Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Tale Of Two Chisels...

A few weeks ago I was trolling eBay, looking for some carving chisels. I came across a listing that was simply marked, "two chisels" with a starting price of about $9. I did a double-take and quickly saw they were not chisels but turnscrews! And they looked to be just about the sizes I was looking for!

I've wanted to get a few turnscrews for some time now, but I've never wanted to spend the money on a full set of five or six - I just don't think I use enough screws in my woodworking to necessitate having all of those sizes. Any time I've seen them on eBay, they are either in the full set (and end up going for a whole lot of money) or they are individuals (with a starting bid of $20 or more).

I think the listing gave the wooden handles as "oak", but... given that they didn't know the difference between a chisel and a turnscrew, I didn't put much faith in their ability to identify the wood used. So here's a close-up of the handle...

What do you think? I've seen enough planes and tools in my day to see the similarities between these handles and the flecked rays of beech, so that would be my guess.

The ball of the handle of each turnscrew is slightly oval in shape, not really round. It fits well in the palm of my hand and seems to give me good control.

Both handles are marked with the word "TOGA" and the letter "E". I'm pretty certain Toga was a company in England that made turnscrews and chisels and braces (probably made a lot more than that, but those are the only things I've ever seen for sale with that name marked on them).

The tips of both turnscrews are a bit worn, so I might need to spend a little time fettling them just a bit to get them in shape. Fortunately for me, I came across an article on fettling screwdrivers in one of my recently acquired Fine Woodworking Magazines! I'll try to document the process when I get it started.

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