Author Topic: Dating old tools  (Read 3408 times)

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Offline 1930

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Dating old tools
« on: June 28, 2013, 04:35:31 PM »
I am wondering if anyone here has any suggestions on dating a tool that might otherwise because of its lack of detail or obvious trademarks  make it undate-able.

Maybe someone has read of some sort of scientific procedure other than the un-reliable carbon 14 dating that might give relatively accurate results. There must be a method of removing and examining chemical compositions of an object and determine its year of manufacture.

I am trying to date a screwdriver that has a wooden handle accompanied with steel blade, I know that the materials found within the steel will  contain a cleaner steel, a less muddied steel than what may be found manufactured today, I know there is a way of testing and proving the composition but I do not know the process or whom might be able to do this.

I also know that the wood within the handle can probably be easily identified under scope and possibly identified absolutely by the naked eye once cleaned of foreign material but there must also be a process that can determine its approximate age within a few years.

I would like to identify when this tool was made and am willing to spend the money to do it if I knew where to begin and could familiarize myself with the different processes so that I could make a better educated guess on which might be a more accurate way to go.

Thanks for any info

EDIT: I am also looking for suggestions on the best approach to save the ferrule on this driver, I am pretty certain that it sat inside a tool roll for many years and at least a portion of that cloth remained wet, a portion of the ferrule ( one side )  is deteriorating badly, a small hole has begun at base and some cracking of  the steel further up with a whole lot of heavy rust in -between.

I need to find a way to neutralize the rust without doing a damage to the wooden handle, I would prefer at this point to not try and attempt to remove the ferrule as I feel it may lead to further damage and the possibility of not allowing its proper re-positioning again.

Pictured below hopefully will give a clear view of damage to said ferrule

EDIT: While I am not a wood expert I do have a small background in cabinetry and would almost bet that the handle is Oak, what variety of Oak would be beyond me but because of its wide open grain pattern I would not be able to guess of any other variety that may have been used and withstand its purpose here. Any suggestions welcome.

EDIT: Directly over the cars visor you will see a dimple in the ferrule, I am assuming that this is how the ferrule was made to stay on the wooden portion of the handle, I am assuming if it were not for all the heavy rust on the opposite side of I would be able to see another dimple, is this a typical way of fastening these two parts of a driver together? I am thinking that this is possibly a determining factor in showing that the driver was a less expensive model although I have no other ideas of how else these pieces could possibly be joined together. 

EDIT: In the center of this handle is what appears to possibly be the remains of an imprint where the handle was chocked in a lathe for turning, ( I am just guessing this is what I am seeing, may not show in the picture as it is very faint and I have to use my magnifying glass in front of my glasses to see it ) is this typically how these handles were made, I mean within a lathe, does anyone have any photos or know of any videos that might show the process.

EDIT: I am also looking for suggestions on how to clean the ferrule whilst inspecting for any identifying marks, I am quite certain there will be none found, if this driver was part of the original Maxwell/Dodge Senior/ Dodge DA toolkit than chances are as with other items within these early tool-kits that the tools will be of the least expensive manufacture devoid of any identifying manufacturing marks but if by some chance there is something there than I would prefer to find it. 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 03:18:41 AM by 1930 »
Always looking for what interests me, anything early Dodge Brothers/Graham Brothers trucks ( pre 1932 or so ) and slant six / Super six parts.

Offline oldtools

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 10:41:15 PM »
Wow!! that's a lot of questions... I'm' interested in what answers you get from our experts...
(other than "Dating Old Fools" Oops!! I mean Tools)
Aloha!  the OldTool guy
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Offline Aunt Phil

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 12:19:58 PM »
Dating old tools will probably cost you less than dating women of any age.  Tools conduct superior conversations to most women, and well if you don't know you'll eventually learn.

As to soaking iron & steel parts to remove rust, Molasses.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance!

Offline fflintstone

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2013, 02:36:59 PM »
Dating old tools will probably cost you less than dating women of any age.  Tools conduct superior conversations to most women, and well if you don't know you'll eventually learn.

this was the kind of response I thought of when I saw the title.......

Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2013, 06:58:47 PM »
Dating old tools will probably cost you less than dating women of any age.  Tools conduct superior conversations to most women, and well if you don't know you'll eventually learn.

As to soaking iron & steel parts to remove rust, Molasses.
Or white vinegar (the rust removal, not the dating; flowers and chocolate are generally reliable dating accessories, with suitable songs accompanied by guitar, mandolin, or [the current fashion again, a mere century after the first time] ukulele being pretty good too).

I would disagree on the quality of the conversations, though; intelligent women, of which there are plenty, can be pretty doggoned sexy.

Offline scottg

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2013, 08:43:04 PM »
Candy is dandy,
but liquor is quicker
 
 Its dimly possible a metallurgical lab can get a little closer with the metal composition. Either the blade or the ferrule may contain some tiny clue as to impurities and localities/timeframes where these are commonly found.
 But really, you can only hope to get to within a 1/2 century this way.

 The wood could be sampled and analyzed. But once again people used the same woods for many generations.

 I will give odds this driver was made between 1900 and 1925. 
 The handle style is definitely closer to turn of the century styling.
 The round shank and ferrule style seem a little later.
  So, 1915, give or take a few,
 with a throwback handle style, but using more "modern" materials. Sometime before WW1 is as close as I can approximate. 
 After WW1 styles changed once again.
 I can round up comparable evidence if necessary. 

 You are not going to get any closer than this.
  You were willing to pay??  Do you need the address?
     yours Scott

Offline 1930

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2013, 03:23:45 AM »
Candy is dandy,
but liquor is quicker
 
 Its dimly possible a metallurgical lab can get a little closer with the metal composition. Either the blade or the ferrule may contain some tiny clue as to impurities and localities/timeframes where these are commonly found.
 But really, you can only hope to get to within a 1/2 century this way.

 The wood could be sampled and analyzed. But once again people used the same woods for many generations.

 I will give odds this driver was made between 1900 and 1925. 
 The handle style is definitely closer to turn of the century styling.
 The round shank and ferrule style seem a little later.
  So, 1915, give or take a few,
 with a throwback handle style, but using more "modern" materials. Sometime before WW1 is as close as I can approximate. 
 After WW1 styles changed once again.
 I can round up comparable evidence if necessary. 

 You are not going to get any closer than this.
  You were willing to pay??  Do you need the address?
     yours Scott
Thanks Scott, I would very much like to see what you are referencing to make the conclusions you are making. If there is information on the internet showing variations in design as time progressed than I am still un-able to find it at this point.
Always looking for what interests me, anything early Dodge Brothers/Graham Brothers trucks ( pre 1932 or so ) and slant six / Super six parts.

Offline fflintstone

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2013, 06:05:27 AM »
Thanks Scott, I would very much like to see what you are referencing to make the conclusions you are making. If there is information on the internet showing variations in design as time progressed than I am still un-able to find it at this point.

my guess is all that info is stored in that CPU of grey matter between Scotts ears. While there is tons of collective knowledge on the internet, there is far more collective stupidity as well and quite honestly I am getting sick of trying to wade thru it.

At this juncture in time I find myself craving real human interaction rather than staring at a computer screen.

Offline 1930

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 02:36:31 PM »
Point of possible interest is that I contacted a metallurgical lab and there response was that  they could tell me  everything about the steel except of course date of manufacture, also contacted a carbon dating lab, since it has a wooden handle they can tell me approximate date plus or minus 30 years. 

That would be of no use to me.
Always looking for what interests me, anything early Dodge Brothers/Graham Brothers trucks ( pre 1932 or so ) and slant six / Super six parts.

Offline rusty

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 03:38:57 PM »
Year 0 for c14 dating is 1950 you know ;P
It depends on a 9000+ year halflife, you are trying to measure something much too small...
The last reference I looked at said 10Years max accuracy...

Plus, it doesn't date the tool, it dates when the tree the tool was made from died...

The alloy makeup of the steel would tell you a little, the commonly used formulations for steel changed from time to time over the years, but again, it's only going to get you to a decade or two..

If you knew what kind of wood, and where it came from, you might be able to get someone to match rings with local growth records..I know it is done, but I have no idea who does it. And you would probably have to saw off a good chunk of wood...

Matching it to a picture is still your best bet for accuracy...
Just a weathered light rust/WD40 mix patina.

Offline 1930

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 02:17:59 AM »
Year 0 for c14 dating is 1950 you know ;P
It depends on a 9000+ year halflife, you are trying to measure something much too small...
The last reference I looked at said 10Years max accuracy...

Plus, it doesn't date the tool, it dates when the tree the tool was made from died...

The alloy makeup of the steel would tell you a little, the commonly used formulations for steel changed from time to time over the years, but again, it's only going to get you to a decade or two..

If you knew what kind of wood, and where it came from, you might be able to get someone to match rings with local growth records..I know it is done, but I have no idea who does it. And you would probably have to saw off a good chunk of wood...

Matching it to a picture is still your best bet for accuracy...
I understand it dates the year the tree died but is was an avenue to explore which are few and far between. I am still waiting for that picture, thanks though
Always looking for what interests me, anything early Dodge Brothers/Graham Brothers trucks ( pre 1932 or so ) and slant six / Super six parts.

Offline eddie hudson

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 04:37:13 AM »
Point of possible interest is that I contacted a metallurgical lab and there response was that  they could tell me  everything about the steel except of course date of manufacture, also contacted a carbon dating lab, since it has a wooden handle they can tell me approximate date plus or minus 30 years. 

That would be of no use to me.

How much would each charge?

Offline 1930

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Re: Dating old tools
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 04:11:25 PM »
I did not get that far as neither showed any real interest since it was obvious to them that they could not give me the answers I was looking for.
Always looking for what interests me, anything early Dodge Brothers/Graham Brothers trucks ( pre 1932 or so ) and slant six / Super six parts.