Monday, 11 March 2013

Whacking Sticks

New Mallets

Small woodcarving mallet
 Small mallet
End view of Mallets

There comes  time in any workshop when you have to hit something - for all manner of reasons...
I have large and heavy mallets but nothing more subtle, so I made these.
The carving mallet has a hornbeam head and a beech handle, the small mallet is made from beech, with oak faces.
The handle design is my own - I find it works well whether you hold the end of the handle, or hold it next to the head for fine work, though the end of the carving mallet should probably have a bigger flare at the end.

The handles are glued and wedged to the head so they won't come loose.

In case you are wondering, the markings on the carving mallet are spalting lines, which don't appear to be any softer than the rest of the head. The beech I used for these mallets had resident woodworm at some point in the past, so I filled the holes and grooves with black epoxy filler - I rather like the finish, but I will probably avoid the wormy bits if I make any of these for customers.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Not so plain planes

New toys

   A good tool should be functional, fit the hand well and either last forever (usually means very expensive), or last well for it's price.
Some, like these Veritas planes are elegantly made, a joy to use,  and look good enough to hang on the wall. They also look like they will last and last. I bought one and liked it so much that I got the second, narrower one soon afterwards.
These are detail rebate planes, and are designed for cleaning up the bottoms of slots, or into corners.
I work with small things a lot and will use them for all the things that a block plane is too big for.

Veritas tools usually come into the expensive but very good category, but these are imperial rather than metric and are being discontinued so I got them for half price. Having tried them I think they are probably worth the full price (over £50 at time of writing).

I've started making use of the planes I own more lately, in an attempt to reduce the amount of sanding I do - and it seems to be working,  long shavings don't get into the lungs, and they are easier to sweep up.