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New Student question on secondhand tools

Good Morning Mary,


My name is Scott Martin and I am brand new to woodcarving.


Before signing up recently I had the chance to purchase a few henry Taylor and Ashley illes chiesels. I have watched the restoring antique tools video and would like your opinion on what to do with the tools I have acquired.


I, like you, just want them in working order not for resale or display. A friend of mine whom has been woodworking for a number of years says that they may have been treated beforehand to remove some rust?


Can you suggest how to restore these tools please?


My other question is that I can see that each of them are numbered and I believe its the London patterning system, how can I identify which width it is, as I don't want to write on the tool. Die I know its a number 5 but what width number 5. Should I put a tag on it to denote size?


Kind Regards,

Scott Martin

Uploaded files:
  • IMG_20210719_093926.jpg

Hi Scott,

Welcome to the world of woodcarving! It's difficult to see in the photo how they have been treated or whether rust was removed.


The best way to figure out the width is to measure them in mm. You can also find a tool "chart" (Woodcraft Supply has these on their website) where they show all the curvatures and widths. Print this out and simply match the size and curvature. Labeling them can be a little more difficult. Depending on the color of the handle, you can mark them with a pen. I hope this helps!

Scott Martin has reacted to this post.
Scott Martin

Hi Mary,


I have attached another photo if that helps.

Kind Regards,


Attached file

Uploaded files:
  • IMG_20210719_0939001.jpg


If all of the tools have the brass ferrules then you could mark the sweep and width on them with a vibrating marking tool after comparing them to the chart that Mary mentions. Just keep in mind that there are differences between the London Pattern and the Swiss pattern and you might have to do some more research to find a London pattern chart. The measurement on the width wouldn't change though.

Have fun.