Hand Tools

Over quite a few years of woodland and estate work I have come to appreciate old tools. They are nearly always well balanced and well made. Buying and restoring old tools has become an obsession, and a small business. To see a good range of my stock please visit me at a show.

image of wood tools

Carpentry, forestry and coppice tools


Tools for the woodland and timber trades are what personally interests me most. I particularly like billhooks, ("handbills" if you are Sussex, and of a certain age) and always try to keep a good selection of them, along with drawknives, axes etc. Augers and brace and bits are another minor obsession. I can sharpen these, and try to keep a range of different patterns and large (>1") sizes.

Repairs to your own tools can be carried out by arrangement. In most cases you can find prices on my repairs page. Please also enquire if you have a specific tool requirement. I'm often asked why some modern tools break, I've written a few notes on the subject.

Very occasionally I may have blacksmith made edge tools. There was a strong tradition in the Sussex Weald of locally made tools, many of superb workmanship and quality. These are now hard to find, are getting pricy, and very much sought after. For example I am still asked for the tools of J. Fenner of Boars Head, he stopped work in the 1970s.

Link to a series of pictures of me re-handling billhooks at the SSCG Open Day.

I have compiled a list of books on tools and the items made with them.

Films on tools and tool making:

Sheffield, the Hawley Collection
Axe manufacture

Contact me by email:

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© Ian Swain 2016