Tools #2: CS Osborne draw gauge/leather slitter (OLD)

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Blog entry by GlennsGrandson posted 09-04-2012 04:07 AM 10525 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Disston D8's and Warrented Superior logging saw.. Part 2 of Tools series Part 3: Forrest 10" WWII blade and stiffener. ebay! $35.95!!! »

I just picked one of these up at a garage sale for $2 not knowing what it was. (and got a lot of other great buys too!)

It says C.S. OSBORNE & co. NEWARK, N.J. From what I’ve read it is indeed a leather cutter, aka draw gauge (

Mine has black japaning on the handle and the blade says C.S. OSBORNE & CO HARRISON N.J. The blade must have been a replacement.

On the opposite side of the measurements is it stamped MADE IN U.S.A., it’s stamped again U.S.A. in smaller letters, and then someone felt obligated to etch U.S.A. in it again…

It also measures out to 5”, most listed online only go to 4”.

What I understand is that the company moved from Newark to Harrison in 1906 and the first patent that they had on these tools was 1876 I believe. So it is at least 106 years old today. Most likely older. They seem to be averaging about $50 online regardless of the condition (obviously a bit more for better shape).

I also am not exactly sure how this was used because as you can see in the link that I posted it as appears as my blade is in the wrong way.

Anyways, I am going to keep it. I actually was using it as a type of marking gauge until I looked into what it supposed to be used for. I still might use it as a marking gauge, need to sharpen the blade up some. It works best as a marking gauge if you flip the bar upside down and keep the blade pointed down, then you have a square edge to ride along the edge of the wood. (As shown below)

Also, I believe mine is missing the gibs that go between the bar and blade and the thumb screws (still works)
Great find anyways, cool conversation piece!

-- Grant - N Dakota

2 comments so far

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3549 days

#1 posted 09-04-2012 11:18 PM

The extra USA stamping and etching are quite possibly UNITED STATES ARMY. When I was in the army, most everything was labeled with USA for UNITED STATES ARMY. Likewise USAF, USN, USMC. This could also explain the extra long measurement. The military seems to have a need to cusomize everything that they order. I believe that they are used for cutting leather belts, straps, cords, etc.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View GlennsGrandson's profile


443 posts in 2725 days

#2 posted 09-05-2012 01:58 AM

Thanks a lot, it is cool to know that this may have an even greater history than I expected.
Very great information Doug!

-- Grant - N Dakota

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