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Berl Mendenhall

Beautiful old tools

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I try not to post too many of these old tools. I was particularly taken by these two tools. They are from Jim Bode Antique Tools. I'm on his mailing list and he sends me pictures of tools each day. I look forward to the emails daily. I'm not connected with him in any way, not trying to advertise for him. Just giving him credit for the photos.

This vice is 18th century and a beauty. Such beautiful shapes. The block plane I thought was nice, with the violin peg finial. Pretty sweet. It's probably late 19th or early 20th century.

Anyway just something nice to look at.post-6653-0-38299200-1395749791_thumb.jpgpost-6653-0-76647300-1395749824_thumb.jpg

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Very cool.  I also like tools...both antique and new.  We seem to have unintentionally amassed a small collection of farm implements.  My favourite is the scythe. :ph34r:

 

Most recently I bought (at what seems like horrendous expense) some basic double reed (bassoon) tools...for adjusting reeds.  I have just started learning how to use them. 

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I'm a sucker for old tools, I spent my first holiday with my wife visiting funeral parlours. It was 1975. At that time they were all buying ready made coffins and their tools were lying unused in some corner. Amongst other items I bought a Norris plane and a bunch of nice chisels. Two years later there was nothing left, everything had been bought up by tool dealers when the market suddenly exploded.

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Very cool.  I also like tools...both antique and new.  We seem to have unintentionally amassed a small collection of farm implements.  My favourite is the scythe. :ph34r:

 

Most recently I bought (at what seems like horrendous expense) some basic double reed (bassoon) tools...for adjusting reeds.  I have just started learning how to use them.

My father was born in 1909 and grew up on a farm. When I was a kid I use to think it was the coolest thing to watch him sharpen his scythe with that long stone with a handle. He did not live long enough to ever use a string trimmer, but he could mow some weeds with that sycthe.

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Great link...I've been searching for awhile for the right kind of hammer and a specific gouge. I found both. What a great selection of old tools.

Thanks for posting this!

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I'm a sucker for old tools, I spent my first holiday with my wife visiting funeral parlours. It was 1975. At that time they were all buying ready made coffins and their tools were lying unused in some corner. Amongst other items I bought a Norris plane and a bunch of nice chisels. Two years later there was nothing left, everything had been bought up by tool dealers when the market suddenly exploded.

Your first holiday with your wife and you spent it visiting funeral parlors. Your a romantic son of a gun.

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I inherited some tools that were from both of my grandfathers. One was a cabinet maker, and he had some good quality rabbet planes, bench planes and chisels. The other had some very old saw sets, saw vices and files for sharpening hand saws. I enjoy using them knowing that they have served multiple generations well, and I'm sure they would be happy in knowing that something they worked hard to purchase was still being used and cherished by a family member.

 

I also have a two man saw, but I haven't found much use for that yet.

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Honey! We are going tonewood hunting for our vacation! I am going to sharpen the saw! You pack the Bengay!

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I also have a two man saw, but I haven't found much use for that yet.

Öld loggers in my area refer to the two man saw as a "misery whip". Rightly so. Next time you have to cut down a tree ask a young person to help you. They will probably think to themselves..."Cool I get to use a chainsaw". Then when they aren't looking pull out the misery whip and then watch their expression.

Good lesson/punishment for a youngster. Better still if the saw is dull... :)

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Öld loggers in my area refer to the two man saw as a "misery whip". Rightly so. Next time you have to cut down a tree ask a young person to help you. They will probably think to themselves..."Cool I get to use a chainsaw". Then when they aren't looking pull out the misery whip and then watch their expression.

Good lesson/punishment for a youngster. Better still if the saw is dull... :)

I grew up on a farm and one day after a storm felled some big oak branches my kid brother and I decided to sharpen up a big two man saw that was hanging on a wall in the barn and try to see if we could use it. It took a bit of getting used to the nature of the team work involved but for cutting horizontal logs it was very effective... as fast as an OK but cheap chainsaw...But cutting a standing tree with a 2 man  is a much harder effort and art I think

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Takes less skill than an axe.  I’ve done my share of both.  I love old tools, but give me a chainsaw when trees need felling!

 

P.S., two-man saw rules:  pull, don’t push, and decide who yells “timber!” and who grabs the saw when you run like hell.   :)

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I still have some of my Great Grandfather's tools in my workshop stamped with his name H.C. Archer. I don't like things for simply being old ( old stuff can be crap) but I do like old things that are well made...especially if they are better made than we can buy today and a lot of old stuff that has stood the test of time can teach us something. That is something I find inspirational and often these items have a wonderful aesthetic flourish to them. I have an old plane iron in the workshop with a forge laminated cutting edge...There is some pitting on the blade but even after hours on diamond stones I have given up trying to lap it...the steel is unlike anything I have encountered but certainly is is an incredible blade formed from a lost art.

Not sure how old a tool has to be to qualify for this thread but my most recent acquisition is a beautiful USA made 1950's vintage cast iron Atlas 912 bandsaw. It arrived from New York yesterday and I am blown away by the old school quality and 'over engineering' of the thing....When I take a spanner to a machine I know pretty quickly if I like it or hate it...in this case it is love.

 

 

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I'm a sucker for old tools, I spent my first holiday with my wife visiting funeral parlours. It was 1975. At that time they were all buying ready made coffins and their tools were lying unused in some corner. Amongst other items I bought a Norris plane and a bunch of nice chisels. Two years later there was nothing left, everything had been bought up by tool dealers when the market suddenly exploded.

Ha! That is a great story.

Reminds me of my marriage, really. Both of us would jump at such an opportunity. Extremely high-quality, specialty hand tools are hard to find. In this field, spouses kind of have to be on-board with the whole thing, and I am lucky too. Anyone who has that partnership going on is lucky...but with luthiery it's more essential imo. Can't tell you how many times my in-laws suggested an alternate form of breadwinning, such as making corporate conference room tables instead. At least we both laugh about it.

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I still have some of my Great Grandfather's tools in my workshop stamped with his name H.C. Archer. I don't like things for simply being old ( old stuff can be crap) but I do like old things that are well made...especially if they are better made than we can buy today and a lot of old stuff that has stood the test of time can teach us something. That is something I find inspirational and often these items have a wonderful aesthetic flourish to them. I have an old plane iron in the workshop with a forge laminated cutting edge...There is some pitting on the blade but even after hours on diamond stones I have given up trying to lap it...the steel is unlike anything I have encountered but certainly is is an incredible blade formed from a lost art.

Not sure how old a tool has to be to qualify for this thread but my most recent acquisition is a beautiful USA made 1950's vintage cast iron Atlas 912 bandsaw. It arrived from New York yesterday and I am blown away by the old school quality and 'over engineering' of the thing....When I take a spanner to a machine I know pretty quickly if I like it or hate it...in this case it is love.

That saw looks lovely. I just got an old Startrite three wheeler up and running, and I've never had a saw as good.

 

I sometimes think that we're a bit conceited about the steel we have today. I often wonder how the ancient Egyptians kept themselves clean shaven, and how the ancient bodies, dug out of the bogs in Denmark and Ireland, where they were buried 5000 years ago, just have a light stubble. 

 

Edit. having pondered it for years, I just looked it up! The Egyptians used bronze razors.

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... I don't like things for simply being old ( old stuff can be crap) but I do like old things that are well made...

Very true. I regularly use saws that are well over a century old, nothing quite like a taper ground cast steel blade well sharpened :-)

Tim

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I love old tools especially wood planes. I love the way they feel in your hands. A well cared for bench plane is a beautiful thing and it can be made to operate as brand new. The only iron planes I have are block planes. Although I am having some serious anxiety over a Norris #5 steel dovetailed plane. Possibly the finest hand plane ever made. For what they are, they are still affordable.

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Favorite beautiful old tools....hmmm.... well there's a few of em floating around here.... :ph34r: .

  Seriously?Oh sorry,, I have my granpas Gershner chest..and a few other of his machine tools,vernier, his compass , My favorite is the box though, is a real joy to use ,He used it to hold tools for making  advanced weapons systems . ..I use it for holding tools to make violins....how times change ,yet still remain the same..

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Great thread Berl.  I had been thinking along the same lines recently.  A virtual museum of violin makers tools would be neat.

That's a great idea. Sense it's your idea, why don't you start the thread.

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