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Cheshirechappie

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I've been watching a 1/16" Brades chisel on Ebay this last week. I could do with a very small chisel. When it reached £16 with two days still to go, I decided not to bother. It sold for £32-50 in the end - with 14 bidders.

You can get a brand new Ashley Isles 1/16" dovetail chisel for less than £25 (which I probably will, now). Why pay about 30% more sight unseen for a secondhand one?
 

baldpate

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It astounds me too when this sort of thing happens. I can only think that the bidders don't do their on-line research. To be completely honest, though, I too have overpaid for one or two Ebay purchases some years ago - mainly out of impatience to get my hands on a particular type of tool : I could have bought better and cheaper by waiting and watching.
 

Gerard Scanlan

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I have had a Ashley Ilses 1/16 inch dovetail chisel for 3 months. It is really superb. I now have 5 AI s and another on order (different sizes). I am amazed how long the little chisel holds it's edge. It is one of those chisels that once I have picked it up to use it that I have to stop myself using it for jobs I should be using a bigger chisel for! Plus it has a good guarantee through Workshop Heaven and if you get an old one through ebay you never know if someone has not over heated it on a grinder.
 

adidat

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Cheshirechappie":sq1z2n30 said:
I've been watching a 1/16" Brades chisel on Ebay this last week. I could do with a very small chisel. When it reached £16 with two days still to go, I decided not to bother. It sold for £32-50 in the end - with 14 bidders.

You can get a brand new Ashley Isles 1/16" dovetail chisel for less than £25 (which I probably will, now). Why pay about 30% more sight unseen for a secondhand one?

i could try and dig you one out, 3mm(or close to it) in exchange for a few beer tokens.

adidat
 

Cheshirechappie

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Thanks, adidat, that's a kind offer.

As it happens, I already have an 1/8" (lovely little vintage one by W. Butcher), but for some jobs it's too big. Many years ago, I bought some Bristol Design chisels when the choice otherwise was plastic handles or hunt about for secondhand (no interweb in those days). One of those was a 2mm, which is useful. Now, I'm loathe to criticise Bristol Design for two reasons - firstly their vintage tools business is highly reputable, and has always given me very good service, and secondly the new chisels were a brave attempt to offer something of quality when there wasn't much else around (this was about early 1990's). However, despite the fact that the steel takes and holds a very good edge, I've never been entirely happy with them. Flattening the backs took for ever, the bevels are not very fine, the handles were a tad variable and the little 2mm chisel tapers from 2mm at the cutting edge to about 4mm near the tang, so it tends to jam in the cut.

A recent 'significant milestone' birthday brought forth some new Ashley Isles mark 2 b/e chisels (following a request for hints), and I'm more than impressed with them so far. So with that experience, and Gerard's comments above (thanks Gerard), I think I shall be trotting along to Workshop Heaven clutching my hard-earned pennies. I don't mind paying a good price for genuinely good quality and good service, especially if it's the sort of quality that will see out my woodworking days.
 

JohnCee

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Cheshirechappie":2j7g2nuk said:
I've been watching a 1/16" Brades chisel on Ebay this last week. I could do with a very small chisel. When it reached £16 with two days still to go, I decided not to bother. It sold for £32-50 in the end - with 14 bidders.

You can get a brand new Ashley Isles 1/16" dovetail chisel for less than £25 (which I probably will, now). Why pay about 30% more sight unseen for a secondhand one?
Presumably because of the (in my view mistaken) view that the steel used for these old tools is superior to modern stuff?
 

jimi43

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There tend to be common sizes of beautiful old cast steel ones from great names with boxwood handles for next to nothing on FleaBay.

It's the uncommon sizes that get good prices and I have a feeling that, being scarcer...they are not easy to pick up from bootfairs and the like and therefore when one does come up for auction...it commands a higher price.

Anything over an inch from say WARD or SORBY does get good prices...and so they should. Octagonal boxwood ones command a premium price too but occasionally you can pick up great sets with the odd special chisel for no money at all.

ALL my chisels (except the Japanese) came from bootfairs...I have simply loads of them...and am slowly sorting through them tidying them up....



That's just the "done" box...(oh look...the little Beehive knife again!)....and I have three times that much to finish.

Most were pence...and just the fun of researching the marks is worth that much.

BTW....I don't store them like that normally...they are laid gently in the box to prevent Special Needs Puppy from eating them! :mrgreen:

Jim
 

JohnCee

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I think old tools are great if you can get them cheap.
But the steel is no better than high quality modern tool steel, so not worth a premium.
Nice octagonal boxwood handles can be hard to resist, however.
 

Cheshirechappie

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JohnCee":10fvrrsj said:
I think old tools are great if you can get them cheap.
But the steel is no better than high quality modern tool steel, so not worth a premium.
Nice octagonal boxwood handles can be hard to resist, however.
I agree about modern steels - how often do you hear about a modern chisel or plane iron being too soft or too brittle (teething troubles with A2 aside)? The quality control on steel chemical analysis and heat-treatment procedures is streets ahead of even the best available practices up to WW2. Some modern chisels are better than anything made in the old days.

Blade shape, finish, handles and balance are another matter, though. Some older chisels are far better than many new ones - though that's not universal. The new AI b/e chisels are superb, and I hear very positive comments about the Lie-Nielsen socket chisels. The Ray Isles mortice chisels currently offered are probably the best ever made.

I take Jimmi's point about some sizes being more common, and in all fairness 1/16" chisels are not that common. That said, I bought a 1 1/2" Sorby off Ebay a couple of weeks ago for £8-50 including postage, and I was the only bidder IIRC. I think the reason was that it had a beech handle and a steel ferrule, but both (and the blade) are sound and very clean. It needs a regrind and the back flattening, but you'd expect to do that on any secondhand chisel, however fancy.

I suppose it comes down to bidding against collectors - they want something rare and fancy to look at, I want a good working tool. If I have to pay more than about half of new price for a secondhand, I won't bother with the secondhand one. Buy new and get the guarantee as well - with the added advantage that it keeps some high-end toolmakers and specialist retailers in business, which in the end is to the benefit of all of us.
 

jimi43

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I totally agree about keeping toolmakers in business...particularly British ones...but I personally don't have any problem buying a QS T10 steel just because it happens to be Chinese. In fact T10 steel is probably the only modern steel used in edge tools that has impressed me...A2 I wouldn't give bench room to. :mrgreen:

From a metallurgical standpoint...everything points to modern steel being "better" than old cast crucible steel. However, in use I like the old steels and frankly...the older the better. The edge longevity may be nowhere near as good but a quick touch on a hone and it is restored. (Lord...I sound like Jacob! :oops: )

Of the old steel makers I have a particular fondness to WARD...some of the SORBY clan though not all, certainly old Preston steel and other smaller producers from Sheffield.

I firmly believe that cost plays a huge part in modern steel shortfalls. That and the need to make the edge last longer simply because a great proportion of the customer base for modern tools is incapable of sharpening at all and so it is necessary for brand reputation to have the edge last "for ever".

Jim
 

Tony Spear

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jimi43":148enr2p said:
BTW....I don't store them like that normally...they are laid gently in the box to prevent Special Needs Puppy from eating them! :mrgreen:
Jim
Virtually ALL Puppies are special needs Puppies!
The worst (or best/most fun) are Springer Spaniels, as they remain puppies intil they are at least 4 years old!
Many's the time that I've been scrabbling around the floor trying to find the screwdriver that I've just put down, only to find that it's not there!
I've got several decent cabinet screwdrivers that need re-handling! :roll:
 

Phil Pascoe

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Tony Spear":2yjy2hw4 said:
jimi43":2yjy2hw4 said:
BTW....I don't store them like that normally...they are laid gently in the box to prevent Special Needs Puppy from eating them! :mrgreen:
Jim
Virtually ALL Puppies are special needs Puppies!
The worst (or best/most fun) are Springer Spaniels, as they remain puppies intil they are at least 4 years old!
Many's the time that I've been scrabbling around the floor trying to find the screwdriver that I've just put down, only to find that it's not there!
I've got several decent cabinet screwdrivers that need re-handling! :roll:
No, I'm sure boxers are worse - they don't grow up until they're nearly dead.
 

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