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Saturday we went to the first big country fair of the season, and one of our very favorites. This one features acres (literally. Probably) of dealers in old junk, prominently old tools.

This was my only buy of the day, but what a score! It was a grubby old canvas tool roll with some rusty bits I didn’t think much of. I picked it up with a pair of pliers I liked the look of, and he charged me a fiver for the lot.

Got it home to find thirteen really nice quality chisels. Rusty to be sure, but they’re cleaning up and sharpening just fine. I’m not the world’s greatest sharpener (and curved chisels aren’t the easiest thing in the world to sharpen), but I’m getting there.

The four little ones on the left are all done. You can see there’s some pitting, but a bit of inner bevel at the edge takes care of that for practical purposes. Yeah, I’ve been burning up the “reclaiming old chisels” YouTube search.

I was actually looking for chisels. I plan to try my hand at some linoleum/wood block printing again (I was a printmaking major in art school). That’s why I need the tiny ones but I’m not in a hurry to put the effort into the larger ones. Even my sharpening skills are adequate for linoleum!

In all the acres of tools, I only found one other man selling chisels. It was a set of six, I think. Good but nothing special, in okay condition with wooden handles. Dude wanted £120 for it. Funny how these places work.

So, you reckon these things originally fit into a wooden handle?


Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 30, 2018, 9:13 pm

Somehow I’m not seeing them attached to an obnoxious yellow piece of crappy plastic like a set of cheap files I bought years ago.
Makes it easier to keep them in a cloth roll, and the handle would probably be worn smooth from the work.
Probably didn’t make the cut when they were going through the guys stuff to sell because they didn’t have a clue what it was used for.

Comment from Sigivald
Time: May 30, 2018, 9:22 pm

I’d think they fit in a wooden handle, yes.

(That bit-end looks like a brace bit; socketed chisels usually have a conical end to fit a tapered handle.

Ah, but I finally figured out the search issue – those are properly gouges, not chisels.

They are, it seems, meant to fit a hand brace, and are in fact meant for drilling, in the very oldest pre-spiral-drill style.

See here.

That said, i’m sure they’re perfectly adaptable to block carving.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 30, 2018, 9:55 pm

I joined a FB group for lino/wood block printmaking. They had some nice prints of chickens and other art. Really beautiful.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 30, 2018, 10:02 pm

I like this guy’s work:

You may have to get some tats, stoaty.

Comment from Weaseltablet3
Time: May 31, 2018, 12:15 am

Gouges. Yes. You’re right. I stand corrected.

A FB group! I’ll look for that.

I’ve already completed my first. Came out acceptably well. My linoleum is unpleasantly soft, tho.

Comment from Weaseltablet3
Time: May 31, 2018, 12:17 am

What are the v-shaped ones called? I have one of them and it’s super useful. Could use another.

Comment from p2
Time: May 31, 2018, 3:19 am

those would prob’ly be used on a lathe to turn bowls and such. dont think theyre old enough to predate bits. but tgen again it is ol’ blighty and traditions die hard there….bless ’em.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: May 31, 2018, 3:36 pm

How long until the rozzers come and confiscate them? I mean, pride of acquisition and all that, but do you think it was a good idea to put it on the internet?

“‘Ere now, wot’s all this? Stabby pokey implements? Right then, off you go, fourteen days without the option.”

Say “hi” to David Thompson.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 31, 2018, 4:23 pm

Ah, arms merchant eh?
American by birth I see, why does that not surprise me.
Advertising on the Internet under the guise of interesting hobbies.
Clearly a violation of the “Make international cities safe for terrorists” Act.
Come along, and don’t talk to the camera.

As a hysterical and interesting side note – it was common practice to blunt the pointy end, if there was one, of a sailor’s knife for safety purposes. One could argue safety of others as well as one’s self on a ship tossing about in the North Atlantic.
So the practice is not exactly unknown to the Empire.
Silly as all hell though, and shows where Mama government will take us all without a thought.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 31, 2018, 11:25 pm


Silly as all hell though, and shows where Mama government will take us all without a thought.

Made me think (always perilous)…

Palette knife. Palette KNIFE. KNIFE!
Oh, sweet Jesus! Look out! She has a KNIFE!

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: June 1, 2018, 4:12 pm

As Eric Idle would say

“What about poin-ted sticks!”

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