London R.Melhuish Tool Makers

R.Melhuish bench for sale

Even I take a break sometimes from talking about old tools and perusing woodworking manuals, and if, like me, you enjoy watching Drew Pritchard’s ‘Salvage Hunters’ on the Quest channel, you might like this piece he’s just listed.

Melhuish bench 1
Melhuish bench 2
Melhuish bench 4

It’s a lovely carving and joiner’s work cabinet, by our old friend Richard Melhuish, formerly of Fetter Lane, EC4, London.

Item listing reads:

An exceptionally original carving and joiners’ work cabinet.
An early compact multi-functional carpenter’s cabinet with two side cabinets, brass bat wing handles to six drawers, lid to reveal working bench and removable vice.
British made with makers mark and patent “RD Melhuish & Sons Fetter Lane London EC” “Patent No 735”
CIRCA 1910-20.

Price is listed as £1,895, and god, do I wish I had some space in my small house.

(Addition: Toolerama Press have catalogue pics, showing how it would have looked with new, shiny tools.)

Daed Toolworks Norris Sauer & Steiner

Finally found a Norris


A recent tool hunt turned up an early Norris ‘5’, with lovely rosewood infills. I found a proper Norris iron too, so I’ll have to swap that and give this plane a try.
For many, the work of the London firm Norris represents the height of planemaking, and even in their day the price the planes represented a fair portion of a craftsman’s salary. Nowadays however, you can’t ignore the incredible work of people like Konrad Sauer at Sauer & Steiner and, of course, Raney Nelson at Daed Toolworks. There are many other new planemakers building on the work of infill makers like Norris. Shortly, I’ll write a big post about Norris, but in the meantime a fairly new site has sprung up which gives a good type study of Norris planes, should you wish to do more research.





Planes Tool Makers

Les Outils De Bois (Wooden Tools)

I recently found this amazing movie, which I thought I should share. (I wish I could save it, in case in disappears. However, as with most things on the internet, I’ll just have to link and hope someone has future-proofed it). Here is also a link to some of the tools they have made and some stills from the movie.

The video itself is made in the workshop of father and son team, Werner and Eric Raggenbass in Geneva, Switzerland. It was filmed in 1979, although the quality of the film and the characters somehow make it look like it hasn’t changed from when it was built, in 1896. If I could describe my perfect workplace, it would probably be in a workshop like this, hanging out with these dudes.

The film was directed by Pierre Barde, for the French part of the Swiss Broadcasting company. He was assisted by Rose-Claire Schule, Brigitte Bachmann-Geiser, Arnold Niederer, Jacques Tagini, Paul Puhl, André Jeanneret, Bernard Crettaz.


Hackney London Tool Makers

Pushing Iron

May tools
Hello everyone! The last couple of weeks I’ve been very busy packing and sending out pretty much every tool that was listed on my previous newsletter.

(If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter yet, please do, I’m realising it’s probably the most effective way of sending out stock updates. You can find the link on the top right of the Hackney Tools home page).
I’m using the excellent courier service ‘MyHermes’ now, who are proving to be a real hit. For me, it means no more bulk deliveries through Post Offices and Royal Mail, and for you, it means lower delivery prices.

I’ll soon be sending out the latest newsletter, with some really nice tools on it, so thanks again for your orders and please get in touch if you have any pictures of the projects you’ve been building with tools from Hackney Tools. I plan to start doing more blog posts on craftsmen and makers soon.

(PS. If you are anywhere near to the east end of London during the 21-23rd May, you might want to drop in on Clerkenwell Design Week, where you can see some rising stars on the furniture-making scene. One chap I was very impressed with, (when I saw his latest chair whilst on a course at London Metropolitan Uni), was Alexander Mueller.
Alex Mueller 2 Workshop 72dpi
An Austrian, now living in London, and producing some fine furniture design, which to me seems to be heavily influenced by the software he uses to create his amazing angles.
Alexander Mueller 2 Woven Easy Chair
He uses Rhino and Autocad to create his designs, but works the wood by hand/machine and employs the good old Domino jointer for his joints. Even I can’t deny you need a machine sometimes!
All the best, Gary.