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Richard Kell - anyone know a website? UK supplier?

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chiba

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In my quest for yet more ways to empty my wallet, the name of Richard Kell Toolmakers has come up. Here are some examples of his (their?) work. So, I know the company is based in Northumberland, but can't find a website. Anyone know of a supplier in the UK? Is there a website? Some very nice looking things, and that honing guide might be just what I've been looking for for Japanese chisels.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Chiba

After having spent many years in various areas of design and development, Richard Kell became self-employed in Jan 1983. He has a small, cottage industry in Blythe , England , in which he does all of the design work, then manufactures his products himself. He works to a very high tolerance and has received many awards for his designs and work. Demand for his work often exceeds supply of his products.

Richard launched his dovetail marker in the spring of 1983. In 1984, he made the bevel gauge that he is so well known for. It takes five separate press tool operations to produce his bevel gauge. All turned components of his marking and measuring tools, are produced on his flat belt driven 1950 manual capstan lathe.

Since then he has designed several products for woodworkers - centre finders, try-squares, drill and dowel gauges, and most notably his honing guide. The Richard Kell honing guide is unique in that it can handle very thin chisels (like the Two Cherries 2mm firmer chisel), as well as the very short, Japanese chisels. In response to demands, he has just released his new large honing guide that can handle skew blades - another unique invention of Richard Kell!!

42 Willow Court
Stakeford
Choppington
Northumberland
NE62 5UG
United Kingdom
Tel: (01670) 363626
Fax: (01670) 363626

If you copy and paste this search you will get 57,000 hits: -
http://www.google.co.uk/search?as_q...s_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=&safe=images

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Neil
 
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Anonymous

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Neil - I already Googled extensively before asking here. As I said, I know where he is. What I asked was, does anyone know a website address (OK, so I should have said "for him") and a UK supplier?
 

Alf

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Chiba,

Tilgear have them, but just like Mr Kell himself, they're web-shy. Seems a bit daft ordering them from Germany when he's a Brit, but Dieter Schmid is reckoned to be a good guy to deal with and spreckens Ingleesh :D The honing guide, btw, is here.

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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I've used Dieter Schmid several times in last three years and can highly recommend him.
 
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Anonymous

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Since Neil kindly posted his phone number, why don't you give him a bell? Sounds like, from the demand for his work, he operates a bit like Holtey - mebbe ringing him up will result in lower prices, or better service, or at least a pleasant chat with a master craftsman...better than going off to Fine Tools (although, nothing wrong with them!)
 

Alf

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Esp,

I think maybe it's easier to get in contact via the 'net for Chiba, being in Japan as he is :D

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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:oops: oh *&gger - missed Chiba's location! Mind you, with all those drool-worthy Japanese tools out there...mebbe Chiba'd be willing to swap - I'll buy some of Richard Kell's stuff and ship it in return from some nice Japanese chisels :lol:
 

chiba

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Indeed. The time differences and all of the other standard reasons make email the best choice. My mother doesn't agree. :roll:

You know, I've wandered the backstreets of Tokyo looking for a wizzened old Japanese guy who's still tapping out beautiful chisels and selling them for peanuts, but no luck so far! I think the massive interest from overseas (and indeed in Japan) has dug out all of the little manufacturers years ago, which means that the *really* good stuff became pricey boutique items for fondlers. Me, I have a set bought from the equivalent of B&Q. :shock: They hold an edge well and were about a fiver each. Go figure...

Must remember to post a website I found - some very nice stuff. Pricey, sure, but not really silly. You'll need a Japanese font, but the more recent OS can handle that pretty well. You'll need some kind of drool-proof cover on your keyboard too. :D
 

Noel

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Chiba,

Interesting site and even more interesting text...
Seriously though, can you give us an insight into the WW situation in Japan. I think most people are familiar with the more traditional Japanese art of WW - no workbench, chopping away with handtools whilst sitting on the floor etc. Is this a true picture? Or is there a more western approach with power tools, tablesaws etc?
As Japan is the home of Makita, Hitachi etc are these products as popular with the Japanese WW as in the west?

Rgds

Noel
 

chiba

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Noel - the simple answer seems to be "yes". I walk past a couple of building sites on my way to work, and obviously take an interest if I see anyone working wood. Have to say, aside from the occasional saw and chisel lying around, it's all Norm-san and his mates. :( Not really a surprise though, eh? Working to deadlines, who's going to remain a hand tool purist?

Traditional woodwork is where the interest is, for me at least - watching a skilled craftsman using the simplest of tools to make the most complex of items is fascinating, and occasionally it's still very genuine rather than just "for the tourists". It's particularly interesting to visit rural areas where several generations have been working in the same way. The craftsmanship is almost tangible in the air. Being a woodwork fan, when I see someone making nice stuff I usually try to buy something as a "taste", not too expensive if you're at the source. Sadly, the evidence would suggest that working by hand commercially like this is starting to die out. Young people in the main don't want to invest 10-15 years in learning a craft anymore. There will always be hobbyists and academics, but it's still a huge loss IMHO.
 
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