Posts by is9582:
in @LeeLairdWoodworking, @LeeLairdWW, Chisel, Draw Knife, fine woodworking, hand tools, Hatchet, Knife, Power Tools, Saw, Spokeshave, Tools, Uncategorized, Vise, Wood, Woodworking
as @LeeLairdWoodworking, Band Saw, card scraper, carving knife, danish oil, drawknife, handmade, Lie-Nielsen, pattern, Spokeshave, Watco
I’ve been using quite a few different types of hatchets / axes lately, and many of them feel decent enough in my hand, but one of the older handles is top notch for me. The range of handles are from a number of makers that even the casual user would likely recognize, but the one that stands out for me, is a hickory one in my old Plumb hatchet. Other than the handle on my older Sears hatchet, which is fairly round in cross-section and unfortunately feels like it would be in a lower quality hammer, the rest have some aspect of similarity. These all have a cross-section that is somewhat oval (a bit flattened) or perhaps even leaning towards teardrop in shape, which I find much better than a round cross-section, at least for a hatchet/axe.
The handle in my old Plumb hatchet is much more “delicate” in grip girth, but it has been up for the task. I’ve used this hatchet for a number of years, and it was my grandfather’s before it made it to me, and it’s still rocking the original handle. Pretty impressive for a slim little handle!
When I find something that both feels great and works well, I take as many notes as possible, to help determine what it is that lends to the overall excellence. If applicable, I’ll replicate the design to see how it behaves, and how much time it requires to make by hand. This new version can end up as a replacement for the original, if needed, as long as it feels good in the hand. You never know when you might swing and unintentionally damage a handle, no matter how long its previously lasted.
I made a simple pattern for this handle, using a previously used Priority box from the Postal Service, as the box was of decent size.
I measured the dimensions of the existing handle, and found an off-cut in my bin that was close enough to call a match. I honestly didn’t know what type of wood I’d chosen (not 100% sure even now), as the majority of the piece had a dark colored and very rough cut exterior. I used a pencil to trace my pattern onto my blank, and quickly cut it out on my bandsaw. This was the only piece of powered equipment I used to make this handle. After cutting the blank close to my pattern lines, as well as then diving in at the pommel, and cutting a very light taper to create some swell at the end, it was obvious the grain was not nearly as straight-grained as the original hickory version.
From this point forward, I used a draw knife, my flat and curved versions of my Lie-Nielsen spoke shaves, a carving knife I made last year, along with a couple of chisels and scrapers (one was a purpose-made card scraper, but even though the other was a bit makeshift, it worked wonderfully for very light cleanup).
I find I have a tendency to work much more cautiously when performing the first of a given process, and with finding the blank lacked pure straight grain, I made sure I didn’t bite off too much with the drawknife. Even using the drawknife with the bevel down, as I did on this handle, you could dive into the grain, splitting away so much wood that you’d ruin the planned shape. On this handle, I also wasn’t sure whether I might end up going with an octagon faceting rather than the continuous curve of the original, but as I gradually approached the final dimensions, I decided I’d stick to a good likeliness of the original.
After using the scrapers, I applied a coat of Watco’s Danish Oil in the natural color, which provides a small level of protection as well as enhancing the wood grain. I also decided to sit the handle outside on the hood of my car, during the midday sun, to see if it would get a sun tan. Some woods are known to change in color, with direct sun light exposure, but I’m not sure whether this unknown species really changed all that much, if any. I took before and after photos, and it wasn’t completely obvious to my eyes.
I hope this might spur some of you to try making a handle or two for yourselves, and you might just find you can tweak them so they fit your hand better than anything you’ve ever purchased.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for stopping to check out this posting!
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in @LeeLairdWoodworking, @LeeLairdWW, Carving Knife, hand tools, Highland Woodworking, Honing, Knife, Sharpening, Spider Video Player, Tools, Uncategorized, Wood, Woodworking
as @Blackbearforge, Bowl Knife, Curved Knife, Highland Woodworking, honing, Jigs, John Switzer, sharpening, Spoon Knife, Teaching, tormek, Tormek Honing Paste, YouTube
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always struggled a bit getting a spoon/bowl knife “really” sharp. You know, wicked sharp, where it wants to cut the wood from across the room? I’ve taught loads of people to sharpen chisels, plane blades,…, but these were all tools with a cutting edge along a straight surface. […]
in @LeeLairdWoodworking, @LeeLairdWW, Carving Knife, curly maple, Hand Plane, hand tools, Honing, Knife, Sharpening, Tools, Uncategorized, Water Stones, Wood, Woodworking
as @LeeLairdWoodworking, @LeeLairdWW, A2 Tool Steel, Exacto, hand made, honing, knife making, Lee Valley, Lie-Nielsen, Maker, Mini, Router Plane, Shapton, sharpening
For the majority of the knives I’ve made, I split the handle down the middle (lengthwise) and fit it around the tang of my knife’s blade. On many of my smaller knives I have a hidden tang, so the tang doesn’t show at any point around the handle, except where it extends out the front. […]
in @LeeLairdWoodworking, @LeeLairdWW, Bench, Cherry Wood, Chisel, curly maple, hand tools, Knew Concepts, Lie-Nielsen, Restoring, Saw, Tools, Uncategorized, Woodworking
as @LeeLairdWoodworking, @LeeLairdWW, Czeck Edge Hand Tool, drawers, Dresser, guide, Hand Saw, Knew Concepts, Lie-Nielsen, paraffin, repair, restore, runner, turn screw
We have an old dresser that is almost 30 years old, that was purchased just before our son was born. It has some nice looking maple/curly maple on it and is fairly heavy, which lead us to believe it was well made. Unfortunately, this was around the time I was just cutting my teeth on […]
in @LeeLairdWoodworking, @LeeLairdWW, Hand Plane, hand tools, Highland Woodworking, Honing, Lie-Nielsen, Sharpening, Spokeshave, Tools, Woodworking
as Articles, chopsticks, hand tools, Highland Hardware, Highland Woodworking, Knife, Lie-Nielsen, writing
I recently wrote another article for Highland Woodworking, for their Christmas idea special, and here is a link so you can check it out. I’ve written many articles for Highland Woodworking since 2010 and you can search their Blog using my first and last name, which will locate the majority. As info, most of those […]