View Full Version : Anyone ever heard of Denike Matthews?....

Mike Langford
08-03-2009, 9:13 PM
Last Saturday I bought some carving chisels and such from an 88 yr old gentleman who was selling all his carving stuff on Craigslist....

Included were 11 chisels that are marked "DENIKE-MATTHEWS" and they appear to be well made....The story the old gentleman told me was, about 20 yrs. ago he attended a carving school run by Mr. Denike Matthews in Oakland, New Jersey(?)

He said that Denike had a tool company (he didn't know the co. name) in Newark, New Jersey(?) make up these chisels for him to sell at his school.....

Has anyone (especially you Joisey guys) ever heard of Denike Matthews and/or his carving school (remember this was 20 yrs ago...)

Does anyone else have a set of Denike carving chisel?

Does anyone know which tool company made the chisels?

Any and all info will be greatly appreciated....I'm curious to know if anyone else is familiar with Denike Matthews!

124509 124510

Here's a pic of some of the other stuff I got from the old gentleman....

All you carving guys keep an eye on the classifieds as I'm going to sell some of the items I bought to offset the total cost of what I keep! ;)

John Novak
08-04-2009, 11:14 AM
There is a tool manufacture named UJ Ramelson in Newark NJ. Originally they maunfactured engraving tools with the red palm handles. One of their salesmen retired and talked them into making woodcarving tools that he could sell under the name Harmen as an additional income for his retirement.

The pictures look very much like the Harmen / UJ Ramelson tools. I would not be surprised if they were the manufacture.

A retailer could purchase these tools and for a slight fee have their name placed on the handles.

They are very good tools but not very expensive -- good quality for the money. All of the tools are hand tools - do not use a mallet.

Daniel Heine
08-04-2009, 11:42 AM

I would second John's opinion. These look very much like Ramelson's full size tools. Take a look at their web site to see their full line of palm and full sized tools. I have a few of their palm tools and they are very good quality.


Vic Castello
08-04-2009, 4:33 PM
Ramelson's are very cost effective tools for the beginning carver. I have many of their palm tools which I purchased "on the cheap" by the set.... which I still use primarily for undercutting relief carvings.

Mike Langford
08-05-2009, 9:15 PM
Thanks for the replies guys....

I posted my question(s) on a woodcarving forum and received info about the American Woodcarving School in Wayne,NJ, founded by Michael DeNike.
I emailed the school and here is the email reply:

Yes these are form the American Woodcarving School. Mike DeNike was the founder. Iím still working on who Mathews is.
Theyíre made by Ramelson in Newark, NJ. They still make the same set, but your tools are a better quality than the new tools.
Mr. Denike recently passed away. Iím waiting for his daughter to call me back.

Jerry Cetrulo

So, you guys were correct about UJ Ramelson making these chisels! (I like the part about the "better quality" :D)