Category Archives: Tools

The various tools I use and reviews.

Home Made Cabinet Scraper

Way back in October of 2006 I wrote about the heavy Santa Ana winds felling one of the Californian Pepper trees at my place of work and how I would take a section of that timber and air dry it to use at a later date for a small project. Since then it has been drying for a period of fourteen months and I have split a section of that limb to be used in producing a cabinet scraper. This cabinet scraper design is from an article produced by Fine Woodworking and I thought it would be a small enough project to see how the grain of the timber would carve and how it would look when waxed and also it wouldn’t be too much of a loss if it didn’t pan out at the end of the day.

I had noticed during the drying process that the end of the log had started to split and by that time it was too late to think about coating the end to stop the quick evaporation. What I should have done in the first place was to coat both ends of the sawn log with some spare latex paint to even out the evaporation and this may have reduced the amount of cracking. I would estimate that the cracks had penetrated a full one inch into the log at this time. The project that I wanted to do called for a piece eleven inches long by three inches by two and a half inches which would be marginal with what I had to work with. With the hardness of the timber unknown to me I had decided to use a base made from one inch thick figured oak that had been lying around and I knew this material would give a base that would be hard and durable. Continue reading Home Made Cabinet Scraper

Woodcraft 80 Year Anniversary

Woodcraft is celebrating its 80th year in helping people to master wood, that is, supplying the tools, the knowledge and the know how. With this momentous occasion they are offering limited editions of quality tools every month during the 80th year.

During this period March 2nd through March 31st 2008 they have a nice Flexcut Carving Knife Set. What makes this special is that the handles are custom made from Padauk and the tool roll sports the Woodcraft 80th Anniversary Limited Edition print. A nice edition at a reasonable price of $80.00 and they’re made in the U.S.A. Continue reading Woodcraft 80 Year Anniversary

Carving Tools for Christmas

Another year is coming to an end and as you all well know this is the time of year to look for bargains. These deals are not just exclusively for clothes or home goods but it generally applies to everything that is sold.

In one of my recent emails I find that Woodcraft are selling carving tools at a good discount and with this company they guarantee to ship them out the same day as ordered providing the order is received by 2pm EST.

The first set of carving tools that caught my eye were a set of six, a Henry Taylor starter set. These fine tools are made with hand forged blades and beech wood handles, not the general inferior quality blades that you associate with a beginners set. They are razor sharp so they are good to go straight from the box. Yes, they come in a storage box, not just loose items. The curves on the blades supplied are relatively small but will work great on small relief carvings, ideal for carving small lovespoons or ornaments. The total length for the Henry Taylor carving tools is eight inches so they won’t be too cumbersome for detail carving and should nestle nicely in the palm of your hand. The price for this set is discounted by 30% which for me is a pretty good saving. Continue reading Carving Tools for Christmas

Flexcut Blades™ Ordering Online

The lead up to this years Thanksgiving has been more than busy, my primary job has been eating up every available hour leaving no time to test out my new purchase of Flexcut™ carving tools. The one thing that I did get around to doing was to purchase via the website a selection of other blades that would compliment the original set. In doing this I was curious as to the service that I would receive, as in viewing the premises online, it appeared to be only a small concern.

Navigating the site was easy enough and only required an email address and password to continue with the ordering. The online catalog had a vast selection of available blades together with Mallet tools, Palm tools and Power handle sets. The Palm tools and Power handle tools all have the same available blades as the quick connect handle making it the buyers choice as to the type of carving tool purchased. As you well know I’m going for the quick connect blades to save room and weight.

The Mallet tools in contrast to the quick connect handle blades are more robust in design, designed primarily for larger projects and denser hardwoods. The blades still have the familiar look but are larger in size. The handles come with a brass ferrule and a sturdier ash handle giving an overall length of ten inches showing you that it has “work horse” written all over it. The one thing that stuck me about this website is that it doesn’t deviate away from the primary reason of visiting it. The tools are all Flexcut™ together with all the necessary equipment needed to keep them in good shape. Continue reading Flexcut Blades™ Ordering Online

Flexcut™ Carving Tools On The Go

Have you ever considered using carving tools that are interchangeable with a single handle? To tell you the truth, I haven’t, I’ve always considered them to be an inferior product compared to the more traditional carving tools that you see. I’m use to using a firmly fixed blade within a wooden handle such as you get with Ashley Iles, Pfeil and Henry Taylor tools. This notion is due to the fact that these interchangeable blades are relatively thin compared to the fixed blade of the traditional carving tool and my thinking is, they cannot possibly be as sharp as what I am use to. To further solidify this bias I asked the owner and his associates at the local woodworking store if they had used these Flexcut™ travel carving tools and what were their impression, two of the three gentlemen had not used them and the third person injected that they indeed did have very sharp blades.

This was not the reaction I was looking for, I wanted to know from first hand experience if they would stand up to the test of every day carving. My reason for being in the store in the first place was to find something that was more suitable for carrying on a regular basis rather than a full set of palm tools. The palm tools are perfect for the person working in his workshop or garage but to carry them on a day to day basis they can become quite bulky once you have eight to ten various blade configurations. Continue reading Flexcut™ Carving Tools On The Go

Ashley Iles, One of Sheffields Finest

The company of Ashley Iles has been in existence since 1949 when Ashley decided that he wanted to make and offer superior tools to people of his previous trade, pattermaking. These carving tools and wood turning tools have become one of the premium grade of hand held tools today. Each one is still fashioned in the old traditional way, by hand forgers, grinders and hardeners allowing the Ashley Iles Company to offer an unconditional guarantee.

“Any goods manufactured by us found faulty in material or edge keeping quality will be replaced unconditionally. Any tool returned to us, which we have made, we will regrind free of charge.”

With that kind of guarantee how can you go wrong, my own carving tools that I have, I’ve had since they were given to me as a present 34 years ago and are still serving me proud to this very day. My small set of five London Pattern carving gouges were for being accepted to my patternmaking apprenticeship and are now being put to good use in the carving of my Welsh Lovespoons. In my latest carving, these carving gouges are put to the test on the seed pod of a Queen Palm and are proving to have as keen an edge as they did when they were first purchased all those years ago. Continue reading Ashley Iles, One of Sheffields Finest