View Full Version : shave question

Walt Quadrato
08-07-2003, 3:58 PM
no, not your face :) I picked this up on a recent trip to Maine(hit every little junk & consignment shop on the way) Blade is marked "Deering" and it appears to be an unfinished, rough casting with the exception of the sole and mouth which are nicely finished. Made out of brass, I beleive. Would really like to know more about this Deering piece...Also picked up this little Norris gem. I now know why they call them indestructable! hope I got the picture size right..

John Wadsworth
08-07-2003, 5:35 PM

The Directory of American Toolmakers has two entries for Deering:

The first, Deering Co., made farm tools and wrenches and merged into International Harvester in 1902.

The second, J.R. Deering, sounds like your guy. He was located in Saco, Maine and made edge tools circa 1849.

Nice find!

And as for the little Norris bullnose--wow!

Walt Quadrato
08-07-2003, 6:24 PM
john, thanks..I guess it's time for me to increase my library with one of those books..walt

Dave Anderson NH
08-07-2003, 9:42 PM
I did some checking in Tom Lamond's book "Manufactured and Patented Spokeshaves & Similar Tools". There is no listing for a Deering, but that really isn't surprising. From the picture and your description, what you have is a gull wing shave. This type was originally developed for skiving leather and for smoothing leather belting and fits in the belt shave category. With some modifications to the basic style these were also used by woodworkers to level floors, remove the top layer of wood from stenciled packing crates so they could be reused, and occasionaly they were used by patternmakers. My guess is that the blade only is by Deering and that the brass indicates it was a knockoff of a patented shave made originally in cast iron. It was very common for patternmakers to take a cast iron tool, make a sand casting impression of it, and then cast it in brass in the shop where they worked. The fact that only the working surfaces have been cleaned up and machined would support this. This answer isn't definative, but I believe it's a pretty good guess.