I'd like to share with you gentlemen some tools that my father just passed down to me. They belonged to his father, my Opa (grandpa) for many many years. They were given to my Opa when he started work at 12 yrs old in 1917. As it is extremely unlikely that a 12 yr old just starting work at that time would have been given new tools, they were likely given to my Opa by his Opa. That puts most of these tools in the 200 yr old plus range.
I'd like to share these with you not only for interest sake, but if you are able to help me with dating them more accurately, or can tell me anything about their maker or other part of their history, any info would be appreciated.
As my whole family is Dutch, some of the Dutchman out there (you reading this Leo?) may be especially interested. I'm just gonna post the pics now and can add info or answer specific questions as they come.
The first one is a long wooden plane. It's about 25" long. Looks like the front handle broke off long ago.
I found it very interesting that the handle is only attached with wooden dowels. Still very snug and secure after all this time.
This interesting mark is found on the frog of several of the planes I got. This is the most clear I can get it.
This says "Zuurdeeg Rotterdam". Rotterdam is where my Opa and his family lived for many many generations. A Google search of Zuurdeeg only comes up as a family name. Perhaps the tool maker?
"J.S" are my Opa's initials, as well as his father's, and if I'm not mistaken, my Opa's Opa's initials as well. (Been a while since I did the family tree )
Here we see "Zuurdeeg" stamped on the blade iron.
And the number 88. Not sure if that is significantt at all?
Anyone know what the PD with the crown over it means? A company mark again? It's on the front of the plane.
This appears to say "GEBR KRAMER ROTTERDAM". Interestingly, a Google search reveals that Gebr Kramer was a blacksmith in Rotterdam that made Ice skate blades with a similar mark. He made the ice skate blades between 1910 and 1920. It appears he made this plane blade as well!
I wouldn't have necessarily expected the try plane (the long one) to have a front handle. I would have expected only a striking button for retracting the blade. Yours does seem to have some missing meat, though.
The crown mark with initials could be a combination of two things - the crown could be the mark of the shop, and the initials could be the initials of the individual craftsman who make the plane. Gransfors still does this today on their axes and whatnot. They say Gransfors Bruks, but they also have initials indicating which blacksmith made that particular tool.
The twin coffin smoothers are a bit perplexing because, as you say, they seem identical. Maybe they have a slightly different bedding angle (50 degrees and 55 degrees, perhaps).
The odd diamond shaped mark looks like it was made with one of those punches that joiners use to pattern the background of low-relief carvings on boxes and whatnot.
Anyway, nice tools with a cool heritage. Congrats!
In my grandfathers toolbox that's sitting in the basement there is a nice assortment of tools probably about the same vintage. On some ambitious day I should follow your example and take some pictures.
And here is a metal plane, fully adjustable. It's about 9 !/4" long. Other than the dirt it seems to be in great working order. The sole is dead flat and all the parts move and adjust freely. I might clean this one up and use it!
As near as I can tell, this says "Metal Products Co. Made in USA PARPLUS" the "West ..." something. Can't make it out.
A google search just revealed that this company was out of West haven Connecticut. Very odd to me that my Opa would have an American made tool in his collection. Maybe someone brought it over for him. He nor any of his family ever lived or visited outside of Europe as far as I know.
Last edited by RSWoodworks; 09-02-2009 at 01:32 PM.
This old hand drill also seems to be in good working order. The hand cut square tips to the drill pieces all fit snugly into the receiving end of the drill. They also lock into place with a metal clip and are released by depressing the clip. Very cool.
There are no markings on the drill or any of the bits at all.
Ryan I don't know a whole lot about old woodworking hand tools.
That big plane my neighbor across the street (wheelwright and wagon maker) used one I clearly remember, and it had no front knob.
I do have some Dutch links here, there are some names and places that might be willing to give you more info.
Now for the tools from your Opa, I wouldn't be surprised that an apprentice had to buy his own tools to start in a shop, normal ages for starting to learn a trade was 11 years old, my Dad started at that age also.
The crown on supplies like food and other articles were earned by companies, when they had proven to be of good enough quality to supply the Royal family.
Thanks guys. Mike, what makes that brace so special? Don't worry, I intend to take very good care of all of these. I will be building a display case for them and displaying them in my shop.
Leo, Ik wens dit ik meer Nederlands, maar I don' begreep; t. I can' t las zelfs een woord van het.
(I wish I could understand more Dutch, but I don't. I can't even read a word of it.)
And I got that from an on-line translator.
I'll have to have my dad look at those web sites and maybe ask some questions on that forum. That old catalogue sure is neat. Thanks very much for sharing.
Here is some more.
Some screw drivers. The top one's blade spins as you push down on it and it retracts into the handle. The handle is badly broken but the mechanism still works. Very early version of a power driver I guess.
Here it is with the blade pushed in.
Hard to make out these initials but I think they are JRGM. Stamped on the shaft. There are other letters or a word too but can't make them out at all.
Last edited by RSWoodworks; 09-03-2009 at 12:49 AM.
And last (for now) but not least, this old folding meter rule.
No. 2045 J. RABONE & SONS ENGLAND
NIET VOOR HANDELSDOELEINDEN, which translated means "Not for Commercial Purposes". I wonder why...?
Well thats all the tools I have for now. I think my dad still may have a few more, a larger hand saw and a tool box I think for sure.
Hope you enjoyed my sharing of this part of my family history. It sure means a lot to me. Thanks for looking and thanks for the help!
That brace, with its attendant bits, is not something you run into every day. Most of the stuff you have there, while old, is common enough. That's not to malign your grandfather's tools, you understand, but enough of them survived that they're certainly not show-stoppers. That brace with its bits is the first thing you've shown here that I don't already have, and that I covet.
The big screwdriver looks like a standard 'Yankee driver'. The reason the one tool says "Sheffield" could either be because the shop had relocated there to have ready access to the excellent steel available there, or simply because they used steel from there and so they marked it as such because the "Sheffield Steel" was the gold standard for many, many years. It was a selling point.
like the antique roadshow, you want to know value. That wooden brace with the bits is, like Mike said, the ace in the deck. The brace is often poopooed by satantly and other metallic tool collectors, but is has value to discriminating collectors, particularly with a set of bits. Theoretically maybe in the 3-500 range. but you will have tool collectors ball park it in the 40-100 range.
Next on my list of value would be perhaps the metric folding rule.
The wooden planes, well, nomatter how usable they are, which is often an issue, they go for 20-50 bucks, depending on how neophytic the buyer is. Unfortuante but true. Despite the sentimental attachment, these planes are frankly in the realm of "a dime a dozen" ; ie they are quite common.
But the steel is generally good, so toss em back in the trunk if you ain't gonna use em. More pragmatic to keep em safe rather than let them go for a song. You will derive more than 20 bucks of pleasure by just sharpening them up and using them.