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We were wondering around our local Antique Mall and a stumbled upon a couple of nice looking draw knives. I don't know how good they are, but they seem heavy and very, very sharp! In fact when I picked them up, I was surprised at how sharp they were. I figured that anything sitting in an antique shop that was this sharp had to be useful! I bought them not so much for their antique value as for their usability!! I figure they may be better than what I could buy new on the market today. What do ya think?

The one on the bottom has "The James Swan Co." with a number 10 stamped on it. The top one has the word "Crusader" stamped on it, which I believe stands for the Crusader Tool Company

Tool Wood Artifact Household hardware Hand tool
 

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I suspect old tools may have some hard steel, but may be very reactive. They rust easily. I have a few things from my grandfather, who was a foundry man. Everything in his tool box, even coated w. oil, was rusted when I got them. I have used one of his triangular files on my sticks. I think it may originally have been used to sharpen saw teeth.

I have no idea what kind of steel was used in your draw knives. I looked up "James Swan," and saw that was a respected name. It should take and hold a good edge, but, I suspect, be sharpened away w. strenuous use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suspect old tools may have some hard steel, but may be very reactive. They rust easily. I have a few things from my grandfather, who was a foundry man. Everything in his tool box, even coated w. oil, was rusted when I got them. I have used one of his triangular files on my sticks. I think it may originally have been used to sharpen saw teeth.

I have no idea what kind of steel was used in your draw knives. I looked up "James Swan," and saw that was a respected name. It should take and hold a good edge, but, I suspect, be sharpened away w. strenuous use.
I shall use them up! They are actually very sharp and not as rusty as they may look. I got them to use, they were not all that expensive, so I figured it was worth a try!
 

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Those look lovely! I'm sure you'd be happy with them. As mentioned, you will have to keep them dry and watch for rust. I'm sure they

would be made from carbon steel which holds a great edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Those look lovely! I'm sure you'd be happy with them. As mentioned, you will have to keep them dry and watch for rust. I'm sure they
would be made from carbon steel which holds a great edge.
Thanks Sean! I'm looking forward to giving them a workout!
 

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Swan made very nice edged tools. Their chisels are quite desirable.

Not sure about Crusdaer, but there were a ton of small companies and the larger manufacturers would often use multiple brands.

What you definitely have with the Swan, and most likely with the Crusader, are high-carbon steel tools. These will take a very nice edge if not over-heated on a grinder. And yes, it will rust. A swipe of light oil on an old rag after use, especially after use on greed wood which is high in water, will give you many decades of use of these old tools.

Many of the old tools are actually of much better quality than what you can find today except at the very highest ends (Lie Nielsen anyone?)

Most of my tools are from before the second world-war. (I'm too cheap to buy many of the new tools of equivalent quality) Some of my favorites, including a jointer plane are 19th century. I have a wooden groove plane that is perfect for ploughing the grooves in drawer sides into which you fit the drawer bottom. The company that made it went out of business before the Civil War. But the tool is still going strong, and the steel is excellent quality. It has another 100 years of life in it if taken care of.

Nice find on the Swan drawknife. And if you got it for a good price, all the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks AAAndrew! They do seem to hold a good edge -- I like old useable tools also!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you are not familiar with the use of the old tools take it easy on them until you required the feel for them. Draw knives are great. In fact I'm going to get one out to try out on my sticks.
Thanks for the heads up -- I need to build my shaving horse!
 

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should get enough shavinge from that tool to make a horse with lol

Just love old tools always seem to be better quality
 
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