Friday, February 10, 2012

American Pattern

American Pattern Beveled Edge Chisel     
In the Autumn of 1949, a pattern maker named Ashley Iles began making and selling tools in a small workshop in Sheffield, England. Today, the family run business is still making and selling finely crafted tools in a factory now located in Lincolnshire.
I had been shopping around for a quality set of bench chisels without wanting to break the bank and this set I purchased at Tools for Working Wood fit the bill to a tee. They have nicely shaped and very comfortable Bubinga handles with a brass ferule. The overall lengths are between  7 1/2″ – 9 1/4″.
The first thing is the name, American Pattern. This seems to be due to the handle being shaped much like a popular Stanley butt chisel that used to be available. Already owning a few paring chisels, I wanted a small chisel that had finely tapered edges and wouldn’t kill me when flattening and polishing the backs.
I did spend some time flattening the backs but they really weren’t that bad straight out of the box. About 5 minutes per chisel brought them up to a suitable polish and I was ready to go to work.
A good size for general purpose use in the wood shop.

Polishing the backs.
I bought a set of six and added two more ‘in between’ sizes to bring the collection to eight. A good choice for anyone that wants a well made, well balanced butt style chisel.
A set of six costs just under $150. That is an incredible price for a hand tool of this quality. I’ve been using them all week in a variety of different applications and hardwoods and so far they’ve lived up to all of my expectations.

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