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Chisels

Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions



Melhuish, Fetter Lane

CH16028 Melhuish, Fetter Lane A classic London Pattern paring chisel in 1/2" size. The ferule has been lightly polished, the English dealers simply can't help themselves, but itis otherwise untouched. About 10 1/8" overall, this is a cabinetmaker's size, not a pattern maker's. There is some light splitting at the very top of the handle, but nothing that would worry me. G+ $65



S.J. Addis, W&P

CH160233 S.J. Addis, W&P A very scarce Number 2 1/2 sweep 1/2" gouge. This is the first gouge that I have seen actually marked 2 1/2. It is as found from an old chest and needs to be both ground and honed before use. G+ $39





E.A. Berg, Eskiltuna

CH160183 E.A. Berg, Eskiltuna A matched set of 11 Berg beveled paring chisels. I see a lot of relatively modern Berg chisels sold for very high prices, capitalizing on the old reptuation of the firm. This is a set that was made back when that reputation was being earned. The handles are made from birch burl, and were most likely made by the owner. The sizes are 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 5/8", 7/8", 1", 1 1/4". The 5/8" chisel has a more moder handle stuck on it now, but the original handle is also with it. I suspect that the the original handle became loose and in more modern times somebody was too lazy to fix it properly. The set is dirty and has old dried grease and paint that needs to be removed, but they are not rusty and will made a fantastic user set. I can't imagine why somebody needed so many chisels so close to each other in size, but my guess would be that a pattern maker owned these. The handles are also of a form that I have seen before on pattern maker's chisels. While these chisels were clearly neglected and misused in more modern times, they are with cleaning up and represent a rare chance to own a genuine set of Berg chisels that were not made in the 1960s. G+ $595


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


Herring Brothers, London, Prize Medals

CH160148 Herring Brothers, London, Prize Medals A lovely as found boxwood handled carving gouge, about a #4 sweep, possibly 5, and 3/4" wide. The handle has great color G++ $45





James Swan

CH16015 James Swan A 1" corner chisel by Swan with an attractive old handle. The tool has been cleaned with a wire wheel and the bevel needs regriding before you can use it, but it will make a good user and it is by a great maker. G+ Sold




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



Herring, London

CH160132 Herring, London This in an early Herring from when they were in London competing directly with Addis. It is a 9/16" gouge, not numbered but I would say a #10. The handle is exotic wood and there are some checks that have been filled with wax. A first quality carving chisel of a quality that has not been made in my lifetime. G+ $48



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. Nurse & Co. Invicta Works

CH15122 C. Nurse & Co. Invicta Works A classic long beveled paring chisel with a London Pattern boxwood handle. It is 9/16" wide and 13 1/2" long overall. The handle has a lovely boxwood patina. There is a shrinkage check in the handle but it is stable and does not pose an issue to the chisel. The bevel has been honed too many times without grinding, so the bevel angle is off and it needs to be ground. Nurse was only a dealer for this chisel, but they sourced only the best quality edge tools. (Nurse did make planes in the Invicta Works, but not edge tools.) G+ Sold


Illegible & Co.

CH151122 Illegible & Co. A large 2" out-cannel socket gouge. This is a clean tool, but the mark was not struck evenly and I can't read it. It is definitely a high-quality American made gouge of the late 19th or very early 20th Century. G+ $65




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+ $48





Buck & Ryan, London

CH151011 Buck & Ryan, London This is a roll of 10 stone carver's chisels, must of them appearing to be unused . They all hand forged, and are all marked for the London tool shop of Buck & Ryan. There are 3 gouges, two straight chisels, one point, and 4 stone chisels. I don't know much about stone tools, but these seem to be smaller tools for finer work. They are 1bout 10 inches long. Just a bit under $20 each seems really cheap to me for hand forged tools in this condition. Fine $199


W. Turtle, Croydon

CH151013 W. Turtle, Croydon A 3/8" heavy firming chisel with a boxwood handle. It is made by Marples for the tool dealer Turtle, and has the Marples shamrock logo. It has the original bevel grind, but has been honed and used. Measures 13 1/2". As found from an old tool box. G+ $45




J. B. Addis & Sons

CH151019 J. B. Addis & Sons An 1/8" spoon gouge with about a #9 sweep. The handle is stunning. I think that it is lignum, half sap wood and half heart wood. It is French polished. It has on the opposing side from the maker's mark the mark listing the prize medals. The ferule has been lightly polished, but otherwise this gouge is connoisseur grade. Fine $45



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





J. B. Addis & Sons, Sheffield

CH150984 J. B. Addis & Sons, Sheffield This is a set of 8 Addis carving tools that I bought together and probably started out together. They set includes: #11 veiner in 1/16", a #21 spoon chisel in 3/16", a #21 spoon chisel in 7/16" (missing its ferule), a #24 skew spoon chisel in 1/16", a #5 straight gouge in 1/8", a #3 fishtail gouge in 1/2", a #3 skewed fishtail gouge, and a #39 V parting tool in 1/4". All are in nice as found condition needing only a light cleaning. This set includes some rare Addis tools for less than $30 each. G+ $235


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


Holtzapfel & Co.

CH150939 Holtzapfel & Co. This is a very scarce inside turning tool for hollow vessels. The blade is in nice as found condition. The handle, which looks original, has a dull patina like it was cleaned off with thinner. A few drops of linseed oil would improve it greatly. A very hard to find tool by an important maker of turning tools. 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+ $125



Unmarked

CH150732 Unmarked This is a typical 19th Century Dutch morticing chisel in 3/8". The blade looks to be about full original length to me and it is nice, clean condition, as properly cleaned by a collector. The boxwood handle has a shrinkage check, which is typical on Dutch morticing chisels. G+ $38





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





James Swan

CH150648 James Swan This is a pair of out-cannel medium-sweep gouges that got out of the same old tool box. They are both mostly bright, but with some scattered staining. The 1" gouge has a superb original handle. The 3/8" gouge had no handle and I put a handle with it that is similar, but not exactly right. The taper at the end needs to be adjusted a bit as well so that it fits the socket better. My thinking if that thhe 1" chisel is worth the price that I am asking for both, so think of the smaller one as being free. They should clean up to at least G++ $45


I Sorby, Punch Brand

CH150652 I Sorby, Punch Brand A superb 1/4' long beveled paring chisel with a polished boxwood handle. There is some chipping of the lacquer on the ferule. This is about as good as they get. For the connoisseur. Fine $85





Rosewood Handles

CH150626 Rosewood Handles This is a set of 8 NOS fancy rosewood handles. I think that they are American, but I can't prove that. I have seen a few other similar ones, but I suspect that all of these came on the market at the same time, but I don't know from where. I think that they are late 19th Century. The quality is superb. The ferules are only 1/2 and these would only be suitable for small carving chisels or something similar. They are as found and need to be cleaned with wax. These are the nicest manufactured handles that I have seen. Fine $199


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





Ward, W&P

CH150539 Ward, W&P A 1 1/4" wide firming chisel, measuring 12" overall. Run of the mill condition, as lifted from an old tool box. The boxwood handle would probably look much better if it was waxed, but now it looks kind of dull. A great user. G+ $35




Robert Sorby

CH15052 Robert Sorby A good 3/4" firming chisel with the Kangaroo Brand label on the polished boxwood handle. The label is worn but still legible. The tool is very clean and will make a great user. I am guessing that this is from the 1920s - 1930s, but I imagine that it could be as late as the 50s. A quality old school Sheffield chisel. Measures 11 1/4" overall. G++ $35



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


Five Carving Chisels

CH150442 Five Carving Chisels These 5 tools are all from the same carver, 4 of them bear the owner's mark of one "E.H. Smith." and the 5th has no owner's mark but is clearly belonging ot the group. They are: J.B. Addis #39 parting tool in 1/4" width. (this tool would sell alone for $50) A J.B. Addis #28 spoon gouge, 3/8". A 9/16" Marples number 4 fishtail gouge. A Marples 3/8" fishtail chisel, and a 1/4" spoon chisel that is not marked but clearly aslo by Marples. All are in nice as found condition, although there are some minor spots of surface corrosion that needs to be cleaned off. A nice group of high-quality tools for less than $30 each. G+ $149


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






Hearnshaw Bros

CH150232 Hearnshaw Bros A superb quality chisel that looks about unused. It measures just shy of 3/16" (remember these were hand ground). I would call this a firming chisel. The narrow sizes like this were made thicker to compensate for being so narrow. They were oten used for cutting the mortices in sash bars. This one looks like it was stored in a clean chest and never touched. Connoisseur grade. Fine+ $45



Wm Marples & Sons

CH150235 Wm Marples & Sons A long socket morticing chisel measuring about 7/32", or a fat 3/16", depending on how you like to call it. About 12 1/2" overall. The steel hoop is loose because of how dry it is here now. That is normal. This is an unusual form for Marples. A very nice chisel. G++ $45




Ohio Tool Co

CH140858 Ohio Tool Co This is the first set of Ohio Tool Co. chisels that I have had, comprised of 9 long Carpenter's beveled firming chisels. The sizes are 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 1", 1 1/4", & 1 1/2". The blades look like they were cleaned off with fine steel wool at some point and the handles have been lacquered. Not all of the handles have leather bolsters. From a distance, the handles look matching, but they probably are not. The chisels are certainly all from an original matched set. The lengths range from 13 1/4" to 15 1/2". This would be a great set for a user or a collector. G+ $389


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





Hewes

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


Oversruck

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





Antique Chisel

CH110734 Ibbottson & Co A 3/8" spoon gouge from a genuine 19th Century English carver's kit. Well worn, but still very sharp and ready to use. This tool is probably mid-19th Century, which is early for a carving chisel. G+ $36





Antique Chisel Antique Chisel

CH110294 John Brown's Patent, Sheffield I have had this chisel for over 10 years trying to find out something about it, and I have utterly failed. I have never seen another similar example, nor have any of the other experienced dealers and collectors whom I have shared it with. It is a 7/8" firming chisel with a most unusual bolster design. Measures 16 inches overall with a London pattern boxwood handle. G+ $295





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