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Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions

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

C. Nurse & Co, Invicta Works

CH180631 C. Nurse & Co, Invicta Works This is a very thinly ground 1/2" in-cannel gouge that I think was made to use for sash coping. Sash coping chisels traditionally are thought to have handles that come up the bottom of the gouge and act as a stop, but as scarce as they are, I don't believe that they were all made that way. This one has a boxwood handle and may well just be a carving gouge, but I think it was for sash coping . It is the perfect size for 5/8" sash. It is as found with some scattered light surface rust but it will clean up nicely and is still sharp. G+ SOLD

J. Frost, Norwich

CH18064 J. Frost, Norwich An 1/8" firming chisel, often used for fine morticing of cabinet sash. Has a nicely patinted boxwood handle and is in as found condition. Perhaps a bit short from use, but not excessively so. A great user. G+ $22

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

C.Hill, Sheffield

CH180461 C.Hill, Sheffield A 3/16" wide #19 swept gouge. The blade is in nice condition and rates fine. The polished boxwood handle has a chip in it and the ferule has been attacked with a wire wheel or brush. So, I downgraded the tool overall to G++ $35

Two Carving Tools

CH180548 Two Carving Tools A 3/8" #2 skew chisel by J. B. Addis & Sons with the 10 prize medals mark and a 7/16" #1 straight chisel retailed by Frost of Norwich. Both are good working tools with kind of dull beech handles that are almost certainly original. G+ $39

Buck Brothers

CH180550 Buck Brothers A superb set of 7 Buck Brothers socket gouges from their golden age. The tools are mostly bright like new and the handles are clean light, having not been in sun light or handled much. These came from a clean old tool chest. They range in size from 1/4" to 1 1/3". The 1 1/4" gouge does have some chips in the edge. These are for the connoisseur. Fine $369

Frost, Norwich

CH180524 Frost, Norwich A 1/4" V parting tool. The beech handle is very dull, as if it has been sitting exposed to the sun. This of course doesn't hurt the blade, but it damages wood finish. A bit of linseed oil would greatly improve the handle's appearance. G+ $39

S.J. Addis, W&P

CH180527 S.J. Addis, W&P A delicate 3/16" number 6 gouge in nice as found condition. The ash handle wasn't put on quite straight and needs to be pulled off and put back on correctly. It is not off by much and you might not care. A great user in a nice small size. $25

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

I. & H. Sorby

CH180511 I. & H. Sorby A 3/8" traditional morticing chisel that appears to be full original length. The blade has been lightly gone over with a wire brush, so it has that frosted look. The handle is unmolested and clearly original. There is an owner's mark for "H. Davies, Prees". It is unusual for an owner's mark to have a location, so I looked it up. Prees is a small village in Shropshire, near to the Welsh border. The edge is rough and needs light grinding and honing. The hande as a few normal light shrinkage checks. This is a nice example in a useful size. G+ $39

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

I Sorby

CH171226 I Sorby A very nice as found 3/16" firming chisel measuring 10 5/8" overall. The boxwood handle has lovely color but has one spot where it is marred, probably from an owner's mark being removed. That was done a long time ago and isn't obtrusive. G+ $35

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

Wm Brady & Son, Mount Joy, PA

CH160542 Wm Brady & Son, Mount Joy, PA A 3/8" socket firming chisel. The handle is a modern replacement but quite attractive. The mark is very faint and it is only because I know the mark that I can read it. A nice clean chisel by a scarce American maker. G+ $25

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

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+ $49

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+ $45

Antique Chisel

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

W. Butcher, Sheffield, England

CH180463 W. Butcher, Sheffield, England I don't recall ever seeing another Butcher tool with England explicitly marked. This must be a very late production chisel. I think that Butcher closed in 1909 if memory serves. The works are of course still standing and are a protected building in Sheffield. This is a 5/8" paring chisel in as found condition. The handle is some abomination that somebody stuck on it. It is aesthetically offensive and needs to be replaced. Otherwise this is a great chisel and is free to the first person who orders it and spends $200 on old tools. 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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