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Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions

J.B. Addis & Sons

CH161072 J.B. Addis & Sons A particularly attractive as found gouge with a lovely patinated fruitwood handle. It is a 5/16" wide gouge of about a 6 sweep. It has the 9 Prize Medals mark on the back. G++ $36

Buck & Hickman Ltd. Whitechapel, E1

CH161081 Buck & Hickman Ltd. Whitechapel, E1 A 1/4" morticing chisel that retains its full original lenth. The oversize handle looks owner made to me and slightly canted to one side. Sometimes this only requires pulling the handle off and rotating it 180 degrees. The chisel itself is great but the handle will only suite somebody with big hands. Priced to reflect that the handle isn't on straight. G++ $36

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

Buck Brothers

CH161092 Buck Brothers This s a matched set of 7 Buck Brothers carving tools, all of the smaller size that are for fine work, but are often referred to as lady's tools. They all have matching signed applewood handles. The include a 1/8" #41 60 degree parting tool (this is a very desirable chisel), 1/2" #4, 5/8" #6, 1/2" #7 5/16" #10 straight gouges, 1/8" #21 spoon chisel, and a 5/16" #28 spoon gouge. The V tool alone is a $50 tool. You can't by a parting tool made today that is ground this well. G+ to Fine $199

J. B. Addis, Sheffield

CH161095 J. B. Addis, Sheffield A matching group of 3 carving tools, a 1/4" #4, a 3/8" #6 straight gouges and a 1/4" #2 skew chisel. All with matching beech handles that retain the original lacquer on the brass ferules. Marked on the back with the 10 prize medals mark. Nice original condition and only $33 each. Fine- $99

Akio Tasai

CH161035 Akio Tasai This is set of 3 Tasai Suminagashi chisels that were bought by our consignor from the Japan Woodworker more than 20 years ago. They all appear to be unused and could justifiably be rated mint, which of course means as new. The hoops are set, but it appears that they had been sold that way, as one of them still has the plastic shrink wrapping on the handle and it is set. The sizes are 5mm (3/16"), 9mm (3/8"), and 12mm (1/2"). The smallest one was sold as a 6mm, or 1/4", but these are hand made chisels and it is a bit undersized. Two of them have boxes and one does not, but that does not suprise me. We sometimes pull Tasai chisels out of sets to fill orders, and thus send out ones without a box. This is a rare chance to buy new Tasai Damascus chisels at a discount. Fine+ $745

Thos Ibbotson & Co.

CH161047 Thos Ibbotson & Co. A 1/2" medium-sweep cabinetmaker's gouge with a nice original octagonal handle. Untouched condition with a dark patina and some light surface rust. A great user. G+ Sold

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++ $65

Frost, Norwich

CH161060 Frost, Norwich A 3/16" wide #3 carving gouge that has been ground with a finger nail profile, which is typical of a patternmaker. It has a lovely London Pattern boxwood handle. An old owner's name has been carefully removed from the handle in a few spots and a new owner's name put on . It was carefully done. This is a really nice gouge. Frost was of course a retailer and this would have been made by a quality Sheffield maker some time between the wars. G++ Sold

Frost, Norwich

CH161062 Frost, Norwich A 7/16" wide #30 spoon gouge with a boxwood handle in nice as found condition. It could use a light cleaning only. The edge is a bit ragged and needs careful sharpening. Frost was of course a retailer and this would have been made by a quality Sheffield maker. G+ Sold

Wm. Marples & Sons

CH16108 Wm. Marples & Sons A long thin beveled paring chisel with a boxwood handle. The blade 1 14" wide and 9" long and overall the chisel is 14 1/4". A nice quality pre-war chisel, probably made between the wars. Better than what you can buy today by a long shot. G+ Sold

I & H Sorby

CH161012 I & H Sorby A clean 5/16" in-cannel gouge with a crisp London Pattern boxwood handle. The edge has a chip in it and needs to be ground but this is a great gouge that has not been messed with by any misguided antiques dealers. G++ $39

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

James Cam

CH161025 James Cam A massive 5/8" morticing chisel in great as found condition. The massive handle has an iron hoop and a ferule, something that I have not seen before but it makes sense on such a heavy chisel. The handle looks original. The bevel looks like the original factory grind. The overal size is 14 1/4". Highly recommended. G++ $75

Maw & Staley

CH160947 Maw & Staley An early cabinetmaker's 5/1/6" medium-sweep gouge with a good original octagonal handle. There is some old worm damage in the handle but not excessive. G+ Sold

Groves & Sons

CH160921 Groves & Sons A 3/8" socket morticing chisel in nice as found condtion with a nice old handle, presumably original. The English tended to favor tang type chisels so that socket style ones are scarce. Measures 12 3/8" overall. G+ Sold

Ward, W&P

CH160926 Ward, W&P A 1/4" out-cannel gouge with about a #5 sweep. This is not a carving gouge, but rather a cabinetmaker's bench gouge. It has a delicate London Pattern boxwood handle. The handle is slight out of line with the blade, which if this bothers you is not hard to fix. G+ Sold

S.J. Addis

CH160930 S.J. Addis Two S. J. Addis carving tools, both in similar as found condition and with similar original handles. A #2 skew in 1/2" and a #7 in 5/8". Both of them need a light cleaning but are priced to be a bargain. G+ Sold


CH160824 Mawhood A matched set of 6 bevelled chisels in 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", and 1". Matching pale boxwood handles. The blades have a medium patina and no rust, although they all need to be sharpened. Matches sets of bench chisels like this are very few and far between. Rating a very strong G+ Sold

R. Lee, Sheffield

CH160666 R. Lee, Sheffield A 3/8" mortiching chisel by an important 18th Century maker. The mark has R. Lee with the crown following it. The chisel has extensive medium pitting and has been cleaned with steel wool or some other similar abrasive. The handle looks oriiginal and is quite nice. A rare survivor. G+ $75


CH160648 Unmarked A lovely 3/16" heaving paring or light firming chisel with a London pattern boxwood handle. The blade has been cleaned and the ferule buffed but still an excellent chisel. G+ $29

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

Isaac Greaves

CH16052 Isaac Greaves A set of 3 Isaac Greaves paring chisels in 3/4", 1", & 1 1/4". The 1" has a replacement handle and a pretty big chip in the edge that would need grriding. They are ground with a very shallow bevel right now. The backs are clean and bright, but the other side has light suface oxidation that will clean off. They were mounted to a board and there is glue reside on the backs, and a bit on the handls, that needs cleaning as well. The octagonal handles look original and are nice. I think that these chisels are early to mid-19th Century. G+ Sold

S.J. Addis, London

CH160530 S.J. Addis, London A 5/8" straight gouge . Not numbered but around a #6 sweep. The fruitwood handle looks like it was probably installed in the US when it was new. G+ Sold

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


CH160545 Ward A 7/32" morticing chisel. The handle is old but probably not original. The bevel needs regrinding. A good user at a budget price. G+ $32

S.J. Addis, London

CH160549 S.J. Addis, London A 1/4" #6 straight carving gouge. The applewood handle is an original handle that will have been installed in the US. Nice as found condition. G+ Sold

I. Sorby, Punch Brand

CH160481 I. Sorby, Punch Brand This pair of long paring chisels was owned by one A. Bell, but the are not a matching pair. The smaller is 1/4" beveled chisel and measures about 13" overall. It has some light freckles of rust on the top surface and thus was rated lower. The other chisel is a 3/8" and measures nearly 14" overall. It is not beveled. The condition is superb. Both of them have superb original handles. G++ & Fine Sold

S. J. Addis, W&P

CH160487 S. J. Addis, W&P A 1/2" #3 straight gouge. The end has been rounded off in the way that pattern makers often do. Nice orignal condition. There is a light check in the boxwood handle caused by shrinkage onto the bolster. G+ Sold

Ward W&P

CH160495 Ward W&P A 1/2" paring chisel with an attractive octagonal boxwood handle. Somebody has slighly beveled this chisel down near the edge, clearly to provice a bit of extra clearance. Measures 9 3/4" overall. It has had the ferule polished bright by an idiot, but is still a very nice chisel. G+ Sold

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

Buck Brothers

CH160444 Buck Brothers A superb set of three graduated #19 Swepth gouges, 1/8", 3/16", and 5/16". Matching original applewood handles with lovely color. For the connoisseur. Fine+ Sold

Parting Tool

CH1603105 Parting Tool This is a special 3/8" parting tool with spurred edges for cutting the grain on each side. It was made by Strellinger in Chicago and called The Hustler, although I don't see that this one is marked. It might be covered by the handle. The tool is as found with light surface rust overall. The handle is not correct but seems to have been on it a long time. It should clean up to make a good user, and these really are effective for cutting in quickly. G+ Sold

W. Butcher

CH1603107 W. Butcher This is a matching group of 3 short firming chisels from what was most likely a larger set. This is an unusual form. These chisels were made relatively short,. The sizes present are 3/8", 1 1/4", and 2". The two inch chisels is particularly unusual for its width. The handles are old octaganol handles that were presumably made and installed by the original owner after they were imported as unhandled new chisels into the US. The two larger handles have shrinkage checks caused by the tang keeping the handle from shrinking. These were glued to a display board and there is some glue on the backs, as seen in the photo, but these will clean up beatifully. The backs are polished and rust free, what you see in the photo is the glue, not rust. The wide one is worth the price alone. G+ $79

J. B. Addis

CH160395 J. B. Addis A #4 sweep 3/8" straight gouge with an owner made octagonal handle. The back side has the "Prize medals 51, 62, 70, & 72" mark. I would date this chisel to the late 19th Century. It has been cleaned, but no harm has been done. It does need sharpening. G+ Sold

J & R Dodge

CH160351 J & R Dodge A 1/2" out-cannel bench gouge with a medium shallow sweep, equivelant to about a #5 in carving gouges. The handle is yew wood, and it has that lovely patina that is so distinctive of yew wood. I have seen this maker's mark once before but it is very scarce and I don't know anything about it. I really like this one a lot. G++ $39

J.V. Hill

CH160316 J.V. Hill A nice as found 3/8" straight carving gouge of about a #5 sweep. J.V. Hill was a dealer but tools bearing their mark are of the best quality. It could use a light cleaning but it is a nice G+ Sold

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

Robt Sorby

CH160331 Robt Sorby A good 3/8" morticing chisel with a user made handle that swells in the center to fit a giant's hands. The guy who owned this one had seriously big hands. It looks to be about full original length. G+ $45

Herring Bros, London

CH160345 Herring Bros, London A nice as found #39 V parting tool, 1/4" wide. It needs just a very light cleaning. The handle has had a former owner's mark removed and another mark struck in the same spot, which is not particularly attractive, but otherwise no complaints on this high-grade carving tool. G+ Sold


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

S. J. Addis

CH151053 S. J. Addis An 1/8" straight gouge of about a #6 sweep. Lovely as found condition including a beautifully patinated original handle. G+ Sold

Isaac Greaves

CH1509111 Isaac Greaves A 5/8" paring chisel with a specially made fancy handle. The overall length is 14 1/2". The blade is in lovely condition and the handle is really cool. I think that it is maple and walnut. G++ $69

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

Set of 5 Working Chisels

CH150887 Set of 5 Working Chisels This a good working set of 5 similar paring chisels that I put together. They are all quality Sheffield made chisels. The sizes are 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 5/8" & 3/4". The 3/4" has a chip out of the top of the handle but these are all first quality chisels that will make a great set of dovetailing chisels, better than any new chisels, excepting Blue Spruce of course, for only $25 each. G+ Sold

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

I. Sorby

CH150533 I. Sorby A very clean half inch out-cannel gouge with a medium sweep. As found except that the brass ferule is polished. G++ $29

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++ $50


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


CH140544 Hewes This is a rare early 19th Century (possibly late 18th) hand-forged Pennsylvania 7/8'" corner chisel. It is in lovely original condition, having been properly waxed by a collector. The maker's mark is struck in two spots and the base of the socket is faceted in a decorative way. It is a bit short, but not worn out. The handle looks to be original and is nice. If you just need a corner chisel to use, please don't buy this one. This is a rare early American piece that belongs in a good collection. It came to us from an important Pennsylvania collection, where it resided for many years. G++ $159


CH140372 Oversruck This is an unusal shallow gouge that is the size of a slick. There seems to be a mark overstriking the maker's mark. I think that maybe it started life as a slick, and the blacksmith who modified it, struck his mark over the original mark. I think that both marks could still be read, but I don't have time to mess about with it The handle has a great patina, as does the blade, which is 3" wide and in-cannel. It really doesn't look modified, but I can't think of another good explanation. A nice early American tool either way. Measures just over 20 inches overall. G+ $89

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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