Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wedging hammer

A specific tool inherited from my grandfather.
two generations of "being used" marks on the tool.

this is my tool restoration hammer. 
 today's purposes:
1. i use (in conjunction with long extraction chisels and sets) to remove the old handles from striking tools i am about to restore.
2. driving wedges into the the newly hung heads on striking tools.

Germantown hatchet

Damn fine day.
the snow storm cancelled classes so boys did not have school, came home from work and was able to have undisturbed shop time for hours (no running to schools).

one of the minor hazards of my hatchet restoration system is that the hatchet is fairly sharp before i hang the head. when i get "overly productive" and reach before looking i too often bump into the bit. 
small cuts will happen.
a dash of rubbing alcohol on the wound revives the moment and is as good as a cup of coffee.
then back to work.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Crappy weather deserves a to be slurred together.
rain is good
snow is good
rain, sleet & snow mixed together is less than undesirable.

the winds will pick up even more (very plains) after 1a.
the temperature will continue to drop.

the ride into work could be a bit entertaining as the rain turns to ice.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Clouds the vision clears the mind

Fog at 5:30 this morn.

I enjoy the quiet of the morning drive, allows for moments of clearer thoughts.
adding the density of atmosphere that comes with the fog accentuates the clarity.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Betting catch - Ante pot

The other day i said that i do not gamble and i still hold to that 
the exception is when we play carrom. 

i started making these about 4 years ago and wanted to start them back up again.
usually the playing board takes up the entire carrom table so we keep a side tray table for drinks and to hold the betting catch/ ante pot.

just pitch your coins in when you have to contribute.

nickel = you give when the other makes in a soldier
quarter = when you scratch
half dollar = you give when the other makes in the queen.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Plumb broad hatchet and the tear

The only time i ever gamble is when i auction on tools.

this plumb hatchet was apart of a lot i purchased. when i first saw it i was ready to restore another broad hatchet. unfortunately, this one had a fair amount of rust on it and then when the head came out of the vinegar bath i found this crack tearing out of the bottom eye's nictitating membrane. 

i will still continue on with the restoration but will not pass this tool onto anyone else.
to be added to my collections of misfit tools that i will use for myself.

i feel good about letting it live a bit longer.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Extreme croquet mallet shipping packaging

Shipping is the last and final detail before passing on the product to another.

the thought that goes into this last step should be as thoughtful as the conception of the idea. even if improvements are constantly made where one is at should be best with the ability at the time.

the outer shipping crate

inside shipping crate

first level of padding
 there is enough padding that the mallet will not move at all inside the crate.
closed with shipping screw attached to wooden tab and 2 leather tabs
closed firmly, opening only involves the removal of the screw from the wooden tab and lifting the two leather tabs over the small latch nails.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Work carpet when the day turns bad

Through the camera and not my eyes the similarities between the ocean and the carpet at work:

the amazing aesthetic of industrial carpet lays out like the ocean waves rhythmically expressing 

at least that was with the blue filter on the camera.

what we really have is something more like this.
 the amazing aesthetic of industrial carpet lays out like the ocean waves littered with debris rhythmically expressing the length of a work day turned bad - infinity. 

this came out of a need to poke fun of complaining co-worker X.


A simple post
 one that says, if we need an ice cube and i don't wish to cut our own
square square
 square square.

does it even matter? yes it does. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reference page for knots

Made a simple tutorial page and tested it out on the oldest boy.

he picked it up the concepts fast. he also thought the step by step was easy to follow.
i am good with that.

i kept reminding him that as long as the plaid is correct the knot will be sure to follow.
i might decorate the page up a bit later.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stubby folding razel

Another fine tuning of my carry on person tools.
 the folding stubby razel chisel knife.
as with all CRKT knives this one is well built and very functional. 
i finished a razor sharp edge 
stubby folding razel sitting on the honing strop

for whichever tools one makes the decision to carry on their person, there needs to be that blend of fix it now when i don't have easy access to a toolbox and reasonable enough to carry (without looking like a tool or toolbox myself). 
this chisel knife will be able to satisfy my paring, squaring and scraping needs. 
folded up it is only 3 1/4".

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Two sets of eyes and a hand

From last night

with my eyes closed there were two sets of eye not but 8 inches from my face.
they were not threatening, just observing. 
still, i felt uncomfortable enough to want to open mine.
 as i did they closed theirs.

with eyes gone,  a hand appeared in the dresser.
probably wanted a goodbye high 5 before they completely left the room.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sharpening others knives

Finishing up putting razor edges on a family members kitchen knife set.

i am always willing to take in others knives to sharpen.
there is something relaxing about tuning up kitchen knives.

if there is something that all agree on and that is sharp knives are safe
appreciated when in tip top shape.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Finished the initial polishing marathon.

can still see the last buffing compound smears on the tools.

tomorrow after work i will need to go to the store and get a new 12inch file for blade profiling.
the files dull up fast against the tough steel on a hatchet/axe.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Germantown hatchet

Pulled 4 hatchets out of the vinegar bath: 1x stanley carpenter,  1x westcraft, 1x well built not marked and was very pleased to find one of them to be a 

this is the embossed side and the rust was well over the shallow stamping.
the image can not convey how the just sits on the good steel after being in the vinegar bath. 
the rust has almost pulled away from the tool.

after a few moments in the sink with a light drizzle pouring from the faucet, i use a hand wire brush and the rust comes right off.

we get a go on a good temper. 
structurally very sound and will make a very reliable tool.
visually though i will remove the checkers on the hammer side. they have been used enough that it needs tending to. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I was thinking (by means of lead) through my last minutes of work lunch break that I really need to put together a sort of vocabulary of knot works for the boys. the knots are an excellent course in sorting out linear design notions.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Dismantled 3 hatchets and a hammer.
one of the smaller hatchets with a 1 3/8"eye had this 1" wedge crammed into it.

the bare metal skid mark was from boring out the wood from the back side.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Not orange flavored

As with all others whom claim that they rarely get sick and then do, 
superman status gone and laid out flat.

7 days later and i still feel drained. at least the mind is active again.
now, off to work.

the latest CDC stats and the trend will get more intense.

Jack and Jackson

A boy and his dog.
damn right it doesn't get any better than this!

this isn't one of those "cute" photos, this is a snapshot in a boys life that says,
"that was a good nap".

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lauri 105h

Received my lauri 105h high carbon steel blade.

i have been wanting try one of these finnish knives as a woodworking workshop tool for sometime now. 
i also wanted to give the boys another example (as if they need another example) of how one doesn't need to buy a completed ready to use tool. in fact, when one is willing to build or modify their tools then the process of fine tuning from their hand will create an object more responsible to their unique working style.
(at least when the right questions are properly answered while building) 

although it sits on my desk i will have to wait a bit longer to actually get to this project.
there will be no sawdust this week, my lungs will have none of that.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lochlann's lost nail

Lochlann has been stressing out the coming loss of his old crushed fingernail.

like a tooth ready to come out, i caught my moment and just yanked.
he didn't feel a thing.

lochlann displaying his loss over my hand

there is no such thing as a "finger nail fairy",
so sorry loch,  you won't be getting anything special for this.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2 axes posted on etsy

Made it through work yesterday but fever is still there.  The sickness is now moving to my chest.
i think the muscle aches and skin pain angers me more then the fever.

worst of all i feel unproductive.

here are the two axes i posted on noble ignitus on etsy.

the mastercraft.

the unmarked double bit. the quality of this steel was very good. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

4 hatchets on the etsy site

Yesterday i kept to my jan first posting deadline.

put these 4 hatchets on noble ignitus on

the Eclipse here was a group acquisition with a plumb carpenters hatchet.
the steel was nice and sharpened nicely. the handle flash is a combination of the croquet mallet designs.
this may be the last time i use pigment based stains on the handle. i will just keep it on the mallets.

this Plumb's helve flash was an older style i used. the black is actually a texturized black polyurethane. this gives a good grip and wears well. this grip is especially nice in the presence of water (snow and rain). softer hands may not want to use this handle for long periods of time without a glove. i have never had an issue with it. 

this is the current preference of helve flash. 
i am in a stage of appreciating more wood so i keep the color to a "gun barrel" and "sights" theme. 

plumb carpenters hatchet 2 

plumb carpenters hatchet 3 

hoping to post the two finished double bit axes tomorrow. as for now the close-open shift / finally getting the sickness the rest of the family is getting over (or in the grips of) is officially kicking my ass.