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Forum topic by Don Broussard posted 12-04-2013 03:38 AM 4489 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Broussard

4093 posts in 3588 days

12-04-2013 03:38 AM

Apologies in advance for the length and picture-heaviness of this post.

We have a local website where private parties offer items for sale or for free—I like to think of the website as the child of a Facebook/Craigslist marriage. My wife (my elf) saw a posting yesterday for some miscellaneous tools. The rough pictures showed a few hand saws (one of which has the Disston PHILADA medallion), an eggbeater drill, along with an old toolbox and two tool totes. The listing also included a small two-tank electric air compressor. The seller was asking $100 for the whole bunch. As it turns out, the seller was a young woman who went to school with my daughter and she ended up selling me all the tools in the original listing for $50. The smalls are in an Evaporust bath now, and I’ll pull them out tomorrow and start cleaning them up. I hope to find some identifying marks on some of the more unfamiliar and/or unusual tools.

There were also a number of triangular files and a saw set, suggesting that the previous owner sharpened his own hand saws. The saw set is not pictured below but it appears to be a run-of-the-mill saw set (thinking it’s a Disston).

Also not pictured separately is a pair of strap-on quad roller skates without the skate key.

Here’s what I brought home:

Toolbox No. 1 and Contents

Tool Tote No. 2 and Contents

Tool Tote No. 3 and Contents

Compressor and Hose

As I mentioned above, there are a few tools that are unfamiliar to me. My hope is that someone will recognize one or more of these tools below.

The file at the top has a square cross-section, with the maximum dimension of about ¾”. The cut of the file is only in one direction. The tang is also larger than any file tang I’ve seen. The end opposite the tang appears to have been broken off. The overall length of the file is about 17”.

The screwdriver (?) shown above had a hollow handle for storing bits (I think the bits are part of the haul). I has a nice wooden handle and the top has internal wooden threads. I’m guessing that the mating threads in the body had worn out, because a previous owner put string in the threads to make the top stay on.

Finally, three of these these four tools look to have taken a pounding. I’m thinking they were tools for tooling leather, but that’s just a guess.

I hope to provide additional information after I’ve cleaned the tools up a bit. Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

31 replies so far

View MisterInquisitive's profile


32 posts in 3433 days

#1 posted 12-04-2013 04:49 AM

In the last photo—

A hardie to fit in the hardie hole of an anvil; for cutting hot steel.
A bearing scraper, to fit a bearing to its corresponding journal; often used on pre-1930s crankshafts (this is from memory, a fair bit before my time).
A punch for leather or for gaskets, such as on the head of an automobile engine.
A cold chisel, for cutting/splitting metal.

The square tang “screwdriver” may be for large files, such as a Vixen file for lead on bodywork, or it may have had an assortment of tanged tools in the handle, such as screwdrivers, drills, etc. Toolmakers made a lot of weird combo-tools.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 3691 days

#2 posted 12-04-2013 06:53 AM

I’d say the last couple of pictures are “machinist” tools, specialized files and chisels mostly used for working metal.

You’ve got what appears to be what’s left of an adze which was an old axe like tool used for flatening logs, the blade would have been perpindicular to that of a hatchet and is generally curved, a wooden clothes pin, what appears to be an end off of a curtain rod, an old valve some door handles, but I’m sure you kow all that.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View ernie's profile


25 posts in 3343 days

#3 posted 12-04-2013 07:15 AM

Mr. Inquisitive has got your tools identified.
The hardy and the babbit scrapper look ready to go to work. Hole punch appears sharp also.
Saw sets, many made, some today are very collectable. You may have a jewel with the Disston.
Looks like you did OK for 50.

-- Ernie, Etna, WA

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4369 days

#4 posted 12-04-2013 07:53 AM

WOW!! Nice Haul Don!!!

A neighbor gave me 2 Old Hand saws that use to belong to his Father. They Looked in pretty well the same condition as Yours at the top. After MUCH Steel Wool, Sanding, Staining and Painting all the Connectors etc.

They now look like the Picture below. I sent the Blades out for Sharpening, just got them back.

These Babies are going back into Service.




-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

4093 posts in 3588 days

#5 posted 12-05-2013 04:08 AM

Thanks for the great information. Y’all are the reason I keep coming back here—one of the best collection of smart, observant participants anywhere on the ‘net!

I pulled the rusty tools out of the Evaporust bath this morning and started cleaning with sandpaper, steel wool and a drill-mounted wire brush. There were a few German tools (mostly bits) and other items of foreign manufacture (saw files) in the grouping.

@Mister—Looks like the previous owner was partial to machine tools. The bearing scraper or Babbitt scraper had “BUFFUM” on one of the flats. The third item, identified as a punch, has the number “10” stamped on the rectangular portion (probably sizing information).

@TCC—I don’t know how you saw that adze and recognized it in two dimensions. I held it in my hand and thought it was a hatchet. After cleaning it up a bit, I noted that there was a “2” stamped into the blade.

@ernie—I cleaned up the saw set with a wire brush this afternoon, and it turns out that it’s not a Disston—it’s a Morrills set. I’ll see if I can find anything on Morrills on line. I know that I don’t recognize the name, but I do have another saw set that is very similar to the Morrills, but the other one has no branding.

@Rick—Those shiny things sure are eye catching! Those old saws just feel good in the hand and are pretty therapeutic to use. Nice restores on the totes and plates. I got quite a few triangular files in this haul, so I’ll be sharpening a few of my own saws soon. I did a preliminary cleaning of the plate this afternoon, hoping to find an etch—nothing found. However, I did see that there was a large “X” stamped on the top of the heel on the presentation side, under the tote. I’m sure that means something to someone. BTW, there was no stamping of the ppi on the bottom heel of the plate. This one definitely needs a good jointing and sharpening—the current tooth geometry is all about cattle, full of calves and cows.

Any ideas on these two items?

Unusual hammer head. The tapered cylindrical part is unusual and the claw section is curved in two directions (the “regular” way and transverse as well).

This looks like a nail set but the end you’d pound on is rounded on top. The barrel is knurled and I did not find any markings on the tool. It’s roughly 4” long.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View summerfi's profile


4385 posts in 3023 days

#6 posted 12-05-2013 05:58 AM

Don, that hammer looks to me like a farrier’s hammer for shoeing horses. See this for a modern example.

What looks like a nailset could be a nailset. I have a couple similar. Or it could be a small punch. I have a similar one of those too.

The long square file in one of the pictures looks like a square wood rasp. If the teeth are course I’d say that’s what it is.

The screwdriver handle with removable top is a nice little tool. In addition to screwdriver bits, I’ve seen them with little chisels and gouges too.

I think the item that looks like the end of a curtain rod is actually the top off a cast iron fence picket.

Nice haul.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works -- ~Non multa sed multum~

View Don W's profile

Don W

20282 posts in 3904 days

#7 posted 12-05-2013 11:40 AM

Nice haul Don.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

4093 posts in 3588 days

#8 posted 12-06-2013 01:18 AM

I pulled a few more items out of the bath this morning and did a bit more cleaning.

@summerfi—The hammer head does look like the modern farrier’s hammer you linked. I think you nailed it (pun intended). So, that nail set-looking thing might actually be a nail set. Correcting something in the original post, that square file is double-cut—I couldn’t tell until I wire brushed it clean. I won’t rule out that it is a rasp, but the teeth are pretty fine.

@DonW—Thanks. I didn’t claim “gloat” on this one—I’d rather be “awarded” a gloat. It is a pretty nice haul, though.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

4093 posts in 3588 days

#9 posted 12-14-2013 02:46 AM

I wire brushed and sanded a few items since my last post, and I have a few bits with German markings on them (mainly square bottoms), European saw files and a twist drill bit made by Cleveland Tool Co.

I cleaned a few more items today and found a few more nice pieces.

Hollow-handled square chuck tool. Has “Bridge Tool Co.” stamped on the ferrule.

Cutting torch tip cleaner.

Eclipse No. 60 hack saw:

Small skew back hand saw. There are no markings on the plate and no medallion to help in identifying the saw. Two-nut tote in good condition. I thought it might be a toy saw, but the saw was sharp and had a clean joint line. I touched up the teeth but haven’t set it yet. There is a slight bend in the plate, but it’s correctable.

Unknown tool or tool part. I originally thought that it was brass or bronze due to the color of the patina. Turns out it is bright and shiny silver and it is magnetic. There is a smooth borehole (about ⅜”) through the part, with one end having a larger entry hole. Overall dimensions 4-¾” long x 1-½” diameter.

I’m having fun discovering all these new things! If you can help with identification with any of these, I’d appreciate that! Thanks for looking.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 3696 days

#10 posted 12-14-2013 03:15 AM

I believe the thing you’re seeing as a curtain rod part (as well as at least one other thingy on the upper left) are victorian-era gas pipe fittings and valve handle.

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

4093 posts in 3588 days

#11 posted 12-14-2013 11:25 PM

@DocBailey—There were definitely some old gas valves with nice quarter turn handles in the bunch. I cleaned up that Victorian-looking thing on a wire wheel last night:

It looks Celtic as well. I did not see any markings on it. I think the piece is cast iron.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View summerfi's profile


4385 posts in 3023 days

#12 posted 12-15-2013 01:24 AM

I’m still thinking it’s one of these . If not for a fence, then for some other ornamental Victorian iron work.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works -- ~Non multa sed multum~

View CFrye's profile


11408 posts in 3176 days

#13 posted 06-17-2014 02:14 AM

Nice haul, Don. The second to the last thing pictured (brass looking-not brass) looks familiar. I asked Jim. He said it looks like a piston of some kind.

-- God bless, Candy

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5049 days

#14 posted 06-17-2014 02:30 AM

Could the long square section be a farrier’s rasp? Its a good length for it. Are there different coarse faces on each side?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View YanktonSD's profile


190 posts in 3868 days

#15 posted 06-17-2014 02:38 AM

What does the hatchet have for a maker? also that anvil piece in the last picture is really hard to find…most of them got lost.

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