Metal band on chisel handle?

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Mead Camans

1 Jun 2020
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Hi all,

I was recently given this old 1.5" firmer chisel that has what looks to be a metal band around the handle.

Looking closely, I suspect that it actually goes right through the handle, as I don't see much evidence that the grain is continuous either side of it.

I assume it's there to stop splitting, and has certainly done that as you can see from the pictures, but I've never come across this kind of thing before.

Could it be to add weight to the tool as well? Looks to be a fairly soft metal as it's quite dinged up. Lead perhaps?

Any folk in the know?




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Ah! On closer inspection lo and behold:
I must admit that is where I got my google search term from! I'm not sure how exactly it works, despite the sketch. If it ever breaks please post some pictures, I'd love to see the guts.
I wonder why not just put a steel band/ferrule at the top like a register pattern.

Two reasons I can think of:
-the top ferrule mushrooms over which leaves a sharp edge
-a ferrule can damage the mallet with a bad strike

Whether these are good enough reasons for this solution depends on how well this patent endures with use. It would be interesting to know.
In the states, the metal ring at the chisel end is called a ferrule, the metal ring at the top of the handle is called a hoop.
It gets confusing reading posts sometimes, literally not knowing what end of the chisel some are referring to.
Separated by a common language.
Thanks all who have contributed. I guess it's one of those well meaning, slightly over engineered solutions to a problem that wasn't that big of an issue, that never caught on in a big way.

Looking closer, I do actually see a bit of continuous grain either side of the metal, and the picture Tweedy posted, it shows that as well, suggesting they somehow got the metal component in place in a solid handle. Unless I'm missing something glaringly obvious, I can't fathom how they did it. The only thing I can think of is that the metal component is in separate pieces and was hammered into a groove turned into the handle, but I can't see a join in it anywhere. 🤔
There's another word stamped on the wood on the other side of the ring, a little above the ~Wilfin patent , anybody else see it? What does it say?

Owners name I would assume as is stamped in a few other places too, including the metal of the ring, which shows just how soft it is. Dunno what metal is it's, but it's non-magnetic as well.
Well, in all my tool hoarding years I can't say as I've ever seen a marked one, although I have seen that advertising before.
How many handles with "bands" do I have and not paid close attention to?
Not many at all and that's from a collection of approximately 3-400 and maybe more.
I will pay closer attention next time I'm ferreting through them.
Cheers for the post,
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Why did you not come along five hours ago? :)

Without the number, that patent took some finding. 'Wilfin' - nothing; 'William Findlay' - too many results; purely by luck 'Findlay' and 'handle' returned a short enough list to locate it (note that the name on it is not William's).
Tin/antimony is pewter.
Yes - pewter - low melting point, thus poss to cast into a groove and hole in chisel - as a chisel maniac, I've had a couple of these - both with box-wood handles (handles split, despite wilfin) ---- hardly seems worth the effort to make holes and groove then pour metal (presumably using some sort of sleeve around, and then to finish off) all to have a band of a not-very-strong material around, meanwhile weakening the wood itself.

Interesting, and clever selling job --- but ??

And it's neither a hoop nor a ferrule, it's a wilfin