Last weekend we went down to Craft Pride, located at 61 Rainey Street in Austin TX, to see our good friends Lynn and Tracy Dowd, who were having their Dowd’s Tools event. They always have a large range of tools, and I almost always find something that must follow me home. While each event is obviously different, since the tools they sell are antiques, or at least used. Lynn and Tracy also have to decide what portion of their tools to carry along to each event, so if you are looking for something specific, contact them directly as they very well may have it. Their contact information is:
Lynn & Tracy
Dowd’s Vintage & Antique Tools
I took a few photos at their event, as well as some of the items I procured. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any shots with Tracy in them.
And now for some of the cool tools that “followed me home”:
If you have the opportunity, either go to one of their events around Texas, or stop by the HQ, in Garland. They are great people and always have some cool stuff.
Oh, and here is info on their upcoming event:
THE URBAN FLEA
Outdoor Vintage Market
701 Avenue A
Garland, Texas 75040
(Located directly behind RESURRECTED DESIGNS at 701 Avenue A in downtown Garland just one block off the square.)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 8TH
10 AM – 5 PM
Thanks as always for checking out my article. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Recently I wrote about my right wrist giving me some trouble, with my carpel tunnel causing some discomfort again. I’ve been careful with my wrist lately, but it’s always a balancing act when trying to get better from muscle/tendon issues. One of my doctors years ago gave me some sage advise, during his examination of my injured shoulder/arm, from a baseball incident. He gave me a sling to keep the arm mostly immobilized, and wanted me to wear it for a week, but not constantly. It turned out he wanted me to wear the sling mainly to remind myself and others that I really shouldn’t be going full speed with this arm at the moment. After the first day, he had me doing some light exercises and range of movement stuff, so I would have the best results when the sling came off. It is amazing just how quickly our muscles and tendons get both weak and stiff, if the effected body part isn’t used at all. So, with the above in mind, I’ve been using my wrist some, but nothing super heavy duty.
This morning I was out in the shop and I wanted to do something woodworking related, without causing any further injury or delay healing. I saw a cheap brass-headed chisel hammer that I bought in the ’90s, which is not even close to the quality of my Glen-Drake version, that Kevin Drake makes at Glen-Drake Toolworks. The only real similarity is that this cheap one also uses a brass head and wood for the handle. If you have never seen/used one of the Glen-Drake chisel hammers, they feel and work exceptionally. Kevin splits the wood for the handles, and then turns it (a very rapid process for him) on his lathe. The manner in which Kevin makes the handles for the chisel hammers, causes them to be crazy strong, and their shape really does make it fit your hand like it was made for it.
Ok, back to my “other” hammer. When I picked up this chisel hammer, it just didn’t feel good in my hand. To make changes to the shape of the handle, I grabbed my flat-bottom Boggs Spokeshave by Lie-Nielsen, and alternated between taking some shavings and testing the feel in my hand. When I got it to where it felt better, I shifted to some sandpaper. I started off with 180-grit, as the main shaping was already accomplished, and this got any rough areas under control. I followed that up with 320-grit and then 800-grit sandpaper, which provided a wonderful feel to the handle. I decided to sand all of the handle, since it was originally finished in some sort of polyurethane, with a glossy sheen. After hitting all of the handle with the sandpaper, the wood was a nice matte, but there were some areas that seemed to have a different tonality to them.
I had some shellac on hand that I’d mixed up with a blend of some dyes, originally to test on a guitar body. I thought the color in the shellac might help hide some of the differences in the handle’s tone, so it would have less variance. I applied a couple of coats of the shellac, with a small rag, with it drying in between. I followed that with some 800-grit sandpaper, using it with just enough force to smooth any nibs. It’s not the best handle I’ve ever seen, but it’s not bad, and feels so much better in my hands.
While I was at it, I also modified the head of this hammer, too. In it’s original form, it had a hard line around the head, just about 3/16″ back from the face. I removed material from the head so the sides blend into as pure a radius as possible.
I may still remove a bit more material, as I would like the radius to finalize closer to the very center of the striking face. I both prefer this look as well as believe striking with the new shape, will transfer the force down the chisel better, even if the hammer head doesn’t get completely squared up with the chisel handle. We’ll see if I determine there is enough cause to adjust the head any further.
As a quick note, the work I did on the hammer seemed to have no negative results, regarding my wrist. It feels like it was in the “zone”, if you will, where my body accepted the movements as a form of therapy. Just remember that if you have an injury, listen to your body, and stop if it doesn’t feel right or creates additional pain / discomfort.
Thanks as always for stopping by and checking out my site.
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