Your 2014 tool wish-list!

I have a few larger batches of tools coming in soon, so if you’re on the hunt for a particular vintage tool, please contact me and I’ll let you know if one comes in. Don’t worry, the tools always go fast, so getting in contact isn’t an obligation to buy. Wishing you all the very best for 2014.


A spoon collection

From the carved spoon collection of Robin Wood.
From the carved spoon collection of Robin Wood.

Robin Wood
has collected twenty of his favourite spoons and you can see some great shots of them, with a short backstory about each one. It’s a really lovely read, with mentions of Hackney’s own Barn Carder and also Pete Follansbee, to name just a couple. I loved this shot of all the spoons together, some really interesting variations.


Help with a name?

Cock Lane
Can anyone please help me find out what this glorious-looking tool shop is on the right hand side of this picture? The picture was originally posted by @joeflanagan1 on Twitter. He posts some really beautiful pictures from 19thc London.
The picture is from around 1890, and it shows a few young ne’er-do-wells hanging around to relieve someone of the contents of their pockets. All well and good. But look to the right, a line of lovely braces, and on the window it mentions cabinet makers and tools.
The street is Cock Lane, (yes, if you’re already tittering, I know). If you think that’s funny, London street names get a lot worse.
The shop may well be fronting onto the adjacent street, I don’t know, it does appear to be No.25 though.
I really hope someone might be able to help, this really does look like a shop from the glory days.
Thank you.

Update: Quite a few people have been in touch with ideas. @peteri tweeted

@HackneyTools @joeflanagan1 are you sure this is cock lane(this is the giltspur end (link) nothing in trade directories too

The link shows this great-looking pub below, the ‘Fortune of War’. This pub does show the ‘Cock Lane’ sign on it’s wall high up there on the left. It also shows the Golden Boy Statue, mentioned by Bill Johnson, (below, in the comments section).

I’ve reproduced the map showing the area at the time, from the Pepys Small Change website. (Click to enlarge).

So, I’m still unable to find the name of the shop opposite the building in both of these pictures. I’m going to contact the excellent Bishopsgate Institute in London. If they manage to unearth anything, I will post the results.

Update: Stefan Dickers, the Library and Archives Manager at Bishopsgate Institute got back to me (and on Christmas Eve too, what a gent!). Thanks Stefan.

I’ve had a quick look for you (as we’re only open for a couple of hours today) and there was a Daniel Lovett, Carpenter, operating at 25 Cock Lane in 1894. The address then seems to disappear from the trade directories. There is also a different business operating at the address 10 years earlier which doesn’t really back up the ‘established 100 years’ claim in the window. Hmmm…
I’ll have a bit more of a dig in the New Year but I hope that’s of some interest.

Will follow this up in the new year, in the meantime will have to see if I can find more on this Lovett chap, as the ‘L’ on the main sign matches, so it could well be him, I guess.

Brian Boggs

Brian Boggs – ‘Chairmaker’s Journal’ and ‘Class Manuals’

I won’t have any tools for sale during December, due to some insane schedules in my ‘day job’ as an art director on a magazine. However, I’ve been taking the time to see what’s out there on the web in terms of practical woodwork instruction. I’m very interested in how woodworking is taught through good use of visual language.
I stumbled on the ‘Chairmaker’s Journal‘ section of the Brian Boggs website last night and it’s well worth a blog post.

A sample of the posts from the 'Chairmaker's Journal' section of the Brian Boggs website.
A sample of the posts from the ‘Chairmaker’s Journal’ section of the Brian Boggs website.

The journal is a very well laid out section of the site, with lovely detailed pics, excellent graphics and detailed descriptions of how to build chairs. The blogger for the journal section is Jeff Lefkowitz, you can follow him on Twitter as @jlefky, (who also took the shot I have used above of the parts laid out for the student Rocker chair project).
Jeff also mentioned the class manuals that he designs. If you take a chairmaking class with Brian or Jeff, you will get one of these manuals to refer to and to take notes in.
Copyright Brian Boggs Chairmakers
Copyright Brian Boggs Chairmakers

You can see the manuals here. Good, clear, graphic design. Nice one Jeff.

Bench planes Millers Falls Restoration

‘Millers Falls No.14’ clean-up

A quick clean up of a great plane, with some ‘before and after’ shots. I love the Millers Falls brand, with many a plane passing through Hackney Tools Towers. Mostly, I’ve regretted selling them on, and if I find any more in good condition, I’ll probably hang onto them.
One recent acquisition was a rather sorry-looking ‘No.14’, I think a Type 2 from 1936-45, with what looks like the stained handles, rather than solid rosewood.
[notice]Tool Nerd Alert! I might be wrong on this, it does have the 1868 date inside the cutter logo, but I know this was brought back for a while on the Type 4?[/notice]

I did a fairly normal clean-up on this plane, which only took about an hour. I’m really pleased with the results and I know I’ll end up using this one. I’m also very pleased I got to the plane before the rust was irreversible, as it was, it cleaned off, but I think it only had a few more months in that shed!

Before and after shots:

I buy second hand, good quality woodworking tools. If you have any Millers Falls tools, or other tools you would like to sell, get in touch with the contact form on the home page.