The new tools

Here are some of the set of Henry Taylor carving chisels I bought. In great condition except for the line of blue spray paint across all thirteen of them. I guess somebody thought colouring them would identify them easily in a group workshop environment? A more subtle blue dot might have been better. Still, it likely won’t take much effort to remove the paint.



From the piece of paper I found in the roll, it seems to have been a Lee Valley set, likely a Hayward (with a couple of inconsistencies) , or Bridgewater. Here is the Brown & Sharpe combination Square – a No. 4. In good condition, level intact, as is most of the Japanning, except where a previous owner scratched their name in.


Tools of the Trades, April 2016: show roundup

The show was busy this time, with a surge of people shortly after opening. The usual vendors were present, with a good collection of tools. The prominent item was vices of all sorts, including one vendor who was selling only vices (mostly machine-shop vices).


There was a good selection of Stanley and some Record planes, with the some more unusual wooden planes from Marples. One of the sellers had a nice selection of vintage Japanese saws, planes and hammers (with the appropriate hefty price tags).  There were also quite a lot of Eskilstuna Swedish chisel sets.


It’s a great place to find a starter set of woodworking tools, for a reasonable price. What did I buy? Not much it seems. I was looking for a basic carving set, and managed to find a Henry Taylor set of carving chisels (13 of them), for C$200 (likely 1/3 their actual cost). I also picked up a Brown and Sharpe combination square, something I have also wanted for a while. I likely have enough planes, chisels, and the like in my workshop. It’s the interesting things I’m looking for… the vintage bench stop, the really unique block plane (in good condition).


Getting set for Tools of the Trades?

This coming Sunday it’s time once again for the spring  “Tools of the Trades” at the Pickering Recreation Complex: April 3rd – 10am to 3pm.

Time again to spend a couple of hours digging through some vintage tools. If you are a new to woodworking, looking to buy a set of starter tools for a reasonable price, there is no better show in Canada. There is always a good selection of vintage Stanley, British planes (Record), wooden planes, and a few Millers Falls and Sargents. Occasionally there are also some Japanese tools, and a *whole* bunch of wooden planes.


Raw Craft series

Do you like Anthony Bourndain’s shows “No Reservations” and “The Layover”? Like craft? Then check out this series called Raw Craft – short videos on classic handcrafts like bookmaking, and forging. (Sponsored by The Balvenie distillery.

An interesting modified bench vise

In Francis Young’s book, “Every Man His Own Mechanic“, he included an Appendix which contained interesting new tools and devices. This vise offers an interesting modification to traditional vises. As discussed by Young:

“Instead of having the edge of the top plank to come level with the face of the bench, to let it project out about two inches: the recess thus formed being out of your way, would enable you to plane timber up better edgewise by not catching up against the side of the bench. It would enable to you cramp anything to the bench by the projecting ledge; it would enable you to hang anything up in the recess thus formed underneath; and, lastly, it would enable you much better to shoot up straight the front edge of your bench”


Here A represents the nut for the bench screw, which in this instance s placed in front of the bench leg, B, secured to the leg by through bolts. The normal position of course is to the rear of the bench leg, as shown by the dotted lines at C. The “making-up” piece, between the top of the bench, K, and the nut A, is shown in section at L. This bench uses a loose vise-leg, F, to hold the bench screw, with H denoting the “gripping piece” which is attached to the vise-leg on the inside, and extends above the top of the leg-vise ( the top of H could of course be flush with the top of F). The head of the bench screw is shown at G.Two bench stops are shown at D and E.