Friday, June 23, 2006

Leaving no fingerprints

A criminal move on my part - I managed to abrade away part of the tip of one finger today. D'oh. As if flattening chisel backs wasn't numbing enough without that. So I'm sitting here going "ouch" and thanking my lucky stars that I've never learnt to type beyond three fingers - none of which are the effected digit. (Or should that be affected? I always get those wrong)

On the plus side, some of the chisels I couldn't shift in my tool sale are now looking a bit more lovable. I'm tempted to fit them up with jazzy handles, triple the price and then see them race out of the door. Honestly, some folks can't see potential when it's right under their nose. Take the favourite tool pic at the moment - pair of skew chisels, yep? Best London Pattern handles in Bubinga, should you be interested - very much inspired to do so by "figure D" here. I have a selection of assorted blanks waiting to do some more...

Well the one on the left used to be number 7 in the photos here and here. Number 6, the Spear & Jackson, has come out really very well - such fine beveled edges it's not true. All the pitting's gone from the back now, which helped get those bevels even finer... Number 4, the potential butt chisel, calls for a different type of handle though. Something short and barrel-y I thought. Should anyone have any suggestion, I'm open to ideas.

The one chisel I should have taken a "before" picture of was the A E Berg red handled chisel I got last Sunday. It was really pretty rough, but folks have enthused about them and I wanted to try one for myself and this is the only one I've ever seen, so... But it was pitted, the last 1/4" of the back appeared to have been attacked by something and was appreciably lower than the rest of the back, the handle was grunging in the extreme, you name it. Even I wondered if I'd bitten off more than I could chew. Plus the horror of actually voluntarily buying a plastic-handled chisel...

But with a bit - okay, a lot - of effort, I got:

Sorry; only picture I have of it... I haven't cleaned the saws yet (yes, Mike, that's the Disston I didn't want to bore you with) but the little craftsman-made calipers I've only just cleaned up from last month. Very cute. I'll tell you about the panel saw some other time maybe. It's only a modern one, but the etch is clear and at the price...

Oh, and the Berg chisel? How does 20 new pence strike you? I figured I couldn't really lose. I do seem to be rather awash with 3/8" chisels at the moment though. It's a hard life.


  1. Nice saws, of course...but I really like the calipers. They are similar to some I started to make, but tried to make a stiff compression fit to hold them in adjustment--didn't even think about the wing nut idea!

    Take care, Mike

  2. One of my teachers said that the worst injuries he gets are from the Tormek. It doesn't feel super-rough, and the water's quite cooling. Every once in a while, he'll look down and say, "What's that red stuff?"

    It's easy to forget that abrasives are, well, abrasive.

    Done that, but not to that point.

    Lovely work on the chisels, too.

  3. Your digit is 'affected'.

    Unless it's putting on an air of brave martyrdom, in which case it could be 'effected' at the same time.

    I, too, like the saws.

  4. Pete, I think it couild be both... :~D

    Deirdre, it was the water cooling effect of the horizontal wetstone that did for me too. Pesky thing.

    Mike, I'll see if I can dig out a beter pic of the calipers; they are extraordinarily appealing. Paid too much for them really :~s

  5. Ah, but unique items like that are worth more to me than any commercially mass-produced item.

    Lovely little buggers!

    Take care, Mike
    trying to be patient...


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