Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A bit of Blue Spruce for the Holidays...

D'oh! I've been absent for quite awhile doing things like drywall, electrical, and stair molding that isn't particularly interesting to see.  Though I will be blogging about the electrical install and specifically some creative wiring for the SawStop.
So how do I make up for the absence? Pron, naturally!  Tool pron specifically... (I'm titillated just typing that!)

Packages with this return address are always welcome (so, send me yours :))  David Jeske is the guy behind Blue Spruce Toolworks.
Inside, a care-and-feeding letter from him about your order; nice eco-friendly boxes with twine seal the deal.  oooh, open! open! open!
This is the curly maple and African blackwood mallet that originally caught everybody's attention.  Too pretty to use?  Heck no... pretty has to be functional (well, tools anyway ;)).  The head is infused with acrylic so you can beat your butt chisels all day with it.  Hey, what's that to the right???
Oh, a lovely pair of skew paring chisels in tulipwood, a long marking knife in birds' eye maple, and a small marking knife in canarywood.
I feel a little like Ricardo Montalbán when I say, "Exacto knife? Plastic mallet? But why?"


  • Runhard said...

    Hi Paul,
    How to you sharpen your Blue Spruce chisels and do they need sharpening when they're brand new? I just bought my first set of chisels, Blue Spruce bench chisels. I'm new to hand tools and get a lot of my information through your blog and YouTube videos.


  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Daniel,

    I remember seeing your FOG thread about nice hand tools. Yes, I have a bunch of Blue Spruce chisels and love them. Chisels are a personal thing, though, so some can like another type much better; all depends on how you like them.

    They'll need at least honing when you get them. They won't have a hollow grind on them, but I'm terrible with a grinding wheel so I don't put one on mine, especially not the chisels as it is too easy (for me) to turn them into skew chisels :)

    What I use is a modified version of a design Frank Klausz uses. He has 3 Shapton ceramic stones mounted on acrylic plastic (via epoxy) mounted to a triangular block of wood. He has a water box with triangular cutouts on either end so you can put the triangle of stones into the box with the grit you want facing up. It doesn't rotate or move. Very good. The box design was for waterstones as you fill the box with water so you can keep the stones wet. Shaptons don't need the water. I just spritz mine with a small water bottle.

    I generally sharpen without a guide as it is faster, but once in awhile, I use a Veritas MK-II guide to correct any "angle drift" I've included over time.

    The Shaptons are expensive, but they last a long time. They also don't seem to dish badly and I love that I don't need to soak them... spritz with water and they cut fast. I use a 220 grit stone to really work off material (e.g., a nick in the blade), but you could easily use a 1K, 5K, and 15K stone and have excellent results. The 1/5/15 is what Frank Klausz used in a class I took from him and that's when I fell in love with the Shaptons. Google around and you can find nice prices on them usually from chef knife sites.

    I'm currently importing a lot of raw video, but I have a bit of video showing me repairing a plane iron. It isn't narrated; it was just captured because I didn't stop the camera. I can export it to YouTube as a private clip and send you the link.

    If you think some people can be religious about things, wait till you ask hand-tool people how to sharpen... good luck! They forget 1,000 ways can accomplish it ;-)

  • Runhard said...

    Thanks for the quick response. I'm thinking about using Paul Sellers sharpening method of using diamond stones 220, 600 and 1200 followed by a leather strop. I probably should get a cheaper set of chisels to practice on. I appreciate all the information that you provide.