Swiss Files

Brought to you by How + Print

Arcade Files


Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Tool Handles - part 2 1 of 2  

For those of you who think unplugged woodworking is
all about planes, saws and chisels I write this post.

Lots of other interesting and useful tools were in a past craftsman's tool chest.

A type of tool that shows up rather frequently in old tool chests is a tool handle. They must have been important at one time or they would not have been purchased and added to a working tool kit.

Many of them show extensive wear and use modification so they were not just for admiration. This post explores some of these tool handles, mostly the ones that have hollow handles filled with various tools such as pointed awls, brad awls, countersinks, gouges, chisels, turnscrews, and more.

I selected representative types from my collection. There are many variations of this type of tool not included here. It is a tool type that was manufactured from circa 1790 to circa 1940.

Tool handles appear to have first been manufactured in England in the late 18th Century, made with chucks like those on Sheffield braces. They were often included in small gentlemens' tool chests.

Early ones were not hollow for tool containment.

These English tool handles appear to be the next stage in the evolution
of this tool type. The top one is boxwood and the bottom one is ebony.
The handles are hollow and contain tools.

This Stanley cast iron tool handle was patented in 1867.
It is hollow and contains tools.

I think this one is a mid-19th Century specimen with
a wooden handle made in America.

This type of tool handle has wings on the chuck to tighten and loosen it.
The top one is English and the bottom two are American.

Woodworker's Guide to Wood Collection only $79.99 at Shop Woodworking
1 of 2  

Starrett Tools



Copyright 2005-2018, and Wiktor Kuc.  All Rights Reserved.  Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
No part of the content from this website can be reproduced by any means without specific permission of the publisher.
Valid CSS!