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Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Mr. Mitchell  

I was tuning some bench planes this morning and looked at different turnscrews for removing cap iron screws.



In a drawer I found an old friend, "Mr. Mitchell", who has been with me for many years and I wish to share him with you.

I can remember that when I bought this tool back in the 1960's that it was the most marvelous design for a screwdriver I had ever seen. It reminded me of a spear point or dagger. I paid less than $5.00 for it back then and it was in the condition you see in the photos.

All I have done over the years is simply wipe it with an oily rag when I put it away. It is difficult to assign a date to it but I believe it must date from the first half of the 19th Century.

It is 14 1/4th inches in length and was forged from a file by a person who was quite skilled. His eye for pleasing forms carried over into the wooden handle he made to fit to the blade.

On the blade is an owner's stamp, "D. MITCHELL" but Mr. Mitchell may not have been the maker. Not only is this turnscrew very aesthetically pleasing, after at nearly two centuries it remains an exceptional tool to use.

James E. Price
June, 2017


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