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Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions

D.R. Barton D.R. Barton D.R. Barton D.R. Barton

CH181148 D.R. Barton This is the best set of old turning tools that I have ever seen, let alone owned. You just don't see good sets of turning tools. I guess that turners were professionals and they wore them out. This set has 18 tools, all original to the set and all with matching handles. That includes 7 skews running from 1/4" up to 2", 4 gouges ranging from 3/8" to 1 1/4", 5 cutting in tools with spurs, running from 1/8" to 5/8", and 2 diamond parting tools. I have never seen anything close to this large in a set of 19th Century turning tools. They are as found and mostlly bright and clean but there is some light surfact rust that is quite recent. The picker that I got them from admitted that it happened on this watch. The handles seem to be cherry. They are old, but perhaps not as old as the chisels, since I think that the chisels are 19th century and the handles, while hard to date, don't look that old. This is a set for the connoisseur. G++ SOLD

T. H. Witherby

CH181159 T. H. Witherby A 1/2" socket mortising chisel. A good user by a great old American maker. G+ SOLD

W Marples & Sons

CH181129 W Marples & Sons A large 1/2" #39 parting tool that appears to be new and never handled. The tool has a pleasing light patina. I don't believe that the edge was ever honed. It measures 9 7/8" overall and remember that is with no handle. Fine SOLD

Unmarked Corner Chisel

CH181089 Unmarked Corner Chisel A 1" corner chisel that was probably made by one of the major 19th Century makers but I don't see a mark. The handle is old and has probaby been with it for some time, but seems to have been reduced in length, perhaps from use. This one is priced to make a great user. G+ SOLD

W. Butcher W. Butcher W. Butcher W. Butcher

CH181040 W. Butcher This is a matched set of 6 long paring chisels, all once owned by H. McDanel, and yes that is how he spelled it. I know that I typo a ton of stuff, but there really is no i in McDanel. Sadly, they are all also marked J.A. Moody, who is a notorious collector from the late 20th Century who banged his name on a lot of great tools. Bob Baker once told me that he made a years salary just getting Moody's mark off of tools. The handles are applewood with a nice large size that fits a large hand like mine very well. These would have been handled here in the US. Butcher specialized in the North American market and was highly respected here. The sizes are a fat 1/4", 9/16", 7/8", 1", a fat 1 1/4", and a fat 1 3/4". The ferules are cracked on every one, from the normal expansion and contraction of the handle. To this day ferules are a problem. We get tons of complaints about the loose ferules with our Ashley Iles chisels every winter when the humidity is low. They have been properly cleaned and are all very sharp. I don't recall ever seeing a Butcher set like this before. G++ $565

W. Butcher

CH180974 W. Butcher This is a heavy 2" wide timber framer's chisel by Butcher. I have never seen a Butcher chisel in this style. The handle looks original but is probably shorter than when it started life. The overal length is 12 3/4". The owner has engraved his initials in an elegant script. Clearly he was proud of this chisel. It is well used but well cared for. G+ $39

Buck Brothers

CH18095 Buck Brothers A V pointed lathe tool. The handle is missing, but the tool is in nice as found condition. Being that it is a lathe tool, I assume that potential buyers own a lathe and can quickly make a handle. G+ SOLD

I. Sorby, Punch Brand

CH180919 I. Sorby, Punch Brand Measuring just under 3/8", this is a traditional morticing chisel in great untouched condition. The blade looks to have the original factory grind to me. The handle has had some trimming of mushrooming around the upper edge, but this was done back in the day and the patina matches overall. A lovely example that would be hard to replace these days. G++ $45

Ohio Tool Co.

CH180625 Ohio Tool Co. This is an original set of 5 beveled socket firming chisels. The sizes are 3/16", 5/16", 1/2", 5/8", & 3/4". The 5/8" chisels has a damaged socket where it was hit with a steel hammer and no handle. The handle with it is probably a replacment and it doesn't seat well, largely due to the deformation of the socket. The other chisels have handles that appear original, although they might interchanged between the set at this point. The longest one is 12 1/2" overall and the shortest is 11". The set is as found and needs a light cleaning, but you can't beat the price. G+ $99

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++ $75

Ibbottson Brothers & Co.

CH180529 Ibbottson Brothers & Co. A lovely 1/4" out-cannel bench gouge in as found condition. The handle is an applewood handle of the type that was typically installed in English chisels when they arrived in this country. They were shipped here without handles. I don't know if that was a duty issue or what. It needs a very light cleaning but should clean to at least G++ $38

Kiyomi Nishiki Kiyomi Nishiki Kiyomi Nishiki

CH180450 Kiyomi Nishiki This is a matched set of 6 chisels, all unused, that were bought new by our consignor from the Japan Woodworker some 20 years ago. They are what Japan Woodworker called "Special Quality Kamaji Bench Chisels" in their catalog. The sizes are 5mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm, 21mm & 30mm. The hoops are of course not set. The handles are white oak. They are all acid etched to highlight the metalwork. An opportunity to own a set of chisels by one of the great Japanese masters made in his prime. Mint $1195

Blacksmith Made

CH171074 Blacksmith Made An attractive hand forged 7/8" American timber framer's corner chisel with an original handle. The handle is not all beat up like they usually are. The tool has an attractive patina. It probably once build bank barns in Pennsylvania. I found it in Lancaster county. G+ $59


CH171035 Newbould An 18th Century traditional morticing chisel that is a fat 9/16". Morticing chisels this wide are scarce, especially one this early. The blade is in lovely condition. The handle looks like it is old but that at some point somebody with small hands reduced it in diameter. It also has something, maybe leather, glued to the end. The blade looks to be like it has the original factory grind and measures 8 1/4" without the handle. I am not loving the handle but the blade is great. G++ $65

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

Craftsman (Sears)

CH181131 Craftsman (Sears) A 1/2" socket beveled paring chisel bearing the Sears Craftsman brand name. This is a pre-war chisel of good quality and should make a great user. Free to the first person who orders it and spends $150 on old tools. G+ SOLD

J. Frost, Norwich

CH180966 J. Frost, Norwich A good 3/8" #4 straight gouge. The handle looks like some kind of rosewood but I am not sure. Free to the first person who spends $250 on old tools and orders this. G+ $0

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+ $19


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+ $79

High Grade Steel, Estab

CH181143 High Grade Steel, Estab'd 1823 A 1/8" wide socket firming or motising chisel. The blade has a slight curve to the right. Usuable as is or it can be straightened. Free to the first person who orders it and spends $200 on old tools. G+ $0

Antique Chisel

CH1112210 W. Marples & Sons A lovely as found wheelwright's bruzz. Fifteen inches overall and 1/2" on an edge. Fine- $59

J. Frost

CH180879 J. Frost A 1/4" wide #4 gouge with a lovely as found patina. The blade is a bit short from years of use, but it will still be a great user with many more years left in it. Free to the first person who spends $200 on old tools with us and orders it. G+ $0

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++ $169

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