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Stanley No. 161 Chisels #2: Why, you asked?

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 03-05-2021 08:32 PM 563 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Say what? Part 2 of Stanley No. 161 Chisels series no next part

Why indeed… Sooner or later, the slippery slope can take a person down the path of rounding up sets of tools that otherwise aren’t commonly available. Even though, as in the case of chisels, the user already has a perfectly serviceable set in-house. How does that happen? Can’t speak for anyone else, but in my case this No. 161 fixation started with the little guy on the left.

I uncovered that 3/8” tang chisel with replacement handle in the “CHISELS” drawer in Dad’s shop space. I always look for maker’s marks on chisels, and was surprised to see STANLEY embossed around the small shaft of this particular chisel; didn’t know Stanley made tang chisels!

However it got there, by either Dad or Grandad, I had a weird chisel and couldn’t find much of anything about it on the web; my Search Fu wasn’t working well at all. Fast forward several months, and one of Der Leachmeister’s infamous Tool Lists came out. And in the List was a set of Stanley No. 161 Tang Chisels! I recognized the shape of the blades and base, and now I had a number and a handle design. Cool. Oh, and the one I have is a 3/8 inch, a size that wasn’t in Leach’s set. It was meant to be (Slippery Slope Wins).

It also meant, however, that I had to find a matching handle for my 3/8” blade. Some thing that I figured would be almost impossible (Patrick agreed, btw). Enter eBay, and a listing for a “old Stanley chisel.“ It had a solid handle, and was a size that I already had: 1/4 inch. Got it for a minimum bid (Yay! It happens every once in awhile!) and it just arrived. Pulling replacement handle was easy. Freeing up the ‘new’ handle was a grunt fest.

But it worked out. The handle transplant is complete.

Set is up to seven!

Any more in queue? I guess we’ll have to see what comes my way. And if you have a stray stanley No. 161 tang chisels, let me know OK? ;-)

Thanks for looking!

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



17 comments so far

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

4467 posts in 2375 days


#1 posted 03-05-2021 11:23 PM

Good that the tang was the same size in both. Nicely done Smitty.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

12543 posts in 3502 days


#2 posted 03-05-2021 11:26 PM

Looks like it was there with the others all along.

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7227 posts in 1633 days


#3 posted 03-05-2021 11:27 PM

Sweet set, Smitty!

So how many different “types” of Stanley 161 are there that you’ll need to collect in total? ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Don W's profile

Don W

19967 posts in 3618 days


#4 posted 03-05-2021 11:27 PM

Some times you just have to do what you have to do.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17269 posts in 3669 days


#5 posted 03-06-2021 02:39 AM

Mixed feelings l, Don? I didn’t destroy anything, but it is a bit radical. Not quite a frankenchisel. That’d be wrong.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17269 posts in 3669 days


#6 posted 03-06-2021 02:21 PM

Duck and Dave – yeah, it appears to be only one “type” of 161, so the tangs are the same. The 3/8” blade looks great in the new handle, so it’s a win-win.

Thx Kevin!

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

View mafe's profile

mafe

13065 posts in 4140 days


#7 posted 03-07-2021 02:28 PM

Nice set, love the story.
Ohhhhh the slippery slope, I’s endless.
Big laugh.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17269 posts in 3669 days


#8 posted 03-07-2021 02:51 PM

:-)

Hello Mads! Yes, the Slope knows no bounds.

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

View mafe's profile

mafe

13065 posts in 4140 days


#9 posted 03-07-2021 08:18 PM

Hello Smitty, yes I’m not so much around these days, life is moving too fast and I enjoy it.
Big smile and nice to see you.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

10165 posts in 3491 days


#10 posted 03-08-2021 02:48 PM

...and it had an intact decal, dig it.

-- ~Tony

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17269 posts in 3669 days


#11 posted 03-09-2021 01:32 PM

Haven’t lathed in years, but it looks okay.

How to match that weird yellowish/ orange finish?

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7227 posts in 1633 days


#12 posted 03-09-2021 05:25 PM

That looks like either orange or ruby shellac from here, Smitty.

Edit to add: color comparison here for reference.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mafe's profile

mafe

13065 posts in 4140 days


#13 posted 03-09-2021 07:52 PM

I also think shellac and time.
Nice work lathing.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17269 posts in 3669 days


#14 posted 03-09-2021 07:56 PM

Dave, Thanks!

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

View Tom's profile

Tom

220 posts in 942 days


#15 posted 03-23-2021 08:07 PM

Interesting chisels. I had not heard of those before. They remind me of the plastic handles Series 60 chisels, but with a wood handle. When the tool fever hits, it can be hard to resist… :)

-- Tom

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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