Jaguar chromed Garrington spanner

I’ve just started to clean out my garage. The start of a process that should lead to my 140 drophead getting back on the road. Looked in an old tool roll for a 3/16 Whitworth. Two set of spanners all AF. This roll came from an old guy that I knew who had had an XJ6. Reading some of the blogs here makes me think this is an early XKE. Allen wrench, and mixed Garrington and T/W spanners. If somebody could confirm this identity I would appreciate it. Not being a concours type. This roll is close enough to a 140 for me. Unless someone wants to trade for a 140 tool roll. My real purpose for this post is the second set of spanners. Identical to the first except the Garrington spanners are chromed, where I thought they were all black oxide. Can some

one explain this to me?

Welcome Bill.

Nice find. Many people would love to have that tool roll.

Many here know far more about Jaguar tool sets than I do, but I think they were all black oxide, at least through E-type production.

Black oxide is my understanding from my small bit of research. Hence my question. Garringtons are pre 1959 maybe? As a newbie I can only post one picture per post. Here’ a black oxide and chrome version.

I think Roger Payne did a lot of research on tool sets as they pertain to the Jags. They were published in ‘The E-Type’ magazine about two years ago. I do not remember him mentioning any chrome wrenches. He does watch this site so he may comment.

Regards, Joel.

If you want a definitive answer, summon up Roger by using the @ symbol and his name…that generates an indication to the intended responder

GARRINGTON/JAGUAR open-ended spanners were introduced in 1950 for the Mark VII being the first use in a Saloon Tool Kit, and in Oct 1954 for XK140 tool kits being the first of the Sprts Car range, and continued therafter to be used in all Jaguar Tool kits up to 1964 when superseded by other brands, with a period in c1957 to 1963 where they were augmented by supplies of TW branded spanners, so from 1957 to 1964 you could get a mix of GARRINGTON and TW branded spanners, or indeed a set of four of either brand.

There were subtle variations in the GARRINGTON spanners over this 1951 to 1964 period of use, but regardless they were always given a surface finish of hot chemical ‘True-Bluing’, so not Black-Oxide as per the other brands, and emphasis on ‘chemical conversion’ true-bluing so as not to be confused with the readily available cold gun bluing coatings. GARRINGTON spanners always had an as-forged main body, with the flash around the edge ground off, the jaws were machined to size, and the heads were polished smooth, thus after true-bluing you get a different apperance on the as-forged steel, as opposed to the machined/polished steel.

They were NEVER chromium plated, albeit I have seen many spanners painted, chrome plated, cadmium plated by various efforts by owners to give them a “better” appearance, but the saving grace is paint and plating can be removed, to leave the original bare steel, that can be recovered by hot chemical ‘tru-bluing’.

Thats if you want original… see picture below, and untouched original set of GARRINGTON spanners, still with good original true-blue finish, albeit some deterioration…, but note the hint of blue in the polished heads area…


Just the answers I was looking for. The chrome must be an artifact of that age when there was a plating shop or two in every city. All the other spanners (there were two more or less identical sets) have suspiciously intact dark coloration. I will make a few more attempts to capture this, but the color shading is very elusive.Then I’ll try to strip off the chrome (any suggestions welcome) and put a rust blue on before I end them to Ebay.

I can’t tell how well any of these processes work, but here they are.

Computer died but I’m back to the cyber world and more importantly back to the garage.
The chrome was really thin and came off with 2 minutes in 80F HCl 30%. Two rounds of rust bluing and it looks like this. Not as blue as hot bluing and maybe a bit more matte. But infinitely easier in the home shop, and better protection.

Much better - looks to be in excellent unused/undamaged condition…