Practical Carriage Building

Compiled by M.T. Richardson, Vol.1. 1891

Poorly Made Tools

My son recently began his apprenticeship, and I bought him a complete kit of tools. I did not haggle about the price, but paid what was asked, supposing I would get value for my money. But the fact turns out quite differently. Some of the chisels are soft on one side and too hard on the other, and as the temper color is polished off, I donít know whether the error was in the hardening or the tempering. I am in favor of leaving the temper color on, so that if there is any part left too hard, it can be tempered down without hardening the whole chisel over again. I believe it would pay to make first-class tools, notwithstanding the keen competition. Now let me run over some of the faults I find these tools possess.

Poorly Made Tools Faulty Compasses Fig. 31 Faulty Bits Fig. 32-33 Faulty Brad Awls Fig. 34 Imperfect Auger Bits Fig. 35 Bit with threads too shallow Fig. 36-37

First, the compasses in Fig. 31 (page 43). The screw A and the nut B are almost stripped of their threads already. The segment C holds in some places but not in others, and the spring V has lost a great part of its set. Next, the bit, Fig. 32, has a crooked spiral from S to S, and a crooked flute at F. The bits in Fig. 33 have too much clearance at A but not enough at B, so one edge does all the cutting.

Some of the brad awls, Fig. 34, have more spread at than at C than D. When we come to the auger bits, Fig. 35, find one cutting edge, A, is lower than the other, B. The screw S is oval. One spur, W, is higher than the other, and the edges C are of different depths. The small auger bits, Fig. 36, are the best tools of the whole lot although some of their screws have very shallow threads. I have among the lot a brace that holds the bits by a spring catch, and the notches at N, Fig. 37, are cut so deep that the catch does not hold, Now I donít think that it is at all necessary to sacrifice quality for price in order to make sales, and I believe that if the manufacturers were to make really first-class tools and charge a fair price for them, no workman would object to pay it.óBy M. E.