Trade Tools

The Hawley Collection is probably unique in the number of tools it contains and also the range of trades that are represented, each with their own specialist tools and equipment.

The tools of the trades associated with woodworking form one of the largest sections. Tools such as chisels and gouges were made in a variety of patterns and fitted with many different handles to meet the needs of millwrights, joiners, wheelwrights, cabinet makers and other trades. Other woodworking tools include setting out tools for making joints such as gauges, squares and levels, braces, bits, augers and gimlets and screwdrivers (always called ‘turnscrews’ in Sheffield until about 1960). There are also woodworking planes of many types and the collection of saws is housed in its own ‘Saw Shop’ (see the page on saws).

Like the woodworking trades, building and plumbing includes a number of sub-trades such as masons and bricklayers, roofers, glaziers, plasterers and painters and decorators. Other trades represented in the collection range from basketmakers and brushmakers to thatchers and upholsterers.

Engineering also encompasses many different trades which would have needed specialist vices and clamps, hammers, files, drills, spanners and wrenches. Another piece of equipment widely used in engineering and blacksmithing and also by blade forgers, file cutters and other trades was the anvil. These were exported worldwide from Sheffield and the collection has around 60 examples.

We have a small selection of information sheets about individual trades available to download - click here