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Chisels

Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions



Frost, Norwich

CH170227 Frost, Norwich A #6 3/8" straight gouge in nice as found condition and with a strking handle, the sapwood and heartwood contrasting in an exceptional way. An exceptional quality tool that was clearly made by one of the best makers. G++ $39




I. Sorby, Sheffield

CH170233 I. Sorby, Sheffield A 1/4" traditional mortising chisel with a good old handle. The blade has been polished up a bit by a misguided English dealer but it will make a good user. G+ Sold





Mayhew Mayhew

CH17029 Mayhew This is a full set of all steel chisels in the original box. Only the 3/8" size appears to have been used. I believe the rest of them to be as new. The decal is damaged on the 3/8" size but it is otherwise fine. The rest of them are all a solid Fine+. These are decals and not stickers on the box and the chisels, making me think that they are pre-war, probably 1930s. The box, which is a bit beat up but with a great label, also looks to be of a pre-war style. They are of superb quality with grinding and glazing equal to the best English chisels of the period. I have never seen a set of these before. The sizes are 1/4", 3/8", 1/2', 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", and 1". For the connoisseur. Fine $179


Philip Law

CH170216 Philip Law A scarce 1 15/16" wide 18th Century gouge. I have never seen a Law tool where his name was spelled out as it is on this one. It is normally just marked "P. Law". This mark aslo has the crown motif. The sides taper out as is typcial of 18th Century chisels and gouges. The handle is very nice but doesn't look that old, primarily because it have a dark patina. The edge has been beveled on both sides, but it is razor sharp. G+ Sold


J. Howarth, Sheffield

CH170163 J. Howarth, Sheffield A long 5/16" firming chisel with an octagonal boxwood handle. Measures just over 11 3/4" overall. It has been overcleaned by an English dealer but it is still a great user tool and it will tone down to normal in a year or so. The handle has a rich and attractive patina. There is the beginning of a split in the top of the handle from idiot htting it with a metal hammer but this will be stable as long as you don't repeat this foolery. A great user chisel and a scarce and desirable form. G+ $45


J. Frost, Norwich

CH170166 J. Frost, Norwich A traditional morticing chisel. It measures 7/32". The bevel looks to me like the original factory grind and has only be honed, but never ground, since new. The handle has a few small chips at the top or I would have added a plus on this one. It is a nice one. G+ $39




J. Howarth/J. Woodbridge, Irongr, High Wycombe

CH170173 J. Howarth/J. Woodbridge, Irongr, High Wycombe A matched set of 3 boxwood handled bench gouges in 1/2", 3/4", and 15/16". All three also have the mark of the retailer, J. Woodbridge of High Wycome, once the chair making capital of Britain. These are in superb as found conditon with nicely patinated boxwood, a pleasing medium patina to the blades, and a mellow patina to the ferules. One ferule is split from the wood expanding in a humid period. These are from my personal collection and I rate them highly. G+ $129


I. Sorby

CH170134 I. Sorby A particularly nice 5/16" wide paring chisel with a London Pattern boxwood handle. As found with a nice light patina, I would not do a thing to it. G+ $48





S.J. Addis, W&P

CH170147 S.J. Addis, W&P A lovely 1/8" #27 spoon gouge with an exquisite rosewood handle. A fool has polished the ferule, for which I tacked on the minus. A gem. Fine- $48





I Sorby

CH170117 I Sorby A 1/2" swan-neck lock morticing chisel. Reasonably well cleaned by a collector and ready to use. G+ Sold






Wm. Marples

CH170122 Wm. Marples A particularly lovely and delicate 5/16" paring chisel with an octagonal boxwood handle. There is one old chip from the top of the handle that is patinated in. A gem. G+ $35





J. Frost, Norwich

CH161260 J. Frost, Norwich A very nice as found 5/8" wide #6 straight carving gouge with a boxwood handle. There is minor mushrooming to the end of the handle and the beginning of a split, from being struck with a metal hammer. It will not pose any issue as long as you don't abuse it. A great chisel that was almost certainly made by Addis. G= $28



Mathieson

CH16128 Mathieson A wheelwright's bruzz with a nicely faceted handle. It measures 14" overall. From an old collection. G++ Sold





Frost, Norwich

CH161224 Frost, Norwich A lovely as found 1/2" #3 straight gouge with traces of staw finish. The handle indicates to me that this chisel was surely made by Addis. G+ $35





W. Butcher

CH161228 W. Butcher A massive 2 1/2" wide firming chisel with an appropriately heavy ash handle that appears to be American and would date to when the chisel was new. Clearly one that was sold into the American market. There are some shrinkage checks in the handle, but no real issues. It has an owner's mark of J.W. Tobey that appears is in the style of an early 19th Century font. Measures just over 15" long. A rare and impressive chisel. G++ $129


J. Frost

CH161233 J. Frost An attractive boxwood handled bench gouge, 5/8" wide and with about a #5 sweep. Nice untouched condition. G+ $29





T.H. Witherby

CH161130 T.H. Witherby A 1 3/4" wide heavy beveled firming chisel. It has what looks like the original handle but it has also been struck with a metal hammer without the handle installed and the top of the socket is deformed a bit. It is also covered with light suface oxidation. It will clean up and make a good user but it is not a TBT grade tool. Good $29



Frost, Norwich

CH1610119 Frost, Norwich A matched pair of boxwood handled bench gouges with about #5 sweep. These are not carving gouges, they are cabinetmaker's or patternmaker's. 3/8" and 5/8" wide. At less than $30 each they are a bargain. G+ Sold




Marsden Brothers

CH161089 Marsden Brothers A 1" gouge with a very shallow sweep, similar to a number 3 sweep although this is not a cabinetmaker's gouge. I think that it was a patternmaker's gouge. It has a particularly nice octagonal handle. It does need a good cleaning and has surface rust overall, but it is well worth the effort. G+ $29




P.S. & W. Co. No. 1Framing Chisel

CH161056 P.S. & W. Co. No. 1Framing Chisel A first quality heavy framing chisel, 1 1/2" wide, with its original handle. The mark is very faint on the blade,and always has been. The handle is untouched but an idiot has lightly cleaned the blade with a wire wheel. I stress lightly and no damage has been done, although it would turn off a sophisticated collector. 15" overall. A great user by one of the best American makers. G++ Sold



John Green

CH161019 John Green A very scarce 18th Century woodturner's skew that is only 1/8" wide. Such a narrow skew is very scarce, an 18th Century turning tool is very scarce, and chisels by John Green are scarce, so really this is a rare tool. The handle is a later owner made replacement. The blade is 5 1/4" long to the handle. This tool was for very fine work in the hands of a highly skilled turner. G+ $59



Moulson Brothers

CH160558 Moulson Brothers A fat 3/8" (13/32) morticing chisel but a very well regarded Sheffield maker. The handle has some dents on the sides as if it was used as a mallet but it is a good old handle that I believe to be original. G+ $45




Wm Brady & Son, Mount Joy, PA

CH160542 Wm Brady & Son, Mount Joy, PA A 3/8" socket firmig chisel. The handle is a modern replacment but quite attractive. The mark is very feint and it is only because I know the mark that I can read it. A nice clean chisel by a scarce American maker. G+ $29




Humphreyville Mfg Co

CH160439 Humphreyville Mfg Co A 1" corner chisel with a good original handle. Humphreyville made a lot of plane irons, but I don't see many chisels by them. This tool would be in very nice untouched condition, but an idiot has just barely touched it with a wire wheel. You can just tell around the socket. The rest of it appears unmolested. It is ground properly with the small protrusion at the center, but it is not sharp now and needs honing. A first quality timber framer's tool in nice condition. G+ $69


W. Butcher

CH160320 W. Butcher A very scarce, long and delicate paring chisel measuring 5/32". These chisels were all of course hand ground and this was probably sold as a 1/8" size. People didn't measure the width of chisels with a micrometer the way they seem to now. We get new chisels returned because they are not exactly the width specified, but in the days of high-class work and hand-ground chisels, nobody cared. It measures 11 3/4" overall with a nice original octagonal handle. There is some scatterd light pitting on the blade but none that impacts its functionality. A scarce form by a great 19th Century maker. G+ $65


W. Marples, Sheffield

CH160325 W. Marples, Sheffield A harlequin pair of medium sweep gouges, 1/4" and 3/8". These are out-cannel bench gouges, not carving gouges. They have similar boxwood handles, but not exactly the same. The 1/4" is as found and needs a light cleaning. The 3/8" has been cleaned. A great user pair rating a strong G+ $55




Unmarked

CH160299 Unmarked An as found 3/8" morticing chisel with very light surface oxidation overall. The handle is a nice old handle. This chisel has lost some of its original length due to use, but is still a good user that only needs a light cleaning. The blade measures 6" back to the start of the handle. G+ $25




Robert Sorby, Kangaroo Brand

CH160194 Robert Sorby, Kangaroo Brand This is a matching group of 2 gouges and a paring chisel, that are all also marked by the retailer G.T.L. (Gauranteed Tools Ltd.) The gouges are out-cannel, 5/16" and 3/8", and the paring chisel is a fat 1/4". Clearly once part of a larger set but still a very nice little group of tools. They are as found with a nice light patina on the bare metal and nice handles. The GLT decals vary from very good on one to largely gone on one. GTL was in business in the 20s and folded during the Great Depression. G++ $79


Holland, London

CH160116 Holland, London Holland is of course known as a metal planemaker, but I do occassionaly run across other tools marked Holland that leaves me to believe that he was also operating a small retail tool shop. This gouge in unusual in its lengh. Out-cannel gouges are not often this long. It is 7/16" wide and 14" overall. The sweep is around a 7 or 8. Nice untouched condition. G+ $59



T. J. Gardner, Bristol

CH160135 T. J. Gardner, Bristol A 3/8" morticing chisel with a boxwood handle. There is a slight warp to the handle and it goes off to one side. Nice as found condition. G+ $35





C. Hunt

CH150930 C. Hunt This is a hand-forged American corner chisel by a maker that I am not familiar with, and of whom I have found no reference. The tool is in nice condition, with a good original handle, but the hoop is missing and somebody has taped a new replacment on that neither fits well nor looks right. It is an eye sore that should be discarded. The tool itself is very well made and probably early 19th Century. The size is 1". It is as found. In my opinion, this is a special piece. G+ $75


James Swan

CH150643 James Swan An original finger jointed wooden box that, according to the label, once held a half dozen 1/2" Socket Firmer Chisels No. 1010. A nice box for a Swan collector. G+ $38





C.E. Jennings

CH150464 C.E. Jennings A 3/4" wide out-cannel socket gouge in nice as found condition. Measures 13" overall. G++ $35






C. Nurse & Co. Invicta Works

CH150485 C. Nurse & Co. Invicta Works A matching pair of out-cannel gouges, both marked with the same owner's mark. Only one of the two gouges have are marked Nurse, the other has no mark, but is clearly from the same maker. Nurse was a retailer, so we don't know who actually made them. Nurse only sold the best. They are 3/8" and 1/2". The ferules are polished but they are otherwise in lovely untouched condition with polished boxwood handles. G++ Sold


Mottram

CH15032 Mottram A massive 5/8" morticing chisel in as found condition except for the bevel and the upper edge of the end, which have been recently ground. No damage was done except for removing the patina. The handle looks original but has some splits on the right side that might be hard to glue back down because the deformation to the end that caused them is keeping the wood from going back down all of the way. An early chisel by an imporant maker, in a scarce size. G+ $85


James Cam

CH150311 James Cam A nice clean 7/16" morticing chisel. There is a bit chip out of the top of the ash handle, but otherwise it is a nice G+ $55





T. Shaw

CH150323 T. Shaw A 7/8" turning skew. The handle is an old but later replacement made from some kind of exotic wood. 18th Century turning chisels are quite scarce and this is a nice example. G+ $75





Hale Bros

CH150289 Hale Bros A 1/2" wide, out-cannel, medium sweep gouge. Pristine original condition. Fine $35






Handforged Corner Chisel

CH140619 Handforged Corner Chisel This is a classic blacksmith made corner chisel. It is not a refined and sophisticated tool, just a very nice example of an American country blacksmith. G+ $59





Buck Brothers

CH120436 Buck Brothers This is a remarkable set of 8 Buck Brother's chisel and gouges, all from one owner, and all is amazing untouched condition. They would all be bright except for old dried grease on the surface. There are four long paring chisels, 5/8", 1 1/4", 1 3/4" and 2. These measure 13 1/4 to 15 1/2". The gouges are of similar length, out-cannel, and measure 7/8", 1 1/4", 1 5/8", and 1 7/8". All but one has the early rectangular border mark, one gouge has the later stag head mark, but it is definitely from the same set. The socket handles are all original applewood handles. They are not marked Buck Brothers, which is consistent with there age, these chisels pre-date. that. One handle is missing and one handle has a split, which can be pulled up tight and glued. Besides this split, the handles and the blades are all Fine $465


Drummond Bros

CH120245 Drummond Bros A set of 12 special turning tools. The measure about 11 inches overall. All of the ash handles match. I believe that these are for ivory or other hard materials, not for wood. The bevels are very steep and they function as scrapers rather than cutters. They have some old dried grease on them and could use a bit of cleaning, but they are very crrisp and will clean up to at least G++ $199



Antique Chisel

CH1112210 W. Marples & Sons A lovely as found wheelwright's bruzz. Fifteen inches overall and 1/2" on an edge. Fine- $75





Antique Chisel

CH111246 Button Hole Chisel A really nice all metal button hole chisel that certainly looks 18th Century to me. Great untouched surface and still very sharp. One of the nicest examples that I have see of this scarce type of chisel. (Since I originally listed this chisel, it has come to my attention that these chisels, called button hole chisels by collectors, actually had nothing to do with button holes. I feel certain that they were for breaking wax seals on letters.) 11/16" wide. G++ $259









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