I acquired a toolbox and some tools that seem to be from the early
1800's. If you're interested in seeing them and perhaps commenting on
them, please visit http://www.netcrafting.com/tools . I would really
appreciate knowing what some of these are for. If you're so inclined,
let me know if you think they're valuable at all. Thanks!
Early 20th century, and not desperately early at that. Tools like the
steel ratchet brace with the jawed chuck are almost recent ! (mid
century) - an older one would be wooden, with brass reinforcing plates
on a good one, wouldn't have a ratchet and would have a button to lock
the (notched) drill shanks rather than a chuck. The other tools are
attractive examples, seem to be in good condition, but don't strike me
as especially old (not even pre-1900). The "thread box" does just what
you describe - it cuts a spiral thread.
As to the nameplate on the toolbox, is that aluminium? It's awfully
rust free if it's steel. That would date it to post WW1, most likely.
I'm no expert on US flags, but if that's an old pattern flag then I
think that your past owner was a flag buff more than someone
" Unknown type of wood and steel tool that looks like it would cut grooves
or something " looks to be a marking gauge, albeit one of a design no longer
seen. More usual to see one along the lines of a mortise gauge, which brings
us neatly to...
" Wood device that looks like it would be some kind of setup tool. The
thumbscrew turns, but the metal it connects to doesn't slide and I think it
should. " which is, as my woodwork teacher would no doubt have said, our
friend the mortise gauge.
Like anything of this ilk, as far as worth goes, it's safest to say they're
worth what anybody is willing to pay for them.
It's junk. I'll buy it off you for $5. :-)
Seriously it looks like a great set. You suck. :-)
You are close in many of your guesses. I can't comment on the age.
#54 - bevel gauge
#61 - square
#40 - I think this is a cutting gauge - like #50, but made to make
accurate cuts a set distance from the edge. Or perhaps a router.
It looks like you can set the depth of the cut, but I don't see
how you can change the distance from the edge.
#52 - thread cutter
#50/51 - marking gauge.
Here are modern versions of 54, 61 and 50
As you can see - they look very similar.
I'm not sure what that T-shapped thing is in #62
And the sharp L-shaped object in #42?
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Seems to me some of the pieces are early nineteenth century and some
relatively modern .So from all accounts the toolbox has been in use for at
least 4 or 5 generations and added to by susequent owners .
I do not think the owner was a flag buff persay .The U.S. flag is and has
been a favorite decoration in America since it's inception to this day . In
the early eighteenth century it must of been of particular pride as the it
indicated a fledgling country that had survived and prospered .
The nametag is probably recent as it appears to be aluminum, however the box
itself is probably the most valuable thing and should remain as is if that
value is to be maintained...
The horse artwork below the name tag looks to me in the style of early
1800's artwork (as does the flag). It's interesting that the art doesn't
have a common theme or symmetry. I'm wondering if the box was merely a
convenient utility object that was used for art practice - or perhaps as
a carry-around sample of skill. In other words, I don't think the art
was added to the box to because it was a valued piece of woodworking or
was a presentation box containing valuables.
If you look at the enlarged image by way of the thumbnail link, notice
the crackled and aged looking finish - especially over the horse paint
You can also see what looks to be whitish polish around the name plate
and perhaps reddish (? I'm red/green colorblind) (rust?) stains on the
plate itself. Look at that beautiful script - is anyone doing that
today? I thought it could be a brushed silver but then looking for info
on the history of aluminum I came across a page from The Minerals,
Metals and Materials Society about the aluminum cap on the Washington
"The 1884 price of aluminum was approximately $1 per ounce, the same as
the then prevailing market price of silver, which was considered a
precious metal. "
On the same page is the composition of the aluminum alloy - it contains
between 1.7% and 1.9% iron - which, if this piece is at all similar
could account for what may be rust stains. It's certainly possible the
plate is aluminum and attached in the late 1800s - that shouldn't
detract from the value, both monetary and historical, just because
aluminum is inexpensive today.
Look also at the unevenness of the countersinks - I'm not convinced the
plate was added at a much more modern time - perhaps not original but I
believe pre-1900 - I don't think later than that. I do agree that the
box is likely the most valuable item there.
The wooden plane is wrongly assembled. Extract the wedge and irons, turn
them upside down and re-assemble. Whether it works or not will depend
largely on the sharpening (or lack thereof) of the iron and the amount of
set (projection of the sharp edge beyond the sole - a couple of thou or so).
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
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