the firms who have made carpenters' and turners' chisels and
similar tools a specialty, are Buck Brothers, of the Riverlin
Works, Millbury, Mass.
They commenced business in 1853,
and having previously served a thorough apprenticeship with one
of the best edge-tool firms in Sheffield, England, they began
with the determination to use only the choicest materials, to
employ only the most competent men, and so produce the best
tools that could be made.
It is not surprising then that when
once they obtained a foot hold in the market, they were able to
maintain their position, while now they are foremost in
producing as good tools as any, whether American or English.
Their chief trade is in the Eastern
States, but they have many customers in New York, Pennsylvania,
Ohio, and Illinois, which is remarkable, as this firm sell no
goods on commission, selling only from their factory, where the
largest assortment of chisels, gouges, etc., may be found on
this continent; consequently all orders are filled at once,
which is of the utmost importance for the trade, as hardware
merchants who import their tools have to wait from three to six
months before receiving their invoices.
Quite a number of Englishmen are
employed, expressly imported for special kinds of work, while
forty men, with two water-wheels of 54 horse-power, produce
weekly 5,000 tools, of which there are actually 2,000 kinds,
differing in size, length, more or less curved sweep of circle,
beveled outside and inside, light or heavy, etc. The capital
employed is $40,000, and the monthly sales amount to $6,000.
The works have from the beginning
been under the personal supervision of Mr. R. T. Buck, who sees
that the material and workmanship are of the best, and the
important feature of the temper is carefully attended to, what
all mechanics know how to appreciate. Also that the goods are
properly shipped, by which precaution none have ever been lost,
or complaints made.
One of the firm [member] was in
England last summer, more on a vacation than for any business
purposes, yet with his eyes open to see and learn what kind of
tools were in the market. He took a few socket firmers as
samples with him, and showed them to some of the most noted
London hardware houses.
They admired the tools very much,
but said they were too good for their customers, their socket
chisels and gouges being very coarse, clumsy tools, such as
their fathers' used 50 years ago.
Mr. John Wilson, who was sent by
the Board of Trade of Sheffield to report on cutlery and tools
at Vienna, saw the samples, and in his official report says, "I
have seen American [Buck Bros.] edge tools equal to any in the
Mr. Buck visited several of the
most famous edge tool factories in Sheffield, and found little,
except to congratulate himself that he was not behind the best
concerns in Sheffield, either for the material used or for the
We give a representation of some of
the tools made by this firm, which may be of interest to amateur
carpenters and turners.
Fig. 1 is a turning chisel, and
Fig. 2 a turning gouges; they are made in twelve different
sizes, from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. Fig. 3 is a handled
firmer-chisel, and Fig. 4 a handled paring chisel, each made in
fifteen different sizes. Fig. 5 is a carpenter's slick, and Fig.
6 a corner chisel. Fig. 7 is a screw driver, after the best
London pattern, and made in twelve sizes.
Their representation may serve to
give an idea of the variety of tools made by this firm, who
warrant all, and replace anything that may break from flaws;
while the prices are put so low that they have been obliged to
make the prices of the shank goods fluctuate with the prices of
Wiktor A. Kuc