For some of us, vintage tools are impossible to resist. The mere sight of them incites an overwhelming compulsion to buy, regardless of need.

Skip Brack, proprietor of the Jonesport Wood Co., understands. His three stores — Hulls Cove Tool Barn, Captain Tinkham's Emporium, and Liberty Tool Co., all in Maine — contain a vast selection of antique tools. A walk along their aisles invites massive sensory overload: Shelves creak beneath the weight of every kind of old woodworking and...

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