More often as not, I’m contacted by people with a large lot of tools, or a tool chest full of tools that they would like to sell, rather than one or two items. After a brief telephone conversation, and/or a few emailed pictures, I’m usually happy to come and have a look first-hand and perhaps agree on a price.
Such was the case this week. I’m currently sorting through a massive haul from Suffolk, and have so far only sorted out the two top drawers of a retired cabinet makers tool chest. However, I can’t resist posting pictures of a particularly beautiful plane that was in the bottom of the box. A ‘Spiers Ayr’ 13 1/2″ panel plane. A gorgeous example from one of the best Scottish makers.
If you have a large collection of tools you would like to sell, please get in touch using the contact form at the top of the page.
Interesting day. If you are the one person that reads this blog, you’ll remember last week I was feeling a bit tense about my first ever mortise and tenon joints, and whether they would fit together. By all means scroll to the end of the post, but here’s how it went.
My inbox has been flooded with two requests for an update on my college course, ‘Intermediate Furniture Making’. It’s a CASS course, run at the London Metropolitan Uni in east London. This course is possibly the best thing I’ve ever done, in a work sense. I’d recommend going back to college to everyone who has ever thought about it. Here’s a synopsis of my project so far.
Spent this week stripping and re-finishing this old tool chest, part of a job lot deal (see earlier Worcestershire post). I made a new skirt around the bottom, as the old one had rotted. Then stripped and re-finished the sills (sliding drawers), and finally gave it two coats of black paint in the traditional colour for these chests, which was usually black.
These craftsman-made tool-chests were a travelling ‘portfolio’ for the journeyman joiner/carpenter. The outsides were made very plain and utilitarian, as they would be taking inevitable knocks and scratches from being moved all the time. The insides however, were crafted as a showpiece to what the maker could do, and thus all the drawers had to be well-fitting, with excellent joinery.
The box has multiple sills for various sizes of tools. You would put your larger planes and bigger tools right down in the bottom. Your saws would slip into the cut slots of the ‘saw till’, right down there as well. One of the nicest parts of the chest is the lock, you don’t get hardware like this on mainstream pieces anymore. A nice big lock that closes with a ‘clunk!’, and thankfully, two keys were also hidden away in one of the sills.
My own minor restoration of the chest went really well, plus it’s now a keeper, I couldn’t bear to part with it, and my tools need an upgrade from their current cardboard box.