Peter McBride

Antique and Old Tools
Updated :- Wednesday, 23 April 2008  

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Tool Chest
A window into the 1850's 

I got an email with some pictures of a tool chest and an invitation to purchase it...Well I brought it home, and on the way I called in at my friend Rob's place to share the joy. He is a furniture maker and restorer, and a good one. He put an instant age on it from the types of wood used in the veneer 1850 - 1870. Almost all the tools are stamped with the owner's mark A. McIntyre, a good Scottish name. The moulding planes, the 2 ploughs, and the fillister are made by 3 different makers, and here is where it gets interesting....Stewart, McPherson and Mathieson - Edinburgh. According to Goodman in his book British Planemakers from 1700, when Alex Mathieson took over Stewart's Edinburgh business in 1849 his son Thomas went there and was put in charge, and in 1854 they moved to the premises of McPherson taking over that maker also. In 1856 the separate Mathieson - Edinburgh business was reunited with Alex Mathieson and Son and the mark on the tools changed to Mathieson and Son - Glasgow and Edinburgh. So the tools I have were made pre 1856...nice. There is a 1/2 set of H&R's (by Stewart), 3 pairs of sash planes including the very fancy 2 blades ones (by Stewart), and a draw had some treasures that are a bit of a mystery as to why they are there.
The chest is a big one, 41 x 26 x 26 inch
chest000.jpg (102391 bytes) chest001.jpg (154150 bytes)

13 1/2 inch Spiers Panel Plane, a Lignum handled
bow drill, a Lancashire pattern hacksaw, another drill 
and a few other nice handled tools including a very fine 
zig-zag knurling tool.
Wooden planes by Mathieson - Edinburgh, Stewart 
and McPherson, all c1850.

chest004.jpg (81856 bytes)
chest_planes.jpg (262469 bytes)
A panel gauge, a Badger plane by Mathieson - Edinburgh 
and 2 jointers by Stewart, 24 inch and 27 1/2 inch long.
The sash mitre templates for the sash planes 
in the group above.
chest_planes2.jpg (74735 bytes) sash_templates.jpg (71471 bytes)
A huge square (35 inch) and mitre square, next to a seldom seen Rabone Bros & Co moulding plane.
squares.jpg (66896 bytes) chest008.jpg (61601 bytes)

Mortise and tenon joint in the large square.

squares1.jpg (117363 bytes)

Chisels and plough blades, sadly only a partial set for the Handled Math. Edinb. plough plane above.
chest_chisels1.jpg (79824 bytes) chest_chisels2.jpg (88524 bytes)
chest_chisels3.jpg (104066 bytes) chest_plane_blades.jpg (98034 bytes)
Center bits, spoon bits and gimlets...sadly no brace, however I have a Mathieson - Edinb. beech brace that will suite the age of the chest.
chest_bits.jpg (98773 bytes) 
Some close up pictures of the small tools.
chest005.jpg (81158 bytes) chest006.jpg (84002 bytes) 
chest007.jpg (66057 bytes) chest_thread.jpg (71546 bytes)

Six large countersunk machine screws with captive nuts. These large screws can be removed and refitted through the top to lock it down for transport
screw1.jpg (154896 bytes) screw2.jpg (97443 bytes)
More moulding planes included in the chest, but not marked with the stamp A. McIntyre.
chest_planes3.jpg (89144 bytes)

Some interesting flyers in one of the draws.
 tolet1.jpg (79531 bytes) tolet2.jpg (127186 bytes)

An interesting saw till, but sadly no saws.
chest003.jpg (94367 bytes) 

Copyright Peter McBride 2008