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Stanley Everlasting Chisels

Samson's picture

Funny how actual experience can blow away expectations and romanticized notions of particular tools.


I fell in love with old tools soon after getting into woodworking as hobby. Chisels, planes, saws, you name it. I didn’t aim to collect, but instead to find nice users. With not much experience actually using at that point, and despite their prices, I fell for Stanley’s Everlasting line. I think I was drawn to their unique robust design – they just seemed to embody vintage quality. Before too long I’d put together a decent little set of 40s, mostly from the SW era, but I never used them much as I was still practicing my sharpening techniques and had yet to embark on projects I thought deserved "the good china" of my chisels so to speak (LOL).


I simultaneously bought some far-from-pristine 750's for like $10 or less each that I figured I’d sort of use as semi-beaters (not to pry paint lids mind you, just as more day-to-day users and to practice sharpening techniques, etc.). The 750s I got had good iron (no-pitting), but often beat up handles without their leather and sporting badly chipped laquer. I rehabilitated them by sawing off the nub and rounding the end that held the leather and sanding the finish off (replaced by BLO) and sharpened them up.


Well, funny thing happened, and I bet you’ve guessed it: those 750s have become my favorites by far. In fact, I really don’t like the 40's for most tasks as they are too heavy and out of balance (top heavy in operations like chopping out dovetail waste, for example).


I may have to sell the 40's - pretty as they are. Some collector will hopefully appreciate ‘em.


Edited 10/27/2006 3:45 pm ET by Samson

RyanC's picture

(post #103563, reply #1 of 7)

If your willing to sell I might be willing to buy(It would be a good birthday present for myself).


      -Ryan

Samson's picture

(post #103563, reply #2 of 7)

Ryan, I didn't mean my little tale to be an ad, but appreciate the interest.  I was kinda playing with the idea of eBay and a one-by-one sale.  I might also be hoping for more than you'd be willing to part with.  I have really nice examples filling out the range of the bevel edge version from 1/8th to around 1 1/2".  Are you a tool collector?  Or do you like using them?  Curious for obvious reasons.

RyanC's picture

(post #103563, reply #3 of 7)

I'm sure the price would be higher than I first thought, it sounds like an excellent set.  I try to use as most as I can but still turn to the tablesaw ALOT!  Luckily I live in the vicinity of a small antiques town called Hazel, Kentucky (if anyone has heard of it) so I can find tools pretty easily, like the 5 1/4 I just got and started the conversation on.  Thanks!


            -Ryan

BG's picture

(post #103563, reply #4 of 7)

Samson,


I've seen those Everlasts go for $100 each when in a whole set.....and the 750's go for $50 each in a whole set. On the other hand, i bought one 750 for $1...


So you could sell those Everlasts and get yourself a cheapie set of LN's....lol

Samson's picture

(post #103563, reply #5 of 7)

Yeah, I've thought of spending the proceeds at LN.  I dunno if chisels would be my choice unless you think their modern 750 types are somehow better than the old stanleys?

BG's picture

(post #103563, reply #6 of 7)

Samson,
To be honest, I'm not sure what better is anymore when it comes to chisels. I enjoy my hodge-podge of japanese, sorby, greenlee, bucks, etc. etc. bevel edge, firmers, etc. including my 8 little cheapie Stanleys that were bought by my father in the 50's. The key to me is the feel and the suitablility to the application...so I end up with a bunch of 'bests', not because they are, but because I have confidence with them. I'm slowly adding carving tools which help quite a bit...

Samson's picture

(post #103563, reply #7 of 7)

Yeah, along with my set of rehabbed 750 benchers, my paring chisels are a mismash of old stuff - couple Witherby's, a Greenlee, a Pexto, a couple Swans and Buck 2" slick.  And I can't complain about any of them.  That said, if someone said, pick one and I'll give you the rest of a matched set, I think I'd choose Witherby or Swan.  It may be all in my head, but I'd swear they sharpen to a better edge (like the metal is more pure and made up of finer more dense particles at some microscopic level) and hold it longer.


I too like to carve, though don't do much traditional furniture carving - more like sculptural stuff that sometimes stands alone and other times becomes part of a woodworking project.   While I have a handful of vintage ones, the ones I use most often are modern Japanese ones from the Japan Woodworker with the sort of bulbous handles.