Nicholson Files.

September 9th, 2009

Looking at this building, the first thing to come to your mind probably wouldn’t be machine shop.


But thats what it originally was.

This is what was made there…




By 1896 Nicholson had 4 factories so I don’t know if the files above were made in the original Providence factory but they certainly could have been.

Darling , Brown & Sharpe

September 2nd, 2009

Below is a scan from the back of my 1893 Brown & Sharpe Catalog.

It’s the beginning of a catalog within a catalog.

“Darling” refers to Samuel Darling, who had a partnership with Brown & Sharpe from 1866 until 1896 or so.


Here’s a screw & wire gauge made during that time. …


You stick the screw or wire in the slot and move it twords the narrow end until it stops. If it stops at ‘7’ then you have 7 gauge wire or a 7 gauge machine screw.

Below is a machinist’s rule marked “D B & S   Prov R.I.”.


Some inches  on each side have extra fine graduations for fine, or specialized work. They’re in  10ths, 12ths, 20ths, 50ths or hundredths of an inch.

Here’s the 100ths inch corner next to a common household tape measure to give you an idea just how small one one hundredth of an inch is. The tape measure  is graduated in 16ths.


A narrow 4″ rule also by Darling, Brown & Sharpe. Graduated in 50ths on one side and hundredths on the other.


Stanley doorstop.

August 31st, 2009

That’s about all this Stanley No 4 plane was good for last week.



Here it is now…



It was made during World War 2.  At that time it was necessary  to cut quality a bit. The depth adjustment knob and screws are steel instead of brass and the sole is 3/32nds thinner than earlier (1910-1918) planes I have. Regardless of this, it seems to work fine.

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