Early 19th Century Tools - What do you think?


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!
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wrote:

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 contemporary.
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" 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.
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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 http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyidB4
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...
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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 colors.
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 Monument <http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/9511/Binczewski-9511.html :
"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.
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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 G
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Thank you for your comments and Merry Christmas to all of you.
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