• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

another rare, old, collectable, vintage chisel!

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Grahamshed

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2012
Messages
3,066
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordish
Call me a Philistine if you will but I really do not see the attraction in old hand tools. When we cleared out my fathers house there was a box full of old screwdrivers and 'stuff' , most of which ended up in the bin. :) Sacrilege to some, I know.
 

wallace

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2011
Messages
2,007
Reaction score
38
Location
county durham
Graham the way I see it old tools are nine times out of ten far superior than nearly everything you buy these days. Better quality steel, better casting and feel better in the hand.
Mark
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
2
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
Grahamshed":1wgtueq5 said:
Call me a Philistine if you will but I really do not see the attraction in old hand tools. When we cleared out my fathers house there was a box full of old screwdrivers and 'stuff' , most of which ended up in the bin. :) Sacrilege to some, I know.
Not at all Graham. If it wasn't for people like you we wouldn't be able to pick up valuable and quality tools at bootfairs for mere pence! :wink:

And someone's got to buy the tat that they sell these days! :mrgreen:

Chris...that's tool abuse right there mate! #-o Mind you...I need some stumps of quality steel this weekend for some nickers following Giuliano's excellent thread (and Derek's one too!) 8) Two bids 99p eh! Let's see what I can pick up tomorrow in the field! :mrgreen:

Jim
 

t8hants

Established Member
Joined
17 Apr 2010
Messages
682
Reaction score
19
Location
Isle of Wight
I am not convinced that all old was gold. I am sure there were some budget tool horrors available way back then as well. Some of the tat I have found in bootfair boxes just scream rubbish even from the day it was made, back when LLoyd George knew my Grandfather! Yes some excellent tools have had a hard life and have slipped into neglect and decay, but some have never risen past the dross they were made from and should be done away with in land fill or recycled as you prefer. Tools like all other items produced, have been made to a price piched to sell, as well as those priced to match the quality of their production and function.

Its the same in the world of classic motorcycles some were awful when new and have not improved with age, despite the benifit of being labelled 'classic', nor does it exclude them from being collectable if that is your thing, they just may not be any good as machines and never were!

Gareth
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
2
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
I don't remember anyone saying ALL old was gold... :wink:

Of course there was rubbish back then...but the rubbish was in the minority unlike today where quality makers are few and far between and tools made by accountants in China are the norm.

I'm generally talking pre-WWII...after that austerity and tinkering with alchemy prevailed and things went down hill rapidly.

If you are selective at bootfairs and tool sales you can get seriously quality stuff for next to nothing. At MAC Timbers open day...Brian Jackson was selling loads of chisels for instance..."any three for £20". A quick glance showed that these included Ashley Iles, Sorby, Ward, Addis....amongst others. And that price was retail.

And I think the FleaBay chisel was rehandled with whatever they had around...probably an abused screwdriver....solid handle...do a swap..scenario.

Jim
 

Richard T

Established Member
Joined
24 Apr 2009
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
0
Location
Wet Midlands
Graham - you're not a Philistine; otherwise I'd have to take a slingshot to you. I'm sure it's just a case of yet to be experienced. :)
 

woodbloke

Established Member
Joined
13 Apr 2006
Messages
11,770
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury, UK
Grahamshed":3k7y3gg8 said:
Call me a Philistine if you will but I really do not see the attraction in old hand tools. When we cleared out my fathers house there was a box full of old screwdrivers and 'stuff' , most of which ended up in the bin. :) Sacrilege to some, I know.
Agreed. As others have said, there was an awful lot of 'tat' made in the olden days as well which hasn't survived...so maybe it's just the better stuff that seems to surface . There's plenty of good stuff made now as well (not so during the 70's etc) which to me is infinitely preferable to something that has to be nursed back to life having resided in a bucket of rust for the last umpteen years. I remain to be convinced that any Western steel (old or new) will surpass the cutting and edge holding qualities of my current Japanese chisels (no longer available) from WH...and I've tried most of them over the years (Old Marples, new AI, Sorby, Two Cherries etc etc) - Rob...Phillistine No. Deux :mrgreen:
 

Cheshirechappie

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Messages
4,867
Reaction score
144
Location
Cheshire
woodbloke":2ofp8bkf said:
Grahamshed":2ofp8bkf said:
Call me a Philistine if you will but I really do not see the attraction in old hand tools. When we cleared out my fathers house there was a box full of old screwdrivers and 'stuff' , most of which ended up in the bin. :) Sacrilege to some, I know.
Agreed. As others have said, there was an awful lot of 'tat' made in the olden days as well which hasn't survived...so maybe it's just the better stuff that seems to surface . There's plenty of good stuff made now as well (not so during the 70's etc) which to me is infinitely preferable to something that has to be nursed back to life having resided in a bucket of rust for the last umpteen years. I remain to be convinced that any Western steel (old or new) will surpass the cutting and edge holding qualities of my current Japanese chisels (no longer available) from WH...and I've tried most of them over the years (Old Marples, new AI, Sorby, Two Cherries etc etc) - Rob...Phillistine No. Deux :mrgreen:
I'd agree up to a point.

I think we live in a time when it has never been easier, if you know where to go, to obtain tools of the very finest quality. There are quite a number of boutique toolmakers, cottage indutries and small firms making and importing some of the best tools that have ever been made - many at prices that could not have been charged for tools before WW2. There is also a large DIY market, fed by some of the most atrocious cheap tat ever foisted upon a gullible market. I think that situation has arisen since WW2, driven by the rise of DIY and factory-based production of furniture, which in it's turn drove the old style of jobbing tradesman out of existence, and taking with it the market for decent, mid-price-range tools.

Before WW2, there were far more tradesmen and craftsmen doing hand work, both at the bench and on site - jobbing repairs, local builders, that sort of thing - and even more so before WW1. Thus, there was a large market for decent, well made tools that whilst not cheap, didn't cost the earth. There wasn't a market for cheap tat - very little DIY - so far fewer genuinely bad quality tools. The decent ones were made and sold in large numbers, and being of decent quality, many have survived; especially those that didn't see a lot of use, and received reasonable care. If they were decent then, they still are - so are worth a bit of effort to refurbish and use.

The old tool route is also an excellent way to assemble the basis of a good kit of decent tools without spending a fortune. To equip a workshop for hand furniture making needs a reasonable number of tools - say about 100. Bought new, that's a fair old investment - and may be beyond the means of many. Buying the very best tools available today would be a very serious investment, and beyond all but the very wealthiest. But buying secondhand is within the reach of most - and has the added satisfaction of rescuing decent tools from the ignominy of the council tip, and giving them a new lease of life.

By all means buy some tools new - I have - but old ones can be plenty good enough, and sometimes better than anything available new.
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
2
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
Yet again a fine summary by our scholar and gentlemen MrCC! =D>

Just to add...the reason why there are so many owner marks on tools from times of yore was that they were so very expensive...and if quality...super expensive. These were the livelihood of these craftsmen and to lose or damage them often meant going hungry.

If you look at some of the craftsmanship on a simple wooden plane...(my latest slope!)...things like boxing...iron shaping and superbly crafted mouths are quite awe-inspiring. Having tried to infill a metal plane...I know that serious skill is needed to make these by hand....let alone invisible peining!

Remember to get to this level of craftsmanship these days invariably requires a milling machine, CNC computer...hi-tech metallurgy...none of which was available to our skilled ancestors.

I can probably count on one hand toolmakers plying their craft in the traditional truly "handmade" fashion...and I include the likes of Richard T and other keen enthusiasts.

The greatest reason for these firms disappearing is labour cost...price...full stop. Then we lose the skills...then it dies.

Ironically it is the Internet which has prevented this death. Like-minded craftsmen can now come to places like this for what is effectively an online apprenticeship. Given inherent talent...a few will learn from others and carry on the tradition.

I am very positive about the chances of survival now simply because of the ease of sharing information and archiving and retrieval of information...

Jim
 

woodbloke

Established Member
Joined
13 Apr 2006
Messages
11,770
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury, UK
Cheshirechappie":3nbvhzvx said:
The old tool route is also an excellent way to assemble the basis of a good kit of decent tools without spending a fortune.
And there you have it...agreed. But if you wanted to assemble a basic, decent set of new hand tools (as I had to when starting college in the 70's and the best then was appalling by today's standards) then you certainly don't need a vast amount...way less that a 100. My tools for Shoreditch had to fit into a box around 650 x 150 x 400mm and I managed to fit everything in there + from the supplied tool list. Look also at the hand tools used by the late, great Alan Peters. Granted, he had the use of a fully equipped machine shop, but the actual hand tools he used could roughly be counted on the fingers of both hands (slight exageration there, but you get the drift) Similarly, my 'shop at school when I was a HOD was equipped with older chisels etc which weren't bad, but my subsequent LN A2's later on at home were far preferable...not that I'd go down the A2 route now any more as better steels have surpassed it.
The older stuff is OK, but it sometimes galls me when others rave about the so called 'superior' quality of old tools compared to the better end of today's stuff and I don't refer to the super-exotic gear like Holtey planes etc, just good, middle of the road stuff like Cliffies, LN and Veritas...and hand forged Japanese steel is better than any of them :mrgreen: (hammer) - Rob
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
2
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
I rave about the quality of selected old steel because I simply could not afford any of the "middle of the road" makers you mention and my recently honed by Douglas (for fun! :shock: ) I.Sorby paring chisel is more than sharp enough for what I do...cost me less than a couple of burgers and didn't require a mortgage.

The stunningly beautiful hand forged Japanese steel that you love is without doubt superior to most things other than a laser from the planet Krypton but may I ask how much a 1" one of those would set me back? Most of the national debt is my guess...and it would be pipper-all use on a building site. :wink:

I think the point is...you can't generalise. What is a pure gem for some..is perhaps tat for others....and I bet your hand crafted razor sharp Oriental collection can't open paint tins...just too brittle mate!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :wink:

Jim
 

woodbloke

Established Member
Joined
13 Apr 2006
Messages
11,770
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury, UK
jimi43":3gj1cqku said:
I rave about the quality of selected old steel because I simply could not afford any of the "middle of the road" makers you mention and my recently honed by Douglas (for fun! :shock: ) I.Sorby paring chisel is more than sharp enough for what I do...cost me less than a couple of burgers and didn't require a mortgage.

The stunningly beautiful hand forged Japanese steel that you love is without doubt superior to most things other than a laser from the planet Krypton but may I ask how much a 1" one of those would set me back? Most of the national debt is my guess...and it would be pipper-all use on a building site. :wink:

I think the point is...you can't generalise. What is a pure gem for some..is perhaps tat for others....and I bet your hand crafted razor sharp Oriental collection can't open paint tins...just too brittle mate!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :wink:

Jim
Not having a pop at you at all Jim because we agree about more things than we disagree on (if that makes sense) but a decent quality 25mm Japanese chisel, say from CHT will set you back £72.90 which is a lot of wonga...the one's that Matt used to sell were equally as good, but a lot less, I think I paid around £35ish if memory serves and yes, of course you couldn't use them on a building site and equally they're not for opening paint pots. But then again, neither are any of your re-furbed oldies! My tools have been built up over many years and are all meant to be 'users' (apart from some planes :oops: ) so that when something better comes along, they may get replaced if the performance is significantly better. The latest steel from LV, the PM-V11 stuff has the initial 'feel good' factor though a recent discussion with a very well known and respected member of this community [-( has cast some doubt on it's viability...we shall have to wait and see - Rob
 

Cheshirechappie

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Messages
4,867
Reaction score
144
Location
Cheshire
Jimi - I can imagine most of my former schoolmasters raising a quizzical eyebrow or emitting a barely-concealed snigger at the idea of the word 'scholar' being used of me - but I'll accept the compliment anyway! As for 'gentleman' - well, it takes one to know one - and this forum in general seems very well populated with them - one of it's great strengths, I feel.

Rob - I take your point about a starter kit, but stand (roughly) by my number of about 100, especially for the amateur in the garage or shed. You can't do much woodwork without needing a cramp or several, for example, and it doesn't take long before you run into the need for a gouge or two, a high-angle smoother, a bowsaw, a couple of rasps...or many another not-often-used-but-invaluable item. Being able to sharpen your own saws is a very valuable skill, but adds another six or seven tools to the list.

So - for the ordinary chap with bills to pay and a family to feed, stretching the budget is essential if he's to equip his shed with enough to enjoy woodworking to a bit better than just DIY standards. Even then, it takes most of us several years to reach the happy point of normally having a tool for the job without resorting to compromises or dodgy wangles.

On the subject of steels, it would indeed be surprising, given the technical advances of the last century or so, if we hadn't developed better ones. Indeed in some ways, it's a surprise it took so long for the woodworking world to go looking for better steels. I think I'll leave the assessments to those better qualified than I - all my edge tools are either the old cast steel, or the (slightly) more modern O1 types (except my Robert Sorby paring chisels, which I gather are made of a grade of spring steel). They all work well enough for me, but I'm not pushing the boundaries of woodworking, and having no experience of A2 or the other modern introductions, I'm in no position to comment anyway.

Oh - just in passing - one of my most useful tools is a very cheap screwdriver from the Halfords bargain bin. It had a damaged tip when I bought it (for 25p) about 25 years ago, and I never reshaped it. I just use it for all the 'abuse' jobs that screwdrivers usually get - like opening paint cans, poking crud out of corners, throwing at unwanted visitors to the workshop - that sort of thing - thus saving my proper screwdrivers for their intended function.
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
2
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
SEVENTY TWO SQUIDS!!!!



Are you BARKING MAD!!! :mrgreen:

ALFIE says Dad can get nearly 3/4 of CC's required stock of 100 for that!!! :wink:

Jim
 

woodbloke

Established Member
Joined
13 Apr 2006
Messages
11,770
Reaction score
0
Location
Salisbury, UK
Cheshirechappie":1f7g22x8 said:
I take your point about a starter kit, but stand (roughly) by my number of about 100, especially for the amateur in the garage or shed. You can't do much woodwork without needing a cramp or several, for example, and it doesn't take long before you run into the need for a gouge or two, a high-angle smoother, a bowsaw, a couple of rasps...or many another not-often-used-but-invaluable item. Being able to sharpen your own saws is a very valuable skill, but adds another six or seven tools to the list.

So - for the ordinary chap with bills to pay and a family to feed, stretching the budget is essential if he's to equip his shed with enough to enjoy woodworking to a bit better than just DIY standards. Even then, it takes most of us several years to reach the happy point of normally having a tool for the job without resorting to compromises or dodgy wangles.
I was referring to the basic kit that the college asked students to supply...most just threw the tools into the toolbox but if they were correctly racked out inside, then there was a lot more room for other stuff, which I over time added, but yes, in most cases tools are acquired over a period of time. In my case it was a long time and I still have a pretty minimalist (apart from the planes :oops: ) set of tools which enable me to do the sort of stuff I like making, which is generally smaller cabinets and boxes. All of my hand tools (apart from the planes) are racked out on a bit of board about 6x4' which is not a great deal of space, so I need to be pretty selective about what goes onto the 'Tool Wall'
I think this is also part of it...we acquire the tools for the sort of work that we like to do. If we build barns or lock gates then heavier duty stuff is required, if we go in for repro stuff with lots of fancy mouldings, then a selection of moulding planes is essential etc etc. I've spoken with Matt from WH at Pete Sefton's bash about a future project (walnut cabinet on a teak sculpted stand) which will require much better rasps than I currently have, so when the time comes, I'll get hold of a decent set from him. Specific tools for specific jobs really - Rob
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
12,030
Reaction score
492
Location
Bristol
I just had a look and saw that the old worn-out stub of chisel stuck into a bashed about screwdriver handle that Soulboy spotted actually sold - for 99p + £2.80 postage, despite being mis-described as a 3/8" mortice chisel.



The buyer was someone who has bought quite a lot of old 'collectable' tools on eBay so maybe they can see some virtue in it that has eluded the rest of us! Is it anyone on here I wonder?
 

jimi43

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2009
Messages
6,921
Reaction score
2
Location
Kent - the Garden of England
If I wasn't so scrupulous I would take the steel out...make a facsimile of a turnscrew used on guns...you know the flat tapered to the front things...put it on the handle having first filled the worm holes and darkened it to rosewood....

£20-30

Then I would use the steel to make some nickers.....£5 worth.

:wink:

And NO! I didn't buy it! :mrgreen:

Jimi
 

Cheshirechappie

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Messages
4,867
Reaction score
144
Location
Cheshire
Not me, either. I'm all for restoring good tools that have fallen on hard times, but you have to draw a line somewhere...
 
Top