Thursday, March 10, 2011

Animal Magic

Pausing to de-cobweb my hair and cease moving things from box A to box B and back again, how about a tool moment? Last Saturday I indulged the Chisel Monster again (and its close cousin, the Gouge Glutton) and purchased the following. A nice cleanish Marples 1/2" in-cannel gouge, and an oval bolstered mortise chisel.

The latter had evidently been re-handled (and has some sort of putty in lieu of a leather washer), but was reasonably appealing, so, y'know, why not? Okay, okay - I know why not. Just... don't say it. Its width is a fraction more than 3/16", and actually near as dammit 5mm, while the serrated border to the almost illegible maker's mark suggested maybe it had a little bit of age.

At the time I couldn't make out more than the obvious beginnings of "Cast Steel", but the smudgy shape in the rust before it suggested there might be a clue to maker when I got it cleaned up. And indeed, as you see, you can make out an animal "couchant", as our heraldic friends would have it. (Okay, so a combination of practice and extrapolation can help when it comes to seeing such a smudge as something other than a smudge) Anyway, odds are always heavily on that being a lion, so I hit that excellent resource for the tool hunter...

..."Trademarks on Base-metal Tableware". Lucky for us so many tool makers didn't confine their wares to just those of the w'shop, eh? And joyously, you can search the PDF for such things as "Animal: lion, couchant" and behold, top right, I believe we have a winner:

I do like it when you can do that, don't you? Makes up for all the times when the mark stays illegible or you just can't find the name anywhere.

But enough fun; back to the grindstone. *tosses pigsticker into "chisels, for refurb" box and returns to the cobwebs*

1 comment:

  1. Nice one, Alf. I love those old makers' marks and I've been known to buy an old chisel just because it had a particularly well struck specimen. Have to admit that I've never heard of Bury and Co., though.

    But that putty-like stuff is vile. Rather than replacing a leather washer, could it be adhesive to hold the handle on to the tang, in a really bad, bodged up sort of way?



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