The Robert Sorby Collection

Robert Sorby have been manufacturing ‘edge tools’ in Sheffield for more than 200 years.  They adopted the kangaroo brand in the early 1800’s when the new colony of Australia was a big market for their tools.

Verifying the exact age of saws is difficult, however the split nuts, beach handles and the stamps in the brass point to a period between 1828 – 1846, regardless of age they are beautiful and a joy to use.


10″ open handle Dovetail Rip Saw.  This is the sports car of hand saws and every woodworker wants one. I have heard the term sexy used but I am not going there 🙂


12″ Dovetail Rip Saw – This particular saw was in such bad condition it was given to me. I had to shorten the blade at the handle end which was mostly rusted away, a practice that was common in the old days apparently.


14″ Cross Cut Tenon Saw – Picked up in Tasmania by my wonderful wife. Used to cut the shoulders of the tenons.


14″ Rip Cut Tenon Saw – for cutting cheeks of the tenons.


18″ Cross Cut Carcass Saw – The small medallion and handle shape dates this to early 1800’s I am told.


24″ Rip Saw – Stamping of the owners name on tools was common practice for a tool that would be worth a week to a months wages.  Luckily today examples in need of restoration are for sale for much less than $100.


I & H Sorby 26″ Rip Saw – I & H Sorby, another maker in Sheffield in the 1800’s, is no relation or connection to Robert Sorby according to the records of the day.


Firmer Chisels, Bevel Edge Chisels, a Framing Chisel and a Mortise Chisel, Gouges and Lathe Chisels – Robert Sorby chisels are sitll made today and considered by many (including me) as the best quality.  Today they market a very popular Lathe Chisels and lathe accessories range.


I & H Sorby Warington Hammer and Cutting Gauge – The hammer is used in adjusting wooden plane irons, my son found this one fro me in a market in Rome Italy. The cutting gauge was from the US.


Infill Smoothing Plane, No 1 Hatchet and Mortise Axe – The blade from the smoother is Robert Sorby but the rest of the plane is probably a blank that was purchased by the tradesman and fitted.  The hatchet is a tool that I am enjoying getting to know, many and varied uses and much time and practice to master.


Brass and Mahogany Spirit Level and 9′ gilt edge Try Square – The Try Square is new old stock and wonderful to use.  The spirit level is an example of what happens when you have a collection, you buy some shinny things you don’t need because of the brand 🙂

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