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Thread: CE Jennings socket chisels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    422

    CE Jennings socket chisels

    I have the opportunity to pick up an 8-piece set of CE Jennings socket chisels for $100. The handles are all in great shape, there are no nicks in the edges and no rust. They are presently packed in a roll which may have kept them from getting banged up over the years. I've never run into Jennings before and know very little about them except that the company hasn't made chisels since the late 20s-early 30s.

    I suspect many folks here know much more about Jennings chisel than I do. How do they compare to the old Stanley 720s? What is the quality of the steel?

    Best regards,

    Ron
    Best regards,

    Ron

    You haven't really been lost until you've been lost at Mach 2!


  2. #2
    Similar to stanley chisels. most of the stuff from that era was made to a similar spec (in terms of hardness). Buck stands out as being a touch softer maybe, but most everything else (witherby, stanley, pexto/ps&W, etc, I don't know if you could tell them apart if someone changed their shape).

    At $100, you buy the chisels and decide if you like them later. If the set is complete with handles, it's worth several times that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    422
    David,

    The set ranges from 1/4" to 1 1/2", all the handles are there, none are cracked. My gut tells me I should grab them as soon as I can, get rid of my old set of Sandviks with the black plastic handles and put the Jennings in the rack above my collection of Japanese chisels.photo-17.jpg
    Best regards,

    Ron

    You haven't really been lost until you've been lost at Mach 2!


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Longview WA
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    My gut tells me I should grab them as soon as I can
    At $12.50 a chisel you haven't picked them up yet?

    Better hurry...

    My wallet would be out at that price for a decent chisel even if it needs a new handle.

    At that price they are priced to sell, even to someone who is thinking of flipping them for a profit.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
    You should definitely listen to your gut and you should run, not walk, back there and grab them before someone else does.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
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    422
    My difficulty is that they are being sold by a guy who only shows up at the flea market on Sunday. He says he's been trying to sell them for several months but "no one comes to a flea market to spend $100 on a set of chisels." I'm hopeful they will still be there next Sunday!

    Didn't think to get a contact phone number!
    Last edited by Ron Kellison; 08-24-2014 at 9:49 PM.
    Best regards,

    Ron

    You haven't really been lost until you've been lost at Mach 2!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    7,924
    I have two Jennings drawknives. Both are take excellent edges and hold them well.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    South Coastal Massachusetts
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    I thought I had it bad with my Marples addiction.

    Better reinforce that pegboard.
    I'll bet your foundation isn't plumb anymore...

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Matthews View Post
    I thought I had it bad with my Marples addiction.

    Better reinforce that pegboard.
    I'll bet your foundation isn't plumb anymore...
    You must have caught the same bug that I have. I just picked up a complete set of bench chisels with Boxwood handles last week, and I've lost count of how many sets I already have.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sebastopol, California
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    2,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My wallet would be out at that price for a decent chisel even if it needs a new handle.
    At that price for complete, clean quality chisels of that vintage, my wallet pocket would be in danger of catching on fire from the speed with which the wallet was removed from it.

  11. #11
    I'd meet the guy at his house. His chisels would've been bought at my local flea by a flipper here who runs the circuit at the local flea market and buys everything good and then sets up his stuff. If there's an excellent deal, it's literally impossible for you, me, or anyone else to get it. All you have to do is look on the tailgate of his truck to see what he took from the flea market that day. he's a fair guy on his stuff, though, about 2/3rds of ebay price and he'll deal - he just completely eliminates the chance of getting any super deals.

    I guess what I'm saying is if you wait too long, someone who sells on ebay will come by and offer the guy $85 and you won't get those chisels but someone on ebay will pay $300 for the set and everyone will be happy except you!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by David Weaver View Post

    I guess what I'm saying is if you wait too long, someone who sells on ebay will come by and offer the guy $85 and you won't get those chisels but someone on ebay will pay $300 for the set and everyone will be happy except you!
    You may be overestimating a bit there. Check Ebay completed listings for Jennings chisels.

  13. #13
    It'll depend on condition. I see only one set of chisels sold, which appears to be an unused box of 12 chisels with the box (something more valuable) that sold for an undisclosed amount below a $1200 ask on a Best Offer auction. Nothing else compares to a clean set of chisels with unbroken handles.

    If they are clean and matching with little use, and there's 8 of them (firmers), $300 would be my guess.

  14. #14
    The idea that tools, etc. worth hundreds and are for sale for $100. or less at swap meets, but nobody buys them, is a real stretch of the imagination.
    Sure, things like that do turn up, and I've bought a lot of them. But they don't fail to sell because nobody comes prepared to spend $100.
    A big percentage of lookers at swap meets, etc. are resellers and they quickly grab up any deals.

  15. #15
    We'll see if and when we get a look at them. There's very little sold (match chisels in a set of 8, firmers) on ebay in the last several months to compare them to. One set of 12 jennings firmers in a box that sold for some large unknown amount (on an ask of $1200).

    I can't imagine that it's that important if it's $200 or $400 unless you are just posting to argue.

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