Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 2
November 2008
What Is It?

King carpet stretcher

For every newsletter issue, we send an eager team to scour the Lee Valley tool collection so that we can provide readers with a somewhat unusual and perhaps enjoyable view and description of an object from the past. Generally, these items are related to a particular hand trade (usually carpentry) or are a variation of a commonplace tool that is still found in use today.

This time, it seems we have failed. It was only after this tool was gathered, brought back and photographed in our studio that we noticed the marking on the tool (which seemed to be accentuated in the photographs) that tells the whole story. It seems that in collecting it, we paid attention only to the mechanism and the protruding nails.

This mechanism looked so bizarre, with the hooks and the eccentric lever with the obvious adjustment points, it was thought to be a clamp of sorts. It was also a mystery as to how the end on the arm was positioned with the work—did one drive it in or hook it and if so, to what? The original intent of the tool was clear after we discovered the writing, which states "King Carpet Stretcher".

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