What is this hand tool?

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adowden

New User
Amy
I was unpacking a box of wooden planes from my FIL and found these with the planes.



Can anyone tell me what this tool is called? The cutter is the metal on the top and there is a recess underneath for the shavings.



These tools are stamped D. Colton Callowhill St and Fourth St Phila. There is a no. 20, 37, and 46.

My knowledge of hand tools is rather limited, and I have never seen something like this tool before.

Amy
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
They look sort of like coopers tools or maybe wheelwrites. Could be boat builders, but I'm not real convinced.

They appear to be some sort of spokeshaves. I can only guess that they needed some sort of offset bases for the curved/rounded places they had to work.

But, I'm only guessing. Looks like a real mystery!

Jim
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
They look like they would shave the profile some distance from the edge using the stop. The middle one has an arc, which just screams cooper or wheelwright to me also.
 

Glennbear

Moderator
Glenn
I am absolutely clueless but at least one of the woodworking mags has a "what is it" contest/column. BTW I like your taste in furniture fabrics, strikingly similar to my last living room set before I moved. :wsmile:
 

mshel

New User
Michael Shelley
Amy,
You might try contacting this site: http://www.toolemera.com/. They might have an idea. You also could post the pics on Woodnet, there are lots of knowledgable folks who might be able to help you.

Mike
 

willarda

New User
Bill Anderson
I bet they are coachmaker's tools rather than wheelwright tools. They are definitely shaves, or more likely a type of travisher. They look too "lightweight" to cut the inside rim of a wheel, which is about the only possible choice there. Wheels were made in sections, so it was probably easier to shape the rim before the spokes were inserted. I could see these being used to profile the window and door jam areas of a coach, however. The profiles seem to be related to an ogee. I would bet that these are relatively rare tools. I have never seen one before. Since they are numbered, it is likely that they were manufactured. Take them to the next Antiques Roadshow!
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I think you may be on to something Bill. The reason I didn't think they were shipwright's tools was that the shapes aren't hard angles for joinery and thinking further that does make them unlikely to be particularly useful to a wheelwright or cooper.
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
Great insight there Bill!

I found some auctions that featured coachmakers tools, but the closest in those auction lots were wooden spokeshaves. I'll keep digging!

I must confess, I have been spending time researching these. Nothing close, yet.

As with many trips down the internet, I found lots of fun stuff thats unrelated...... Rest assured I did not place an order for the new Nose Hair Growth Tonic :)

Closest thing I came up with was a cooper's croze. But its not really likely they are related to a croze.

I too thought about shipwrights, but just think these looked a little, uhm delicate, for what I know of that trade.

Jim
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I lean toward coach maker too. I saw one example in a museum thirty years ago. The handles were different but the shapes are right for coach and carriage work.
 
M

McRabbet

Amy,

I'd recommend that you take them to the M-W Tool Collectors Association Meet and BBQ this Saturday at Ed Hobbs Farm on Inwood Road south of Raleigh (off Lake Wheeler Rd). There will be at least 275 Neanders there and I'm sure someone will not only identify them, they might show you theirs! See the following thread for details.
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
I was able to identify the plane maker, I think.

From an EAIA Paper:

Boyd's 1859-1860 business directory under the heading "Plane Makers,"

...

"Colton John 247 S. 2d, 407 Callowhill & 1007 Market"

In a Fine Tool Journal auction I was able to find planes by both D and J Colton:

5803-438. 5803-438. D. COLTON jack plane. C mark. 16-inch. Tote has check, otherwise OK. Good (MEC2086) 25 - 50

5803-449.5803-449. J. COLTON plank match plane. Screw arm. Good clean tool. Good+ ((IC535)) 70 - 120

I found another Philadelphia Directory from 1855 on google that lists our friends:
Plane Makers.
Bibighaus Samuel H, 166 N 3d
Colton David, 327 Market
Colton John, 379 Market

At least that helps sort of? Still can't figure out what they are!!!

Jim
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
Almost a year later......

Amy, what you have are three very nice hand rail shaves!

They are/were used to cut profiles such as beads, coves, ogee's and more on hand rails in stair cases.

Their shape, fence and short sole lend to following most any curve in a handrail.

How did I figure this out? Wasting time wondering through ebay looking at hand planes.

Judging from the few examples out there, I suspect you have a rather rare set of planes there.

Jim
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
Way to go Jim. One year later and you're still researching and come up with the answer. Nice job!

Red
 

MarkE

Mark
Corporate Member
Almost a year later......

Amy, what you have are three very nice hand rail shaves!

They are/were used to cut profiles such as beads, coves, ogee's and more on hand rails in stair cases.

Their shape, fence and short sole lend to following most any curve in a handrail.

How did I figure this out? Wasting time wondering through ebay looking at hand planes.

Judging from the few examples out there, I suspect you have a rather rare set of planes there.

Jim
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I really fell like I should point this out.

Your last post was July of 2009. It is now June 2011. My math indicates that this is almost 2 years later, not the almost one indicated in your post.

Life is in the details. :wsmile:
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
Must be why they say to use finish in a well ventilated area.....

Dang.

Jim

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I really fell like I should point this out.

Your last post was July of 2009. It is now June 2011. My math indicates that this is almost 2 years later, not the almost one indicated in your post.

Life is in the details. :wsmile:
 
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