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help with some old Gouges plz

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wooden-heart

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Hello all this is my first post :) I would like some help with some ID`s and Dates if possible of some of the old tools i have collected,
I know a few of them but there is two i am unsure about and couldn't find any info on, maybe someone here is a fan of old English steel i know i sure am,
I did not pay very much for these :) as im prity poor atm and i am try to get a carving set together for as little as i can.

one of the things i dont want to do is destroy a very old tool that could be worth money and buy me more tools in the long run, any help with be realy good thanks in advance:)
 

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AndyT

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I'll help with an easy one:



According to the ever-useful Graces Guide James Howarth were a Sheffield tool maker and were active in the mid 19th century as this advert and others here show:

 

adidat

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sunny somerset!
those all seem like very nice users the handles look superb

well done!

adidat
 

jimi43

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All gouges of the mid to late 19C.

If there is no deep pitting near the cutting edge you will certainly be able to sharpen these up to very nice users and you will fall in love with the cast steel they are made from.

Four of the handles look original (or very old replacements) and the fifth is a new but well made replacement.

I guess you can tell which!

I think once you start...it is hard to stop collecting these gems and bootfairs yield hundreds...don't worry about condition but get used to looking for old ones with nice handles. In my experience...the better the handle looks and the better the wood (boxwood is a definite)....the better the steel tends to be.

Use them to practice sharpening...they shouldn't cost more than a quid each....sometimes only pence.

This beautiful but very damaged boxwood bevel chisel needed a bit more TLC but not a new handle:



I am all one for keeping originality in the handles but this one was badly butchered by a hammer. It had to be completely refinished....



....but time will patinate it again.

Jim
 

wooden-heart

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thanks very much for the help so far :) i have a question about sharpening these tool`s how do i got about it? i have a small dermil type tool with sharpaing bits on them with paste would this be ok to use on the blades or do i need a specialist shaping stones to do it? all the gouges are sharp atm and there is no pitting on or near the cutting edges. also none of the handles have splits in them ether.

Also what makers are relay worth looking out for? and is there an online guide to makers marks for Sheffield steel.?
and is there any guide to what each of the different gouges do? what sort of cuts they produce?

thanks again i will post some pics of my project i have made with only my hatchet and chisel, the two tools i started with
 

AndyT

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For sharpening, there are very many methods - and a surprising degree of disagreement about what is best. Read back in this forum, especially the threads with the high numbers of posts and you will see what I mean.

You may already know this, but in general joiners would sharpen gouges with a bevel on one side only whereas carvers would bevel both sides (though one bevel may be quite small). I would recommend a fine, hard flat oilstone for the outsides and a selection of curved section tapered slipstones for the insides. But there are many ways to explore.

As for trademarks, there are some limited resources on line - this thread had links to some: https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/trademark-again-t56186.html?hilit= trademarks
 

Richard T

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Hi Woodenheart and welcome.

As far as I can see, all your gouges are out cannel - that is to sat the bevel is on the outside of the curve of the gouge. These are used with a mallet for carving.
In cannel gouges with the bevel on the inside of the curve are used for paring and for slicing the insides of curves. Long bladed in cannels are very useful for paring and come under the description of "paring gouges". All very useful and well worth looking out for.

Some people will recommend soft, slow wheel sharpening for gouge bevels though I just use a large slip stone for all of mine.



This is a teardrop profile slip - a medium grit oil stone. Though you can always use a finer grit on the non beveled side to polish it up.

Would love to see your axe work btw.
 

jimi43

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Anything SORBY....WARD....HILDICK....ADDIS....IBBOTSON....OLD MARPLES (three shamrocks)... are good.

Basically if it looks old then buy it. You will get to tell what steel is the very best by just sharpening

As other's have said.. a hard stone is best for sorting these out as they are less likely to be damaged by the shape.

The wedge shape is ideal for the inside as Richard suggests...although for polishing the inside I tend to use a wooden dowel the correct radius with abrasive paper stuck to it with double sided tape.

Jim
 

Cheshirechappie

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Hi Wooden-heart, and welcome to the forum!

To add to Jimi's list of good names, the ones that seem to be sought after by the carving experts are Addis and Herring, with Henry Taylor (Acorn brand) almost as well regarded. Of the more modern toolmakers, Ashley Isles are very good. By the way, there were quite a lot of Sorbys - I Sorby, I&H Sorby; and Robert Sorby are still in business. Tyzack is another good one. There were also lots of smaller firms (W. Butcher, Colquoun and Cadman, for example), so don't worry too much if you don't recognise the name at first - if it's got 'Cast Steel' stamped on it, it will probably be good.

Sharpening is one of those areas in which you could spend hundreds on specialist kit, but you don't need to. There are three stages - grinding, honing and polishing.

For grinding, the cheapest way to solve the problem is to find a secondhand hand-crank grinder. They crop up on Ebay quite regularly, and sell for £20 to £80 including postage, with 'restored' and 'original' examples fetching the high prices. You don't need a fancy one, as long as it's all there it'll work. You may drop on one at a car-boot sale or in a junk-shop even cheaper.

Honing is the 'oilstone' stage, for which there is a bewildering array of possibilities these days - oilstones, waterstones, diamond stones, or (just as effective) wet-and-dry papers of different grades stuck to pieces of wood. You can thus make 'stones' to the shape you need, and if you buy a selection of grades from about 80 grit through to 2000 grit, you can work from grinding through to fairly fine polishing.

The last stage, polishing, refines the edge. There are several ways - very fine wet-and-dry as above, or stropping using a piece of leather stuck to a piece of wood, and dressed with a very fine abrasive. Worn-out leather belts make good sources of strop-leather. The fine abrasive can be jeweller's rouge, fine diamond paste (available from Arc Euro Trade at less than £5 a tube, and very effective by all accounts), chromium oxide paste, or even toothpate may be worth a try - that's a fine abrasive.

There are quite a lot of short videos on Youtube giving guidance on various methods of sharpening and carving techniques. Some of them advocate expensive power sharpeners, which make sense if you're a professional trying to make a living from carving, but are not at all necessary for the home workshop. Nonetheless, there's good tips to be picked up on Youtube.

Look out for a couple of mallets as well. Carvers traditionally used the round ones, and it's useful to have a couple of different weights - a big 'un for heavy waste removal in the early stages, and a small one (sometimes a small brass one) for finer work.

However you decide to go about it - have fun!
 
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