here’s why I went to Stockholm


Then, I went back to Stockholm. I had long known about Skokloster Slott because of the collection of 17th-century tools there…but my original itinerary didn’t have time or space to visit Stockholm.  I saw Johan Lyrfalk at the Lie-Nielsen Open House in July and he said if I came to Stockholm, he’d make arrangements so we could visit Skokloster together. So I did. Johan, Bengt Nillson, Paer Hansen, Alex Hoglund and Christopher Martens took me on a whirlwind tour, starting at Skokloster. Lotta Lindley was our guide there, and she took us everywhere.

The planes in particular, but I think many of the other tools too, were ordered from the toolmaker Jan Arnendtz in Amsterdam in 1664. Skokloster even has the paperwork concerning the purchase of the tools…

where to begin?
Dutch molding planes
a very long jointer; nicely carved
detail of the rear handle
a few jointers
a front tote
molding planes

the “lathe” room was ridiculous – and I was overwhelmed by the planes…so I barely got any details in here. There were so many tools I knew nothing about…the ones pictured here at least are recognizable; gouges, skews, normal turning tools.





Back in the first room. there was a great table. At first, I thought it was a draw table with an un-associated top sitting on it. But after looking it over, and seeing many more tables in the castle, I decided it was all original, and was just missing its drawer. The stone top had an inlaid frame around it, now most of the inlay is gone. Two stretchers are replaced, but two are original. What caught my eye is the “lipped” tenon, where the rail slips over the stile. This joint appears a lot in furniture made in Plymouth Colony, c. 1640-1680s.



Nice chisels and gouges. I think many of these are also Dutch, if I recall correctly.


These large paring tools are beautiful examples. Not sure they have an English counterpart; something like a “slick.”


Some nice wooden squares, including one with scribed circles on its blade.



Some of the staging that was used during the construction of the castle. Work mostly stopped around 1676, one piece I read said this staging was reconstructed when Skokloster opened as a museum.


If you have read the blog kept by Roald Renmælmo and Tomas Karlsson then you might have seen these tools and this collection before. Here’s a couple of their posts on the subject:



16 thoughts on “here’s why I went to Stockholm

  1. I lot of Germanic tables have footboards on the stretchers that lap around the posts. I think the draw table at CT H S has them. Probably a lot of PA German ones. Cannot recall a NY Dutch one, but perhaps Erik Gronning can.

  2. Great pictures! The large paring chisels/slicks appear to be large versions of a Stossaxt, essentially a large, long chisel mainly used – even today- in timberframing. I think some axe manufacturers like Ochsenkopf still make them, however I have never seem such large examples. Maybe they use more soft woods in Skandinavia?
    This is a nice demonstration how such a tool is used


  3. Very nice pictures Peter! Are these tools always on display or did you get a special tour? I need to drag myself to Stockholm too some day, they say it is a nice town.

  4. On those molding planes. Do you see these little snecks on the sides of the irons, at the top of the escapement? They are quite typical for older Dutch planes. I wondered about the purpose. Now I find they are very helpfull to keep the iron steady when setting the wedge. Other ideas?

  5. What a treasure trove of history.
    Lots to take in and could probably spend years studying it all.
    Thoughts came to mind though that allot of time and money needs to go into preserve it even better.
    Cleaning and oiling everything… but I guess it is not a priority.
    At least I hope they keep it all dry.

  6. Hey Peter!

    What a trip eh?

    The other rail joint on that magnificent table caught my eye – the through tenons with beveled ends. Strangely similar to the ones used by Gustav Stickley to make your cup wobble on the chair arms.

    Nothing new under the sun.

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