DSC_0043My search for tools and equipment turns up some amazing finds and I bought this vise partly because it was inexpensive but mostly because it looked so very beautifully made from elm and steel. It’s a simple enough piece of equipment to make, but the decision was based as always on buying art made by a past craftsman. I think these things are exactly that, works of art, and that they are worth investing my time in just to see how a man worked in times past. DSC_0035An engineer made the piece and the woodwork in the form of shaped coves is gracefully executed. It’s too easy to take things for granted in countries like Britain. Common tools sell for very little; planes and tenon saws, saws of all types and of course related equipment like the vise. I think this vise was for working metal with, not wood, because of the metal plating used on the jaws and such.


See how the man inset the plate with his name in it. I think it’s nice to name your work when needed.DSC_0031

A Flotilla of Woodworking Planes

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Here is a collection of beautiful planes of rare worth and scarcely seen anywhere. DSC_0042 DSC_0193 - Version 2Two nice panel raising planes, a sash-rail plane that creates the pane divider and two sash moulding planes are part of a collection of planes used for particular work by joiners making doors and door frames and sliding sash windows. DSC_0038It is rare to find these specific planes individually placed anywhere let alone unique a collection of nine planes. Including shipping the planes came to me for about £30 each on average. They are all made by the same Scottish maker named Mathieson.DSC_0017

What we take for granted is a distant wealth of workmanship and knowledge of past times and working men and the way they did indeed worked. In ignorance tools are listed and misnamed, miscategorized and so misplaced. In ignorance we misunderstand the tool’s significance  and thereby misplace the past. The tools are beautiful working tools that saw little use in work as the age of hand work yielded to the machine age and have been stowed and kept in good conditions for decades now. Now they will begin work again. They need work, but not much, before they can perform well.


  1. John on 12 October 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you for posting that Paul. Fantastic to see such truly beautiful tools back in the hands of a craftsman and being used again.

  2. Steffen Lynge on 13 October 2014 at 7:03 am

    Hi Paul

    It is indeed some nice old craftsmans tools you have found. Where do you find them? I often bye used tools from eBay, but the shipping costs to Denmark are quite expensive. Someimes it equals the price of the tools. I have searched the internet for old craftsmans tools here in Denmark, but haven’t found anything of interrest so far.
    I understand that the tools you have found came in to excistens because the craftsman wanted an effective tool for the job and that he made it himself a long the way. That will be my way to.
    I have watched your videos on making a rebateplane, sharpening a moldingplane etc. More of those please.

    Your sicerely Steffen

  3. charles on 13 October 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Off-topic, but I thought Paul and readers might be interested in this BBC radio programme (“Shared Planet”) about the sustainability of mahogany harvesting: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04kbjhq

  4. Steve Massie on 13 October 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Paul ” Congratulations” nice find there for sure, you found some real nice treasures. I am all ways looking for some wooden molding planes with out to much luck here. Either they are junk or priced way over my budget. I like that vise you found as well, enjoy.


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  • William Swinyer on A Few Years AgoHi Paul, I agree with the person above with the idea of doing this as a WWMC project. It would be a great project. Sincerely, William Swinyer
  • Clarence Zimmerman on A Few Years AgoThank you! My son, 34 years of age passed away 2 years ago this month. As a boy, he spent time with me in the shop as I built his bedroom furniture, etc.. aspiring to leave him mem…
  • Mike Z. on A Future PastGreat stories and pictures to boot! I think part of why your teaching methods work so well is the time you spent on both sides of the Atlantic ocean - not an easy chasm to straddle…
  • Alain Briot on A Few Years AgoWho is Joseph? Your son? Thank you for the nice story.
  • Dave R on A Few Years AgoI also would love to see this toolchest as a project on WWMC.
  • Nick Jones on A Few Years AgoWhat a lovely story. Time with our kids is the most precious, rewarding and important time of our lives. Wonderful.