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

Good old chisels

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

beej

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2004
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Like a lot of members, I have some ex-grandfather tools (but not enough!). He came from a line of builders in Stockport.
Some of the chisels come up and stay like razors, but a couple are not so good. But I do love the old ones.
What do people see as being the best brands or makers to look out for with old chisels?
 

Bean

Established Member
Joined
12 Jan 2004
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
0
Location
scouting about
Hello Beej and welcome.
My very limited knowledge is that early cast steel chisels are the best ones, I'm afraid that I don't know any makers names to look out for.
Alf will be along soon to help with this she is the expert.


Bean
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
Welcome to the forum, beej.

Sometimes "good" names or "bad" names aren't the only criterior. It could be the temper's been drawn so the chisel won't hold an edge, which always makes buying old chisels that little bit more interesting! BugBear's really your man for this one; he's been into old tools a lot longer than I and has a list of ones he considers good (which I can't find despite extensive searching :roll: )

Cheers, Alf

Edit: well after a bad start, I'm now on a search roll, and here's a handy thread.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The Sheffield makers I favor most are Addis (especially S. J.), J. Herring and F. Stones.
 

Chris Knight

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2004
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
3
Location
SE London - NW Kent
I haven't really found a bad maker of old chisels yet. Yes you can find a bad old chisel and age is no guarantee of quality (so my old bones tell me! And the old makers had their scallywags too) but I guess these are the mainly the result of either an off-day in the works or someone having mistreated the chisel as Alf suggests in her mention of drawing the temper (which is not hard to restore of course if you have a gas torch and a few other odds and ends).

I look for these things in most of the old chisels I buy:-

1. Somewhere near the handle it will almost certainly say "cast steel"
2. One of the makers names in Bugbear's list
3. NO pitting of the back - unless you love grinding chisel backs flat
4. No "belly" (that is a convexity) in the back - unless you love grinding chisel backs flat. A slight concavity is OK
5. A decent length of blade
6. A fine bevel ( if I am after bevelled edges - which I mostly am.)
7. A straight tang (handle and blade in line) with a decent, well forged flange above the handle. A bent tang may just be bent or badly made but it does not have to be you to find out which.
8. A decent handle - saves making another but this should be the least of your considerations.

I will break any of these "rules" if I fancy it enough and have often done so. One of my very favourite chisels has rotten pitting that I shall encounter in about a quarter of an inch but at the rate I need to sharpen it, only my great grandchildren will have to worry about it really.
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
waterhead37":1jkb0o30 said:
One of my very favourite chisels has rotten pitting that I shall encounter in about a quarter of an inch but at the rate I need to sharpen it, only my great grandchildren will have to worry about it really.
Like they'll care when they have the L-Ns to fight over... :lol:

Good list of rules; I should try that some time. :oops: I tend to go on "hmm, that cheap? Okay then" :wink: Although I've pretty much given up buying chisels now.

Oh, a name to add to the list that I've had good experience with; C Johnson (flying flag with C.J in it)

Cheers, Alf

Suddenly realising why she may have ended up with some really bad chisels...
 

beej

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2004
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Thanks very much for those tips, everybody. Especially the link, Alf, which I took to be the famous bugbear's. More welcome.
I see Ward blades here in Oz occasionally, but have never spotted a Ward and Payne. I guess it depends on what was imported into what was then a pretty small country and some of those on the list I've never come across. Ward and Payne blade shears were regarded as the best in the old shearing days, however.
I'm a wooden boat person and I sure wish we had the jumbles and boot sales you guys have - I get green with envy reading about someone who is just going to duck off to a boot sale and buy some lovely old chisels. I wish!
 

Latest posts

Top