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Hey guys, First time poster here, with woodworking in the family and training in my early years - since forgotten, however having grown up in the era of power tools, i've shifted my interest from making pieces with these to more traditional old ways and i want to get an 'authentic' toolset together to try and get some of those imperfections into the 'period' type pieces I am starting to make.

What hand tools were in an 18th early 19th century joiner/cabinetmaker's toolbox? What 'powered' equipment did they have access to?

I can't find a specific list of tools anywhere regarding what was available at the time.
 

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I am fascinated with hand tools myself. I am not going to be able to help you really just post stuff that I drool over from a later period than you are talking about. I REALLY want a Stanley #45 & #55 (with all the irons) http://jonzimmersantiquetools.com/features/combo.html

I am sure you have seen this before, my dream toolbox
http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/tool_chest_made_by_studley.htm

I have a shop full of power tools, but still use spoke shaves/roundovers/rasps...I am not going to open this can of worms again. They make laser guided cnc machines that can make things out of wood, perfect every time. Is that machine a woodworker ?
 

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Go to the library or Barnes and Nobles and pick up some hand tool books. Here is another link...
http://freepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wakefield/history/27238-h/27238-h.htm

I think in these old woodshops you are going to find them centered around a bench and a tool chest, which may look more like a trunk in many cases. The tool boxes and tools of the day were often the resume' of these workers. The nicer the chest the better the craftsman. I think there was more specialization then too, joiners, wheelwrights, chair makers, etc. They each had specialized tools. The predominant ones were probably a selection of handsaws, bit and braces, marking knives, awls, handplanes, try squares, sharpening stones, and probably specialized items from there. If you are talking 18th century, which is the 1700's, I don't think you'll be looking at any power tools unless they are steam driven off a single belt line, but that's probably later in the 1800's. Volumes has been written on these old techniques. The Woodwright Show specializes in these old techniques and anything Christopher Schwartz is gonna be handtool oriented. I own a book called hand tool esentials that has a lot of great information on old hand tools and techniques with a dash of history thrown in for good measure. It is a composition of several contributors including Schwartz, McConnell, Cherubini, and several more. That's a good read if you are looking for one that gives you tips on the tools. There are more historical books out there though if that is your predominant area of interest.
 

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Old School
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The tool boxes and tools of the day were often the resume' of these workers. The nicer the chest the better the craftsman. I think there was more specialization then too, joiners, wheelwrights, chair makers, etc. They each had specialized tools. The predominant ones were probably a selection of handsaws, bit and braces, marking knives, awls, handplanes, try squares, sharpening stones, and probably specialized items from there.
An interesting fact of the craftsmen of the times is that some to many of their tools were of their own fabrication, to do their jobs. An inspection of some of these tools can be pure guesswork as to what they are.







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As important as any tool in the "box" is the workbench. 18th century workbenches are works of art and function. Holding the work piece solidly at the right height and orientation is a key to success using hand tools.
 

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glh17
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Roy Underhill did a two-part series on the The Joiners Toolbox a couple of years ago. The series is available at no cost on his PBS website I'm sending a link to the first segment. If it doesn't work, just google Roy Underhill PBS and go to the watch episodes link and look under the 2008-2009 season (I think).

http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/2800/2801.html

P.S. As I recall, these segments are more about the construction of the toolbox and not so much about the tools, although there is some discussion of tools.
 

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Hungry like a Hippo
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I just picked The Toolbox Book from amazon. It has some great information & ideas on toolboxes and their history. If you look a little you can find a lot of the Taunton books for pennies on the dollar.
 

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Colonial Williamsburg offers a book that I found extreamly helpful for my 18th century jointers box , its called "TOOLS" woodworking in the eighteenth -century America, by James M.Gaynor and Nancy L. Hagedorn. The ISBN# 0-87935-098-9
I hope this one book will help, I too am an 18th century jointer and now moving somewhat into the 19th century as well. Since i'm employed at a Historical site this has been a tremendous assets over the last eight years.
Feel free to contact me i would really like to visit over the E-pad and catch up.
 

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I have a picture of a tool chest from the Dominy shop in East Hampton. It and a recreation of the shop are on display at Winterthur. Interestingly, cabinetmakers of the day didn't just make furniture, they might build clocks, fix guns, repair boats, make coffins, hay rakes and just about anything else that would be used for daily living in the time. Most powered equipment was driven by an apprentice, hand turned lathes, planes with apprentice handles, etc. If I remember, there were some 800 tools in the Dominy shop bit they covered more applications than just woodworking. Very interesting to read about life in the day and the many skills it took just to survive.
 

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Dig around here...........http://anthonyhaycabinetmaker.wordpress.com/

I spend WAY too much time in Williamsburg....as well as old Salem,NC....as well as...bunch of neat historic places.You've got to be patient.Study comes in several forms.Theres "site work"(which can break down into sub-categories),reading material,and hands-on.We live in a very fortunate time WRT handtools.BW
 

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Yes I agree with the last post, research comes in so many different forms. Our site is in the "Territory of North Carolina" 1780, so what i have is used as well for cabin building, to furniture building, erecting pickets around our station. From a brick home of a gentelman who came from one of the "Tide Water" regions. But all is constructed or rebuilt on the premise or research. I spend my off time in a some what garage shop going through trial and error projects. But it as with many other aspects keep me in constant practice, oh and it keeps me out of the wifes hair.
 
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