Tools for Working Wood
Invest in your craft. Invest in yourself.

 Joel's Blog

Wisner Tool  


Sometime in the early 1980's Thomas Lie-Nielsen, who worked for a short time at Garret Wade, the famous toolshop started in the 1970's in New York City, took over Wisner Tool company from the founder Ken Wisner and moved back to Maine to start the great and wonderful Lie-Nielsen Toolworks that we all know and love today. I have always been told that the first product of LN was a bronze copy of the Stanley 95, an edge plane. Here is a link to a PDF of a 1978 Wisner Signature Tools brochure where we learn that in addition to the 95 Wisner offered a modern copy of a Stanley 66 Scraper plane as well as a corner chisel.

The interesting thing about the Stanley 66 is that LN does make a fairly close cast copy of the 66. The Wisner version wasn't a casting, it featured a bent metal body which I have never seen in the flesh. I have no idea how well it worked but it is a really interesting design approach. My guess is that very few made it out the door but that could have been for bunches of reasons.

Another interesting factoid about this brochure is that it was distributed by "The Tool Works" another NYC tool company that I have never heard of. Apparently Garret Wade didn't have an exclusive.

Download the brochure here.

Comments: 5
09/28/2016Seth Hensel 
I have a Wisner 95. He signed them. Back in the 70's when absolutely no one in the States was making quality tools, Wisner's 95 was a Unicom.
That $64.50 for the plane in 1978 translates to $245 in today's dollars, making L-N's similar plane today a bargain at only $150.
09/28/2016Ken De Witt 
What I find is a common thread.
Read some where a while back that Chris Schwarz also worked for Garret Wade for a short time.
I have two of the square chisels pictured in the Tool Works catalog. I purchased them from Tom Lie-Nielsen in the mid 1980's at his shop in Warren Maine. Never used them much.
09/28/2016James Gallie 
Wow I can remember dreaming about these tools while sleeping in my West Coast Sloop in Santa Barbara Harbor back in 1978. Reading Medical Books by kerosene lamps While going to and eating at SB City College and living as a Harbor Rat building Star Boats for 2.38/hr I could never afforded planking tools of this quality. Great memories many disoriented with time/age and builders chemicals I now own similar R&L tool versions used making locked CHEST & 0..P
;Box construction and hardwood drawer's simple to finish without power tools. Fine woodworking and the first Wooden Boat publications carried adds for these and other awesome Makers and Tools.
Comments are closed.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.
 Joel's Blog
 Video Roundup
 Classes & Events
 Built-It Blog
 Work Magazine
Recent Blogs:
English Paring Chisels - 05/23/2018
This Old Dog Learns New Tricks - 05/16/2018
Making Stuff, and Other Human Impulses - 05/02/2018
Getting Things Done - 04/24/2018
David R. Russell - Some Thoughts on His Legacy - 04/18/2018
eBay Fraud - 04/11/2018
Blog Entry or Filler - You Decide! - 04/05/2018
Clamp Vs. Clamp - 03/21/2018
The Seaton Chest Revisited - 03/14/2018
Cræft by Alexander Langlands - 03/07/2018
News: much is happening here & OSMO is arriving! - 02/24/2018
Beautiful Cabinet Shop Space Available for Rent in Gowanus - 02/05/2018
Safety Last - 01/31/2018
I Am a Panda - 01/19/2018
The Unheated Workshop - 01/10/2018
How to Cut a Groove in a Frame By Hand and Without a Plow Plane - 12/27/2017
How to Mortise the Moxon Way: Part 2, Chopping the Mortise - 12/20/2017
How to Mortise the Moxon Way: Part 1, Layout and Cutting Tenons - 12/17/2017
Why Schlep? - A Look at Tools Baskets and Bags - 12/13/2017
Saw Sharpening Essentials - Gramercy Tools Saw Vise (Back in Stock) + Vallorbe Saw Files (They Finally Arrived) - 12/06/2017
Older Entries...