Bush & Chipper


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11 Oct 2014
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No, this isnt an adults only thread.
I wanted to cut a piece of glass and dug out my fathers glass cutter. Its supposed to be a diamond but it didnt cut, so I examined it closely (more closely than I have in the last 60 years) to see if it could be resharpened only to discover thats who made it!
What a brilliant manufacturing name, Bush & Chipper, London. Its brass ended on what looks like it might be an ebony handle, or it might just have a 100 years worth of grime on beech for all I know. The diamond is brazed onto the end.
I'm going to keep it just for the name.

Any of you old catalogue people got any info on the company?
To be completely accurate......:p... The diamond has been rested on the brass end plate, and brazing built up around it so the diamond cant fall off.:cool:
To be even more accurate --- the likelyhood is that the diamond was placed in a small indentation (hole) along with brazing 'powder' and then the whole thing placed in an 'induction' coil heater for a second or two. This is how I used to have to make the diamond tools used to dress the wheels of Matrix Thread Grinders - way back in the late 50's.
😄 There are many who do Bob -- regrettably increased age doesn't always equate to increased knowledge, or ability!
What's this Bob? An old hand tool? How did you plug it in? 😙

I can't offer much except to agree with your sentiments. Grace's Guide has this ad from 1907. I guess they were better at diamonds than they were at spelling...


Whenever Andy or someone else of similarly inestimable wisdom posts a link like this to an old tool makers, a seller of planes, hardware etc I have a little thing I do.
I work all over London and the thing to do in any old city that people tend not to do is look up. In my job I have a different view of buildings than most, working high up on the ropes as I do. Maybe that's it. I am always a bit fascinated by architecture etc etc Victorian brickwork is my secret fetish. Shhhh! Oooof. Look at that twin fluted Chimney!
The fact that pictures I looked at as a kid (I'm mid 40's now) seemed like ancient history then, but really it's only a generation or two back. A time when you saw everything hanging outside the shop. Everyone wore hats. Like the remnents of old faded store painted advertising. Turns out there's (apparently) even a name for those: Ghost signs. The faded parts of the older city that lurk just behind the neon signs and street lights and shopfronts selling £6 coffees.
The Ghost Signs of London
Ok. I'm digressing. I know. Unusual eh!?! 🧐
But what I do is I type the addresses into Street Maps. Normally it's just a stark reminder of the pace of change in any urban environment. Like this one. I knew it was in Clerkenwell and yeh, it's just boring now. Big blocks of flats. Nowt new. Google Maps *sigh*
But I like to look anyway.
Just in case there's anything interesting.

Also Andy. I harbour a suspicion that's not a typo. I reckon that's an early, misguided but honourable attempt at Deliberate Brand Recognition Marketing. 🙂

Back on topic!
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Andy, I have quite a lot of manually operated tools, one day I shall find out how to use them. 🤪
My dad died 42 years ago, I got quite a few of his tools, including chisels (shh, dont tell Mike) and a greenslades coffin plane, and a tiny Stanley 101 arris plane. I mostly just look at them.

You have it exactly, That IS my glass cutter. I like the mis spell. I expect the typrsetter was on the beer that day and the company wouldnt pay to have it reset. Dont suppose you have a link to a diamond sharpening thread? :cool:

Chris, you child you. 🙄 I was riding motorcycles around London in the 60's and driving in the 70's. Back then there actually was time to look up occasionally and quite often stuff worth looking at. Pretty sure I delivered to a small shed engineering shop in Goswell road in 73.
Hey Bob, this might be of interest. It's from a 1902 catalogue from Nurse and Company. They were big London tool dealers, the Axminster of their day.


Just look at those prices! For comparisons, in the same catalogue a set of 12 best quality boxwood handled chisels was 10 shillings. An imported Stanley No 5 plane was 8 shillings. A London-made steel mitre plane which would now be worth over £300 was 16s 6d.

If your old man could afford even the most basic diamond, he was making an investment in his work akin to buying a systainer full of something from Festool today.
Andy, my Dad was an extremely fine craftsman with wood, metal, and in later years, portrait painting in oils. He was also a past master at not spending a penny more than he had to. 🤪 I can be dead certain dad did not buy that.:rolleyes:

I like the fact they claim the DIAMONDS are made in London. And here's all of us thinking they cant be reproduced.
Coincidentally, I have a Charles Nurse coffin plane that I bought at a car boot sale for a very small sum of money. 5 years on and I still havent made a shaving with it. I might see about getting a few of my surplus tools back to the UK for selling on.
Perhaps he won it in a poker game?
Buying new isn't the only way to acquire tools!
I expect he won it from an employer at some time.
His games were cribbage and darts, and back then nobody went to the pub tooled up. :)