The company is now run by brothers Tony and Barry Iles, with a small team of employees. The whole of the chisel making process is is very much done by hand, but using some very old but reliable Sheffield plant. This picture shows how a typical chisel evolves through the process; the top left being the Manganese steel billet as it arrives at the factory and the one at the side of it shows the bolster and tang having been drawn out on the power hammer.At this stage it is called a Mood.
As we passed from the heavy plant forging side into the grinding and finishing side, we were shown ashley's clock-maker's anvil, apparently it is mounted in horse manure to get the necessary "ring". It has various angled cut outs to wedge work pieces and "devils" for bending and forming.
From there Tony took over and showed us how the tools were hand ground on massive grindstones, about 3ft diameter. These stones are man made and imported from Austria. Each one lasts about 18month to 2yrs and it's a major operation changing and re balancing them before normal grinding can recommence.
All in all a very worthwhile trip and nice to see a UK tool company thriving in the 21st century. I will endeavour to support this small family run business in the future, having seen the attention given to producing quality tools