While a fair number of tools in the H.O. Studley chest were custom-made – most likely by Studley himself – there are a significant number of off-the-rack tools in the chest as well. Lots of Starrett stuff, Brown & Sharpe, Stanley and Buck Bros.
Based on two of the backsaws in the chest, we know that Studley bought them from Chandler & Barber, a well-known ironmonger in Boston that supplied tools for work in metal, iron, wood and leather. The company also was renowned for supplying tools for schools teaching Sloyd and the North Bennet Street school.
In fact, there is a lot written about Chandler & Barber that our researchers have uncovered, but what we don’t have is a Chandler & Barber catalog from the early 20th century. We haven’t turned up a full catalog of the hardware company’s wares that relate to woodworking tools. We’ve got some pages and snippets, but not a full catalog.
If you have a catalog in your collection and would like to help our last bit of research for “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley,” could you please send a message to Don Williams?
(Yes, we know that Chandler & Barber didn’t manufacture the saws and that they are private label from another maker.)
In the meantime, enjoy these shots of the blade etches on two of Studley’s backsaws and a photo of the display cases at Chandler & Barber’s store on Summer Street in Boston.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. And if you have a photo of Don Williams speaking during the first Roubo Society dinner at Woodworking in America in Covington, Ky., we would love a copy!