More Woodworking Tools on the ‘net

Here’s some  images from a short eBook on woodworking by Peter C. Welsh.  A quick read with some good stuff in it.

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Not just eye candy, there is good information contained in this study of tools.  But really, I’m just in it for the tool porn.

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I particularly like the comparison of tools owned and used by actual people.  For instance, in a Virginia workshop of 1709:

“John Crost, a Virginian, owned, in addition to sundry shoemaking and agricultural implements, a dozen gimlets, chalklines, bung augers, a dozen turning tools and mortising chisels, several dozen planes (ogees, hollows and rounds, and plows), several augers, a pair of 2-foot rules, a spoke shave, lathing hammers, a lock saw, three files, compasses, paring chisels, a jointer’s hammer, three handsaws, filling axes, a broad axe, and two adzes.”

A man could get a lot done with that tool kit.

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In 1827, a Middleborough, Massachusetts, a carpenter lists his tools and their value.  This is likely a representative set of tools for an actual tradesman of the time.

1 set bench planes $6.00
1 Broad Axe 3.00
1 Adze 2.25
1 Panel saw 1.50
1 Panel saw 1.58
1 fine do— 1.58
1 Drawing knife .46
1 Trying square .93
1 Shingling hatchet .50
1 Hammer .50
1 Rabbet plane .83
1 Halving do .50
1 Backed fine saw 1.25
1 Inch augre .50
1 pr. dividers or compasses— .71
1 Panel saw for splitting 2.75
1 Tennon gauge 1.42
1 Bevel .84
1 Bradd Hammer .50
1 Architect Book 6.50
1 Case Mathematical Instruments 3.62-1⁄2
1 Panel saw 2.75
1 Grafting saw 1.00
1 Bench screw 1.00
1 Stamp 2.50
1 Double joint rule .62-1⁄2
1 Sash saw 1.12-1⁄2
1 Oil Can .17
1 Brace & 36 straw cold bits 9.00
1 Window Frame tool 4.00
1 Blind tool 1.33
1 Glue Kettle .62-1⁄2
1 Grindstone without crank 1.75
1 Machine for whetting saws .75
1 Tennoning machine 4.50
Drafting board and square Bevel— 1.25
1 Noseing sash plane with templets & copes 4.50
1 pr. clamps for clamping doors 2.17
1 Set Bench Planes—double irons.— 7.50
1 Grindstone 300 lbs @ 6.25
1 Stove for shop—$7.25, one elbow .37 & 40
lbs second hand pipe $4.00 11.62
1 Bed moulding 2.00
1 Pr. shears for cutting tin.— .17
1 Morticing Machine 10.75
1 Grecian Ovilo 1.13
1-3⁄16 beed .67
1 Spirit level 2.25
1 Oil stone .42
1 Small trying square .48
1 pareing chisel .37
1 Screw driver .29
1 Bench screw .75
1 Box rule .50
1-3⁄4 Augre .41
11 Gouges 1.19
13 Chisels 1.17
1 small iron vice .52
1 pr. Hollow Rounds .86
4 Framing chisels 1.05
1 Grove plough & Irons—Sold at 4.50 5.00
1 Sash plane for 1-1⁄4 stuff 1.50
1 Copeing plane .67
1 Bead 1⁄4— .75
1 Bead 3⁄4 1.00
1 Rabbet (Sold at .92) .92
1 Smooth plane 1.50
1 Strike Block .92
1 Compass saw .42
6 Gauges 1.83
1 Dust brush .25
1 Rasp, or wood file .25
1 Augre 2 in. .76
1 Augre 1 in. .40
1 Do 3⁄4 .30
1 Spoke shave .50
1 Bevel— .25
1 Box rule .84
1 Iron square 1.42
1 Box rule 1.25
1 Spur Rabbet (Sold—1.17) 1.33
1 Pannel plane 1.25
1 Sash plane 1.25
1 pr. Match planes 2.25
1 Two inch chisel or firmer— .42
1 Morticing chisel 3⁄8 .25
1 Large screw driver 1.00
1 Pr. small clamps .50
1 pr. Spring dividers .92
1 do-nippers .20
1 Morticing chisel 1⁄2 in. .28
1 Ovilo & Ostrigal 3⁄4— 1.25
1 Scotia & Ostrigal 5⁄8— 1.08
1 Noseing— 1.08
1 Pr. Hollow & rounds 1.33
1 Ogee— 1⁄2 inch 1.00
1 Ostrigal 7⁄8 inch 1.00
1 Bit— .15
1 Beed 1⁄2 inch .83
1 Claw hammer .67
1 Fillister 2.50
2 Beeds at 5⁄8 1.83
1 Pair Quirk tools 1.50
1 Side Rabbet plane .83
1 Large steel tongued sq. 1.71
1 Saw & Pad .67
1 pr. fire stones .50
1 small trying sq. .50
1 Set Bench planes double ironed without smooth plane 6.00
1 Bench screw .75
 

from “A Yankee Carpenter and His Tools,” The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association (July 1953), vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 33–34.

I could ponder this list for a long time and find only a few things to add from our modern arsenal of gadgets and labor-savers.

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Overall, Welsh does a decent job of outlining the changes in woodworking tools over the last three centuries, and provides great period illustrations too.  Read the complete book for free HERE.

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3 thoughts on “More Woodworking Tools on the ‘net

  1. My fathers family have been log house builders and cabinet makers since the late middle ages so I have a nice collection of well kept old tools. Particularly planners and saws. I’m a graphic designer myself but have always made sure I’ve had a decent workshop wherever I’ve lived. My dad was a master cabinet maker and I’ve learned the trade from him

    1. It’s great you can appreciate their work and tools even though you too a different career path. Similar to me, having family who worked in wood and leather, probably for many centuries, it’s important to keep it alive if I can.

    2. You bring back memories of when I was very young and would be out with my grandfather and he would point out the houses and barns that he, or my great grandfather, or uncles had built. I went into the trade throughout college and even went back to it briefly after getting a Master’s degree. I’ve now restored two houses for myself and plan to build one someday.

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