LumberJocks

Stanley No. 161 Chisels #1: Say what?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 02-24-2021 04:14 AM 1274 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Stanley No. 161 Chisels series Part 2: Why, you asked? »

A recent addition to the shop arsenal are some uncommon Stanley tools, No. 161 Thin Blade, Butt Chisels. From a 1949 edition of Catalogue 34:

The #161 tang design is representative of E.A.Berg, et al, Swedish chisels and made by that company almost certainly. They rang up dismal sales while offered (roughly 1941-1955). The model number is stamped in the brass ferrule, and I picked up a ‘set’ that includes widths of 1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”, 1”, 1 1/4”, and 1 1/2”..

Mr. Leach professed he couldn’t recall seeing a single one in the past.

The interwebz has precious little on these specific chisels, outside of the random ebay listing and Worthpoint markers. So I thought I’d compose a few blog entries about them for posterity. But specifically, why did I decide to pull the trigger on these? What else is there to say about them? Well, more to come. ;-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -



24 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

12544 posts in 3506 days


#1 posted 02-24-2021 04:31 AM

They don’s appear to be abused, should be interesting.

So resistance is futile eh? Just had to buy ‘cuz didn’t have none. Nice score Smitty.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17273 posts in 3674 days


#2 posted 02-24-2021 04:37 AM

A kinda recent Porch comment was this: “Not to disparage the other lines of Stanley chisels, but these may be the finest crafted chisel I’ve ever seen from them. It is both sturdily built and rather elegant without being dainty. If just reading the text, imagine a cross between a Swedish chisel and a British ‘registered’ chisel.”

That’s quite the testimonial, Kevin! Who am I to resist such enabling speech??

Also from the Porch (Walter, in 1998):

“Chisels….

I’ve got a lot of nice BuckBros, various old Stanley,
excellent Witherby, and a couple old Sorby, Butcher,
Graves, etc. that also hold a good edge. After that,
the differences are in the type of chisel itself.

One line of Stanley that I hardly ever see, and would
be a very good addition for any galoot are the socket
model #160 and the tang #161 line introduced in 1941.
Last year in one of my local $7 gloats I found a bag full
of goodies which included 3 of these #160’s with decals.

These were very useful additions to the shop. At first
I thought that they must’ve been a cheap line, because
they were so thin and light, but after checking the 1948
Stanley catalog I found out that this line was actually
slightly more expensive than the popular #720 and #750
chisels so commonly found today.

That catalog describes them as “Thin Blade, Butt chisels”
Because of the extra thin blade, compared to the #750 line
or typical BuckBros butt chisels, these are very lightweight.
I find that an advantage which makes them great for holding
them squarely with one hand very easily while the other hand
is holding a mallet, as when making dovetails.

Walter”

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

11051 posts in 3348 days


#3 posted 02-24-2021 05:18 AM

This should be sweet! Cool chisels, and sounds like an awesome find

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

12544 posts in 3506 days


#4 posted 02-24-2021 06:16 AM

No wonder your chortling, they sound like a fine set of tools.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Don W's profile

Don W

19992 posts in 3623 days


#5 posted 02-24-2021 10:29 AM

Cool. I never thought of chisels as interesting before.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

7267 posts in 1637 days


#6 posted 02-24-2021 01:30 PM

Nice score, Smitty! Looks like they’ve found a good home that will appreciate them.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17273 posts in 3674 days


#7 posted 02-24-2021 02:16 PM

Thanks fellas, we’ll all learn some new stuff maybe!


No wonder your chortling, they sound like a fine set of tools.

- theoldfart

When did I chortle? Didn’t know I knew how to, so if I did it’s a teaching moment!

Well, sharpened up the 3/4” last night and what a task. Back edge rounded big time, had to grind off a 16th. It’s razor sharp now, but now I’m dreading hitting the others. But I will. And also looking for a 5/8” and 7/8” size. Let the hunt commence.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

10165 posts in 3495 days


#8 posted 02-24-2021 03:42 PM

Thoughts of lapping the backs, alone; it gives me a touch of angst.

Happy for you obtaining a new and interesting specimen, while enriching the hunt with the inclusion of the missing widths.

Thanks for taking the time to share with us Smitty.

-- ~Tony

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

12544 posts in 3506 days


#9 posted 02-24-2021 04:02 PM

So you have six of them and looking for two more. The math doesn’t work!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17311 posts in 2194 days


#10 posted 02-24-2021 05:52 PM

Sweet Smitty! Look a lot like some Sweedish ones I’ve collected over the years. Should make some fine users :-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4918 posts in 4790 days


#11 posted 02-24-2021 06:00 PM

I just knew there had to be a connection between Berg/Eskiltuna and Stanley! I have ‘Esteel’ and ‘Memo’ planes from Sweden and they are dead ringers for postwar Stanleys as well. Just unable to confirm it absolutely.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4381 posts in 4007 days


#12 posted 02-24-2021 10:00 PM

Nice, Smitty. Those things look like beasts. And, no, that’s not anthropomorphizing your tools—it’s zoomorphizing them.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17273 posts in 3674 days


#13 posted 02-24-2021 11:05 PM



Nice, Smitty. Those things look like beasts. And, no, that s not anthropomorphizing your tools—it s zoomorphizing them.

- Brandon

:-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Andre's profile

Andre

4459 posts in 2861 days


#14 posted 02-24-2021 11:35 PM

An then these happened:) (Made in England), Wonder what the thought will be in 100 years?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17273 posts in 3674 days


#15 posted 02-25-2021 04:19 AM

Are those Baileys yours by chance, Andre?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com