VINTAGE WOODWORKING HAND TOOL NOTES

STANLEY PLASTIC HANDLED CHISELS 1936-1958

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From the Stanley 1949 Catalog

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No. R40 Heavy Duty Pocket Chisel (4½" long blade)

This, along with the similar No. R50 Heavy Duty Butt Chisel and the No. R55 Glazier Chisel, were essentially No. 40, No. 50 and No. 55 "Everlasting" chisels with black rubber composition/plastic handles. The "R" prefix was an early 1930s designation -- it was dropped in 1949. These were very rugged, high quality chisels that could withstand a great deal of heavy use and abuse.

The above example chisel is stamped on the top of the handle with the famous STANLEY within an Orange cartouche -- similar to that used on Bailey bench planes of this period. MADE IN USA was stamped on the opposite side of the handle and a plain Stanley cartouche logo was stamped on the top of the blade.

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No. 60 tang butt chisel (3" long blade)

This, along with the similar No. 61 paring chisel, was introduced in the early 1930s pretty much concurrent with the introduction of the No. R50/R40 and 700 series chisels. What made these chisels distinctive was the use of "Stanloid" -- Stanley's much touted plastic -- for the handles. These were rugged, high quality chisels that held up well under heavy use.

This chisel is stamped STANLEY No. 60 on the steel tang -- this is probably an early stamping as later production chisels were stamped on the plastic sleeve. The heavy duty steel butt cap on the No. 60 chisel was a carry over from the "Everlasting" series of chisels.

THE FOLLOWING TABULATION IS BASED ON STANLEY TOOL CATALOG LISTINGS 1936-1958

LEGEND FOR BOX ENTRIES (REFER TO CATALOG EXTRACTS IN ABOVE TEXT BODY FOR ILLUSTRATIONS):
Top line: Catalog chisel description.
Middle line: Catalog description of handle material.
Bottom line: Additional information.
Various locations: my personal notes

|
Cat
|

1936
Apr
Ed

1939
Nov
Ed

1941
Aug
Ed

1948
N/A
Ed

1949
N/A
Ed

1950
N/A
Ed

1953
N/A
Ed

1958
N/A
Ed

No. 40 Pocket, No. 50 Butt, No. 55 Glazier - Chisels
Solid black handles
Nos. 40 & 50: bevel edges - No. 55 Glazier: square edges

Improved "Everlasting" Chisels. "R" prefix - New in 1934 catalog
Rubber Composition handles.
STANLEY on side of handle.

Stanley "Everlasting" Chisels. "R" prefix
Rubber Composition handles.
STANLEY on side of handle -- MADE IN USA opposite side.

Stanley "Everlasting" Chisels. "R" prefix
Rubber Composition handles.
STANLEY on side of handle -- MADE IN USA opposite side.

Stanley Heavy Duty Wood Chisels. "R" prefix
Rubber Composition handles.
STANLEY on side of handle -- MADE IN USA opposite side.

Stanley Heavy Duty Wood Chisels. "R" prefix dropped
Tough Slow-burning Plastic handles. Plastic description usage
STANLEY on side of handle -- MADE IN USA opposite side.

Stanley Heavy Duty Wood Chisels.
Tough Slow-burning Plastic handles.
STANLEY on side of handle -- MADE IN USA opposite side.

Stanley Heavy Duty Wood Chisels.
Tough Slow-burning Plastic handles.
STANLEY - No. - MADE IN USA in three lines around handle.

Stanley Heavy Duty Wood Chisels.
Tough Slow-burning Plastic handles.
STANLEY - No. - MADE IN USA in three lines around handle.

No. 60 Butt, No. 61 Paring - Chisels
Clear amber handle body with opaque black collar
Bevel edges and thin blades

Stanley Tang Chisels. New Tools section
Stanloid ("toughest non-metallic substance known") handles.
Markings/Stampings not defined

Stanley Tang Chisels. now in main Catalog
Stanloid ("toughest non-metallic substance known") handles.
Designated "Brand New" "Light Weight" Chisels

Stanley Tang Chisels.
Stanloid handles.
Designated "Brand New" "Light Weight" Chisels

Stanley Chisels with Composition Handles.
Tough Celluloid handles.
No longer called Tang Chisels or Stanloid material

Stanley Chisels with Plastic Handles.
Tough Plastic handles. Plastic description usage
Alloyed steel blades.

Stanley Chisels with Plastic Handles.
Tough Plastic handles.
Alloyed steel blades.

Stanley Chisels with Plastic Handles.
Tough Plastic handles.
Alloyed steel blades.

Stanley Chisels with Plastic Handles.
Tough Plastic handles.
"Light Weight" description since the 1939 Catalog

REFERENCES

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