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Ashley Iles edge tools tour

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SMALMALEKI

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Dear All

I have been reading about different chisels on my hunt for a new set of chisels.
I know there are companies which make tools in the England. Some of them have bought up other brands and produce multiple brands under one roof. But as far as my limited research reveals one of the few tool makers who still hand forges the chisels is Ashley Iles.
Last weekend I had arranged to visit them in their factory and they kindly offered me a tour of factory.

This is their entire factory all under one roof.

They start with a round steel road. The first ting to make is the Tang. Which allows them to hold it and rotate it in the drop down press. To build the bolster.

Then they take it through series of roller press where the blades start to shape.

The next step depends on the shape of chisel to be made. Each set of drop down press moulds have two matching cast moulds. They usually work on bunch of 400 chisels before changing the set. After series of drop down press the chisels grounded on a massive stone.
The next step is to heat treat them to harden the blade to a set standards. They check hardness with a specific machine on three point of each chisel.

Then it comes to flattening the back and bevels. It is done by hand again. For turning and carving chisels they have resin loaded stones shaped to each chisel. Thereafter it is all about finish. They don’t turn the handles themselves and handles are bought from another firm.

You can see the steps on the photo with all the steps in one picture.

Then they have to wait for few weeks until they have made all the required sizes before putting them together for sale as a set.
 

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SVB

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Looks great and fantastic they took the time to show you round - thanks for posting also.
 

SMALMALEKI

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I was thinking of booking a tour bus for sometime in March -April to arrange a tour of Ashley Iles edge tools as a day trip if there are enough interest. (hammer)
 

AndyT

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SMALMALEKI":1l3b0gmm said:
I was thinking of booking a tour bus for sometime in March -April to arrange a tour of Ashley Iles edge tools as a day trip if there are enough interest. (hammer)
That's a nice thought, but given how spread out we all are, for some of us the two videos on the Tools for Working Wood website could be the next best thing.

Start here and scroll down to the thumbnails https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/m ... 2.html?v=v
 

Doug B

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I did the tour many years ago fascinating to see the processes that go into making their tools, while over there it’s well worth a visit to The Old Tool Store run by Ray Iles in Horncastle, an Aladdin’s cave of old hand tools & Rays a font of knowledge.
 
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