system and we will look into it. We appreciate your patience as we transition to this new bidding platform.
  • Initial bids must be received by the final SATURDAY before the auction. Initial bids may be raised until the end of the auction on SUNDAY by calling (800) 964-9036 until 10:00PM EST