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Thread: FS - Douglass Mfg. Co. 9" Drawknife

  1. #1
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    FS - Douglass Mfg. Co. 9" Drawknife

    The Douglass Manufacturing Co. has an interesting history and is considered the forerunner of the famed James Swan tool company. From what I can discern in 1856 Douglass established a factory in Seymour Conn. for the manufacture of augers, auger bits, etc., but there is some evidence he was making edge tools in Arlington, Vt. prior to 1956. There were a couple of changes in ownership over the next few years. Ultimately, James Swan, who had been identified with the business as superintendent and manager since June 1865, purchased the business in 1877. That puts this knife as being at least 145 and possibly closer to 170 years old.

    It has an interesting blade profile as can be seen in the first pic. While the back is flat, the overall cross section of the blade is much more like a knife than most drawknives I have seen. This one has all the markings of a hand forged knife. There is a very shallow crack in the left corner of the tang bend as viewed from the front. When I first noticed it I was puzzled. If the crack had been related to the angle put on the tang it would have been on the back side of the tang. It is my belief that this is a stress crack from the original casting of the steel, which is known to move after having been cast. It is obviously an old fissure. It certainly doesn't present an issue of functionality as it is simply too small and shallow.

    The blade is extremely sharp and it exhibits a very prominent lamination as can be seen on the edge. The cast steel contrasts with the lamination as having a gray cast - more so than other forged steels I have encountered. It comes with my custom blade guard, however, because of the blade profile the guard pops off easily if disturbed. So, be aware of that when handling the knife!

    The handles do show a lot of wear. I have cleaned off many decades of dirt and grime and refinished them. There is a nearly imperceptible movement in the left handle when viewed looking at the bevel. I honestly didn't notice this the entire time I was refinishing the handles and it certainly shouldn't affect one's use of the knife. There is a solid, unmovable crack in the other handle as evident in the first pic.

    $65, plus actual shipping. Payment by personal check. I prefer to ship you the knife, and if you like it you send me a check. If you don't, then ship it back to me and pay me nothing.

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  2. #2
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    One price reduction only - $55 plus shipping. Otherwise, this one will remain one of my users.

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  3. #3
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    Now my chisels will have to be examined. If my memory is working one of them is marked Douglas.

    Where do you find all of this information on tool maker history?

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

  4. #4
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    Jim, I will email you tomorrow with some info and sources.

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  5. #5
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    This one is sold!

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  6. #6
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    John,
    I just came across a Hudson drawknife this weekend. I'd never heard of that company. What do you know about them?

    Thanks!
    Mike

  7. #7
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    Mike, there was a Hudson Tool Company out of New York, but I haven't researched that one. I am sure it would pop up in a Google search. There was a different mark of "Hudson Handsome" that may have been used by the same company.

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