I am charmed by rustic tools. Extreme simplicity, implied durability and the clear functionality speak strongly to me. I am delighted when I can capture that in a tool that I make.
Here are several recently made tools that are unique, simple, solid and quite functional.
This shows them sheathed and unsheathed. I tried quite a few variations on sheath making and am finally happy with one of the results. All of the saws have handles made of pecan. The difference is how the wood was preserved.
Continue reading Striking Saws
One pattern that keeps showing up, is the basic Mallet made in three layers. The result is pretty and as reliable as any mallet, so I think this pattern can be considered a classic, despite it’s relatively recent appearance. From this view it looks just like the original classic.
Continue reading The New Classic Mallet
This is one of my friends. Probably. OK, maybe. At least this girl is the enemy of my enemies, and I prefer to know exactly where a biting thing is than having biting things flying around me.
An old video has resurfaced and now it has been subtitled. The magnificent Wilbur Pan, rides again!
This video has an odd enough history of impact. I have even heard it argued, in absence of the actual video, that it proved that chip breakers did not work.
There has been such a current of downplay on chip breakers, that when I originally wrote this article, I decided that I was not yet ready to publish it. There are some very talented and skilled woodworkers, some of them with a great deal of historical background, that would strongly disagree with me. A lot of these craftsmen are of such skill that I doubt I will or even could come close to the mastery of woodworking tools that they command.
But with this video link available, I feel a bit more confident.
Continue reading Chip Breakers
I have been needing a Tongue and Groove Plane Set. Not needing as in really wanting one. Needing as in there is no other good way to do what I need to do. Small changes in life require different tooling.
My car got hit. The insurance company insists there is no such thing as loss of value when a car gets hit. Even though they have to pay for that loss in other states, Texas is all about rugged individualism. In other words Texas protects the insurance companies instead of citizens. In our “proving” there was a loss of value we decided to look at what a car company would give for our car as a trade in. In doing so, we evaluated the cost of keeping our old car and the repairs that would now increase vs having a car payment. We decided to get a Prius. Better gas mileage, less impact on the climate, but now my trailer is useless, and I can’t pick up a sheet of plywood anymore. I can however manage a few boards. To do the same thing with boards as I do with plywood, I need a tongue and groove plane set.
If the insurance company, call them Anole Insurance, had done the right thing, I would be able to squeak out enough to get a lovely Lie Nielsen T & G plane. I probably would have, it is a sweet, sweet tool. Sadly however I will have to make my own tool.
Needing a blade that was not spoken for, and needing it pretty quickly, I went and looked for something to make a blade out of quick. A spade bit can be a really good quick bit, but I saw something that also had some other nifty parts, and the price was right, so I looked real close at the $10 plane from Harbor Freight. I bought two of them. They don’t have an adjustable mouth, but for a tongue plane I don’t need and adjustable mouth.
So the first thing I did was to alter the blades. One blade I put a 1/6″ gap in and ground a HSS blank to the same width. The other blade has a 1/4″ gap with the matching HSS blank. The HSS blanks are going to be the blades for the grooving plane.
To mount a guide on the side of the plane I drilled and threaded a hole for a bolt to go in.
Continue reading Tongue Plane