Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life.

Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life. Sunset at Telegraph Point.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Timbertown - An 1800's Experience

Our Hastings Woodworkers Guild Workshops and Clubrooms are situated in Timbertown - the historic 1800's theme village at Wauchope NSW.
While we are not busy with club projects or clubroom duties, it is a joy to wander the village and encounter the characters who enliven the day to day.


an extract
Beside his heavy-shouldered team 
thirsty with drought and chilled with rain, 
he weathered all the striding years 
till they ran widdershins in his brain: 

Till the long solitary tracks 

etched deeper with each lurching load 
were populous before his eyes, 
and fiends and angels used his road.

All the long straining journey grew 
a mad apocalyptic dream, 
and he old Moses, and the slaves 
his suffering and stubborn team. 

Then in his evening camp beneath 
the half-light pillars of the trees
he filled the steepled cone of night 
with shouted prayers and prophecies.

While past the campfire's crimson ring 
the star struck darkness cupped him round.
and centuries of cattle-bells 
rang with their sweet uneasy sound. 
From Judith Wright

The Village Blacksmith
an extract

Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of lifeOur fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought!
 From Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

With special thanks to Craig the Bullocky and Doug the Smithy from Timbertown

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Value Far Beyond Pearls - Old World Chisels

Yep - Old Tools time again.
By now you will know that I have a relationship with old hand tools that permeates my woodwork.  And from time to time I wax lyrical about them.

Anyhoo, years and years back - can't remember when, it may be decades by now, I acquired one chisel among a few others, that I liked immediately, and have used ever since. It is a Mathieson bevelled edge with a lovely fine blade.

Ever since, I have kept looking for others - and every few years or more, another has come along.

On Sunday, I found another, and now have a grand total of four.
These are 1/8, 1/2, 5/8 and 1-1/4.
The handles are a joy to hold, and the steel is very good.

Alex Mathieson - Glasgow - made hand tools from 1822-1966.  Just when these particular four chisels were made is unknown to me, but I'd like to think that they are either late 19th or early 20th century tools.

The handles are beech, and brass ferrules guard against splitting - as these are tanged bevelled edge chisels.  They are excellent paring chisels, the shape of the handle aiding their dexterity.

Having shared my find with some friends, the subject of American chisels came along, specifically in relation to trying to identify trade marks stamped on the chisel face or socket.

This is the one that sparked the discussion, and next to it, what it would have looked like in its younger days:

Specifically: Union Hardware Co - Torrington Connecticut
It occurred to me to post some more of the American made chisel logos to assist in identifying troublesome and hazy trade marks in the future.
So - here they are.

Chisels Manufactured in the USA
Brand and Trademark

Of necessity, this will be a work in progress as I do not have access to all the possible trade marks and logos - there are hundreds.  It is but a start.

Blue Grass by The Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing Co

D R Barton - Rochester NY - One of the best

Douglass Manufacturing Co - Precursor to The James Swan Co - and as good as ...

Greenlee - Rockford Illinois

C E Jennings & Co

G I Mix & Co

And ........

Peck, Stowe & Wilcox - later to become:

Pexto - along with P S & W - one of the best

Sargent & Co NY

Stanley - of course!  Of which there were numerous trade marks.

The James Swan Co - successor to the Douglass - One of my top two US chisel makers of all time.

L & I J White

Image courtesy of Nicholas Bourke - Gratias my friend
Winsted Edge Tool Works - aka Thomas Witherby

T H Witherby - The other of my top two US chisel makers of all time.

Well this is a start - I'll add to these marks as they come to hand.  In the meantime here is a small reference for those seeking clarification of US Chisel Trade Marks & Logos.

If you have any different logos or trade marks that you don't mind sharing, you can: would be very much appreciated.

Happy chiselling