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Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions

Henry Taylor

CH170938 Henry Taylor A 5/8" #7 straight gouge with an in-cannel grind. Whoever last ground the tool did a sloppy job but as a user it doesn't really matter. I would clean up the grind just so it didn't exacerbate my OCD. The handle is a lovely London Pattern boxwood one with nice color. The chisel has a large acorn stamped on the shank. This is the Henry Taylor logo but you don't see it this large and pronounced that often. The ferule is polished and the rest of the tool has a nice surface. G+ $35

W. Marples & Sons

CH170944 W. Marples & Sons A delicate 1/4" #27 spoon gouge that is as found, clean, sharp, and read to use. Really a lovely tool for the connoisseur. Fine- $39

Buck Brothers

CH170920 Buck Brothers A group of 3 similar small carving tools that I put together into a group. It comprises a #5 straight gouge in the rare 1/16" size, a #15 swept gouge in 1/4" size, and a #27 spoon gouge, 5/16" wide. All of them are in nice as found condition. At less than $30 each they are a steal. Conservatively rated G+ Sold

Herring Bros

CH170922 Herring Bros A #5 straight gouge, 1/2" size. It is factory marked 5, which is correct, but some fool has overstruck that with a 6, and then banged 6 onto the shank 3 times. This tool has been lightly cleaned by a collector and is in very nice condition other than the sixes. The boxwood handle as a lovely patina. G+ $27

S. J. Addis

CH170925 S. J. Addis A #39 V parting tool which measures just shy of 1/4", measuring across the top on the inside. Some makers measure one side, which measures 1/4". Parting tools are where old carving chisels really stand out compared to the new stuff made today. Back in the day, Herring, Addis, and a few others competed to be known as the best, but today nothing is close to this good. The grinding of this chisel is without peer today. As found and still sharp. G++ Sold

S. J. Addis, W&P

CH170930 S. J. Addis, W&P A nice as found #6 straight gouge in 1/2" width with an attractive boxwood handle. G+ Sold

S. J. Addis

CH170932 S. J. Addis A fishtail gouge, #6 sweep and 5/16" size. Nice as found condition. There are some shrinkage checks in the boxwood handle with kept the grading down. G+ Sold

I & H Sorby

CH17094 I & H Sorby A boxwood handled 3/16" sash (light duty) mortice chisel. It could also be called a heavy firming chisel. I am not really sure which it was intended to be but it certainly can be used for either. The blade is ground at a bevel angle appropriate for use as a morticing chisel. It is slightly overcleaned by a misguided English dealer but should be fine to use and it is cheap enough. G+ $29

Two Carvers

CH170825 Two Carvers Two nice in-cannel straight carving gouges that I put together. An I. Sorby 1/4" #4 sweep and a Ward, W&P, 9/16" #7. Both have attractive boxwood handles and are in clean as found condition. G+ $45

Early Framing Chisel Early Framing Chisel

CH17077 Early Framing Chisel This is an 18th Century English heavy socket framing chisel, missing the handle. The width is a bit over 1 7/8". It is signed but I can't make out the mark very clearly. It might be Green. It is pitted overall. This chisel weights 2 1/2 pounds, and is about 13 1/2" overall, with no handle. This is a rare chisel, albeit not in great condition. Most of them were used up and I just don't see them. Good $49

Jas Swan Co. USA

CH170382 Jas Swan Co. USA A 3/4" medium sweep out-cannel gouge. There is some slight deformation to the top of the handle. Nice as found condition. G++ $36

Frost, Norwich

CH170943 Frost, Norwich A 3/8" #3 straight gouge. Some fool has buffed the blade so it has lost a bit of its crispness, but should still make a fine user. Free to the first person who orders it and spends $100 on old chisels. G+ $0

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

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

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

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


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

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

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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