All these publications are available from the Kelham Island Museum Shop or directly from The Hawley Collection, unless specified.


Gimlet Patterns and Manufacture

Ken Hawley and Dennis Watts

£6 plus postage



British Saws: A History and Collector's Guide
Simon Barley, 2016

£14.99 from the shop at Kelham Island Museum or Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, or by post (plus £3 postage and packing).

Along with knives, hammers and axes, the saw is a tool that has been used by humans for thousands of years. A toothed piece of metal fitted with a handle has been applied to cutting almost every material ever invented, from the softest wood to the hardest metals. In Britain, an industry to supply the nation's saw users began to grow rapidly in the eighteenth century, and marched with the Industrial Revolution to become the largest in the world. Millions of saws were made, and like most other tools, they were exported worldwide, but they don't survive very well, because their blades are thin, can break, are used up by sharpening and rust away.

The nineteenth century was the peak of British output, when saws made chiefly in Sheffield, from that city's unique crucible steel, poured out of dozens of works, all employing specially skilled men to make beautiful tools of steel, brass and wood. These attractive objects are highly collectable, and an enlarging international community of tool enthusiasts is becoming avidly knowledgeable about the huge range of saws that are still to be had from car boot sales, specialist auction houses and online.

Using a wide range of photographs, Simon Barley provides a collector's guide to British saws.


The Ken Hawley Experience
Derek Bateson, 2010

£7.95 from the shop at Kelham Island Museum or Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, or by post (plus £3 postage and packing).

This publication is a comprehensive guide to the diverse variety of the objects in the Hawley Collection and includes a series of excellent colour photographs.


British Saws and Sawmakers from c1660
Simon Barley, 2014

£45 (55 Euros, $70US, $75AUS and CAN) Post free. To purchase contact the author, click here.

Historians of the various tools trades have long wanted a work specifically on saws and this, the first, is an attempt to match the detail and scholarship of the best that cover planes, cutlery, spanners and measuring tools.

The author is a frequent writer and lecturer on saws and the history of their manufacture and is able to base his work on 15 years of original reasearch and the building of a personal collection of saws which is housed with the renowned Hawley Collection in Sheffield's Kelham Island Industrial Museum.  Together, these collections form a unique research base and visitor attraction.

This book is illustrated with almost 2000 photograaphs, and with its listings of saw makers and dealers forms the most comprehensive directory to date of British names in the tool trades.


A Cut above the Rest - the heritage of Sheffield's blade manufacture
Joan Unwin and Ken Hawley

£9 plus postage and packing or from the Kelham Island Museum Shop

This book provides additional information for the exhibition ‘A Cut Above the Rest’, held at the Millennium Galleries, Sheffield in 2003. The illustrated book details some of the manufacturing processes and a glossary of specific trade terms is included.


Sheffield Images - Cutlery, Silver and Edgetools
Joan Unwin and Ken Hawley

£12.99 plus postage and packing or from the Kelham Island Museum Shop

Published in the popular Tempus series of books of local photographs, the book has images of the people, processes and factories in the core Sheffield light trades.


Wooden Spokeshaves
Ken Hawley and Denis Watts, 2007

£6 plus postage and packing or from the Kelham Island Museum shop

A comprehensive history of the patterns of spokeshaves, their sizes, price ranges and how they are made.


'Materialising Sheffield' is an e-book published on the site of the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield (2006).


Knifemaking in Sheffield and the Hawley Collection
Ruth Grayson with Ken Hawley

Out of Print


Pen knives originally had fixed blades mounted on a straight handle and were used for shaping the shaft of a feather to be used for writing. Spring or pocket knives were made to be carried in a pocket, and were sprung in order to close them and protect the blades (and the user!).

Trades: Cutler, Forger, Grinder, Maker, Mooder, Smither, Striker, Tanger, Scale Cutter