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Good morning, Sheffield. I am an ex-pat Englishman (of Sheffield heritage) now living in Sweden. I have recently bought a number of old chisels for my woodworking hobby that were manufactured by old Sheffield steel and tool firms. I know the provenance of those that were made by: Stormont Tools, Robert Sorby, Marples and Alfred Ridge (Footprint); but I can find no reference, whatsoever, online to the chisel that is stamped "Ayrewood & Co, Sheffield". Does anyone on here have any reference material on that company that I could maybe peruse? Many thanks.

Edited by Duckfeet

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Evidently with 720 views, but no replies, no one reading this forum is old enough to have ever heard of Ayrewood Tools in Sheffield. Shame, that, since it means that another part of Sheffield's proud heritage is now lost to history.

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Can't help with an Ayrewood reference, but I wonder if some folks forget the plethora of cheap tools that were available at local tool shops and stores like Woolworths, in the 50s.

 

Wood chisels that could never stay sharp, cheap hammers that mushroomed and the handles kept coming off, pliers that couldn't cut or keep their milling, and cracked at the hinge if you squeezed too hard, screwdrivers that had soft points, and those cheap steel tapes that would never retract, or came apart.

 

I assume a lot of them were made in the Sheffield area, and if so it was a forgotten blot on the otherwise good reputation of Sheffield tools.

 

At that time the best tools were chrome vanadium from Toledo Ohio, and definitely NOT from Japan!

 

A quality, well designed tool was always a pleasure to hold, and lasted forever!

 

I believe Stanley set the early mark of reasonable quality!

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Duckfeet I was a time served joiner way back in the early sixties and served with some much older tradesmen who looked after their tools very carefully as without them they couldnt earn a living. I was always granted the loan of them provided I returned them as clean or cleaner then when first borrowed.

All those men had a preferance of tool manufacturer and all the makers of chisels you mention were to be found in the workshop except the one need information on which to me suggests the firm must have been a very short lived one in this area.

If they made a "good" chisel I,m sure I would have heard of them from my mentors bearing in mind that some of the older ones then would be around a hundred and twenty five years old today .

It may be n idea if you are keen enough to narrow things down to a period prior to ,or around 1875 .

My favourite chisels by the way were always Marples but much later Stanley did some very good ones also that were very slim--- super for dovetailing , I still have most of mine , clean, ground and sharp in the garage, nearly sixty years old now.

Hope this helps with your enquiries.

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alarming mark, trastrick and flightliner, thank you for your input, it is greatly appreciated. All the chisels I bought were very old and well-used. They all come (as far as I can ascertain ) from the late 19th or early 20th century. All are of exceptional quality and have scrubbed up (sharpened and polished) extremely well. They are sturdy and razor sharp. In fact the Ayrewood & Co firmer chisel is the best of the bunch, retaining a keen edge for a great length of time and is truly a joy to use. I'm guessing that the Ayrewood company (without doubt a Sheffield concern) was probably taken over by one of the other larger tool firms (maybe Marples or Robert Sorby). I have also possessed a set of Marples' very thin woodcarving chisels since the 1970s and they have never let me down. The same can be said of a couple of Henry Taylor's from the same era. I wouldn't part with them for the world. Many thanks again, chaps.

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Didn't Spear and Jackson's make good tools ? ( not to knock Stanley's tho'.) and that firm at the end of Cricket Inn Road ?

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Spear & Jackson make (made?) excellent garden tools. I had a spade and a garden fork made by them for years and they served me well. I don't recall any S & J woodworking tools though.

 

Michael Palin did a really funny skit on them in his "Ripping Yarns" comedy series. In the episode called "The Trials of Eric Olthwaite", Eric (played by Palin) was obsessed by shovels, especially the collection of his neighbour, Howard Molson, who had a "brand new Spear and Jackson Number 3, with steel scoop and brass embrazure." Utterly hilarious.

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Good morning, Sheffield. I am an ex-pat Englishman (of Sheffield heritage) now living in Sweden. I have recently bought a number of old chisels for my woodworking hobby that were manufactured by old Sheffield steel and tool firms. I know the provenance of those that were made by: Stormont Tools, Robert Sorby, Marples and Alfred Ridge (Footprint); but I can find no reference, whatsoever, online to the chisel that is stamped "Ayrewood & Co, Sheffield". Does anyone on here have any reference material on that company that I could maybe peruse? Many thanks.

 

Ive checked the 1911 / 1879 / 1860 / 1854 directories of Sheffield but to no avail, I could look in the 1789 one but I don't hold out much hope. Does the chisel look old, are there any more marks on it at all?

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Spear & Jackson make (made?) excellent garden tools. I had a spade and a garden fork made by them for years and they served me well. I don't recall any S & J woodworking tools though.

 

Michael Palin did a really funny skit on them in his "Ripping Yarns" comedy series. In the episode called "The Trials of Eric Olthwaite", Eric (played by Palin) was obsessed by shovels, especially the collection of his neighbour, Howard Molson, who had a "brand new Spear and Jackson Number 3, with steel scoop and brass embrazure." Utterly hilarious.

 

Now you got me grinning thinking about the two Ronnies sketch " four candles" " no, fork handles":hihi:

Edited by Ontarian1981

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Now you got me grinning thinking about the two Ronnies sketch " four candles" " no, fork handles":hihi:

 

Thought that was 'Open All Hours', well anyway..

 

---------- Post added 14-01-2018 at 21:05 ----------

 

Spear & Jackson make (made?) excellent garden tools. I had a spade and a garden fork made by them for years and they served me well. I don't recall any S & J woodworking tools though.

 

Michael Palin did a really funny skit on them in his "Ripping Yarns" comedy series. In the episode called "The Trials of Eric Olthwaite", Eric (played by Palin) was obsessed by shovels, especially the collection of his neighbour, Howard Molson, who had a "brand new Spear and Jackson Number 3, with steel scoop and brass embrazure." Utterly hilarious.

 

You maybe right about joinery tools and I think they made Saws. Thought I'd give Spear and Jackson's a mention tho' as they-the firm- may still be around.

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I've just had a look on Google and come up with S & J's website: http://www.spear-and-jackson.com They do, indeed make panel saws (among many other tools) and a few smaller saws and other sundries under the Eclipse name.

 

---------- Post added 14-01-2018 at 23:53 ----------

 

I've rechecked the chisel, lazarus, and all that it has stamped on the back of the body, just before the tang, are the words "Ayrewood & Co, Sheffield". No logo or any other trade mark.

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