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Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions

R. Melhuish, Fetter Lane, EC

CH190251 R. Melhuish, Fetter Lane, EC A 1/4" beveled paring chisel with a lovely London Pattern boxwood handle. It has been polished by an English dealer and the blade is not perfectly aligned with the handle. This is usually corrected by pulling the handle off and putting it back in at a different position. Or just use it as is. A lovely handle and a handy size chisel. G+ SOLD

J. Frost, Norwich

CH190255 J. Frost, Norwich A 5/8" wide #5 sweep straight carving gouge that is ground in-cannel. Most carving tools are ground out cannel. The blade is nice and clean and the boxwood handle has nice color. The ferule has been crimped over the front edge of the handle. Presumably to keep it from falling off as they are so prone to do. G+ $27

H&D (Holtzapfel & Deyerlein) H&D (Holtzapfel & Deyerlein) H&D (Holtzapfel & Deyerlein)

CH190222 H&D (Holtzapfel & Deyerlein) A matching group of 10 turning tools from a larger original set. The H&D parnership begain the late 18th Century and ended early in the 19th. So, put another way, these are old. They have matching beech handles. These would have come with an H&D lathe in a wall hanging triptych or ditych. Included are a matching pair threading tools for threading the bolt and the nut, so to speak. They have been cleaned and polished "in the English manner". The price works out to about $33 each, which is a gift for H&D turning tools. G+ SOLD

Wm. Ash & Co.

CH190195 Wm. Ash & Co. A wonderful as found mortising chisel. It is 1/2" size and measures 12 3/8" overall. One of the nicest mortising chisels that I have had in some time and by a great maker. G++ SOLD

Buck Brothers Buck Brothers

CH190158 Buck Brothers A matching set of 10 long paring chisels. All of them are little used with nice matching handles. The sizes are 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1", 1 1/4", & 1 1/2". All of these chisels appear to have the original factory grind. The sizing would indicate that this set is complete as it was originally purchased. These chisels were stored bevel down and the three smallest sizes have light pitting on the bottom side where they were resting on something. There is some very minor rust staining on some of the larger ones, but only the three smallest are really impacted. Because of this I would rate the three smallest at G+ and all of the rest at either Fine- or Fine. There are still good enough for a serious collector and from a user's perspective, this set is as good as they get. Fine $695

Buck Brothers

CH190153 Buck Brothers A nice clean as fouund 9/16" out-cannel gouge with a medium sweep. G++ $29

J. Buck, London J. Buck, London J. Buck, London J. Buck, London

CH181274 J. Buck, London This is a matching set of 16 ornamental turning tools of the type that came in a Holtzapfel triptych, but retailed by J. Buck rather than Holtzapfel. The handles all match, but for two, which are not quite the same, but were surely put on at the same time. The handles all look to be generic handles that the original owner stuck on. The set includes 5 beads, 1/4", 7/16", 1/2", 5/8" & 13/16". There are 11 other various tools one of which is a burnisher and the other 10 are various scraping tools. At less than $19 each this is a bargain. G++ SOLD

W. Butcher

CH181174 W. Butcher A 5/16" wide bench gouge with a medium sweep and a fingernail grind. The handle is a applewood handle of the type that was put on these tools when they were handled in the US. This is a particularly nice example for the the connoisseur. Fine $39

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

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

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

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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