Full Chisel Blog

September 29, 2012

Traditional Tanged Spokeshave Workshop – Reno, NV Sept. 2012

The workshop for the Nevada WoodChucks was a success, at the end all of the people had a usable traditional spokeshave with a tanged blade.  When I teach workshops, I build one to show the various steps, but in this case I didn’t have an opportunity to finish the one I was working on as I had to help a couple of new students with their project.

I did manage to finish mine when I returned home.  It is fancier than most I have made, I usually go for an earlier style like here.

Joe has taken my class before and here he is concentrating on his task of smoothing the throat.

Ed, a vetern of several workshops I have taught in Reno goes about forming the throat of the spokeshave, good two handed technique.

Rod [on the right], another repeat offender brought a friend to audit the class.

Jim is a first time participant in one of my workshops.  I spent additional time with him and Skip another first timer.

Charlie, my youngest student ever [6 years old] had an impressive set of tools, his dad Chuck a turner said his son owned all the bench tools.  Photo below shows a trusting father, with a bit of concern in his look.

Chuck and Charlie watching Rod at work on his spokeshave.

I demonstrated how to use a burn auger and a video was made so here it is.  We turned the fan on after the first one to prevent the smoke alarm from calling the local fire department.

burn auger video

The spokeshave blades required sharpening, which was done with a file.  Two of the blades proved to soft and needed to be heated cherry red, quenched in water, polished bright and heated to temper with a straw color, then quenched.  The spokeshaves were all finished with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish.



September 25, 2012

Safe and delicious wooden plate or utensil finish

Filed under: Alchemy,Finishing,Historical Material,Of Interest,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 10:45 am

This is a finish I have been perfecting over the past several years.  It is safe [relatively] easy to apply and delicious.  Below are the complete directions for accomplishing this extraordinary finish, I suggest you follow the instructions closely.

Fry bacon to your preference, mine is soft, but I am sure your choice will be just fine.

Then place bacon on wooden plate, in this case Radiata Pine.  As a disclosure, this plate has been treated in this manner prior to this picture.  It is not necessary to remove any of the grease from the bacon, just place it on the wooden surface in need of treatment.

At this point, pause as long as you can, not letting the bacon cool too much, then remove bacon and dispose of in the proper manner.  {Suggestion, with eggs, potatoes and toast with butter.]

Using a small cloth or piece of paper towel, wipe grease evenly over the entire surface of the item, top and bottom, inside and out and all edges.  It is now ready for the next use.

People have asked me if it goes rancid?  My response is ‘I don’t know, I have never eaten the plate!’


September 9, 2012

I made a spokeshave to make a spokeshave

At the risk of repeating myself, that is exactly what happened.  I only noticed it after I was finished making the large spokeshave.  I used a small spokeshave that I made to make the large spokeshave.  I also made the saw to cut the throat and Mark Schramm made the burn auger to make the square holes for the tangs of the spokeshave blade[s] he also made.

While I was at it, I used a piece of horn from the horn spoons to add a wear plate to the small spokeshave.  It is dovetailed into the body and held in with Fish Glue.

I will be teaching a class to the Nevada WoodChucks next week in Reno and we will be making this traditional tanged spokeshave.  Always a fun trip.


September 3, 2012

Square Candlewick, Horn Spoons, Small Knife Blade & a Spy Glass

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 8:51 am

Had a good time at the annual Fort Bridger Rendezvous in Wyoming this last week end, saw a lot of good friends and picked up a few items.  Not without some drama.

Here is a photograph of the plunder I purchased; those below the gnomon are the items I purchased Saturday, those above are previous purchases, the horn spoon is modified.

Several years ago I bought some horn spoons and altered them to a more traditional shape.  Then for a couple of years the only horn spoons available were all black, well I found two horn spoons that had light streaks and purchased them.  The fellow was asking $5.00 each and he sold me the only two he had for $7.00.

I purchased the upper two knife blanks several years ago, all marked F.Herder Solingen, I am not certain of the age, but nice old style and in new unhandled condition.  I picked up the small blade for $3.00.  I need to get them handled up.

I also bought a small brass spyglass, the optics aren’t bad [5 power] and the $5.00 seemed fair.  It is in need of leather covering, I have black lamb, black pig [hair cell] that would work but I am thinking black shagreen.

And the last item I purchased with some difficulty was 10 yards of square candlewick made on a lucet.  I will use it for candle making with the new beeswax/tallow secret formula.  I fortunately found a place on line to purchase more in the future as I will never purchase anything from that woman I bought it from, what a nightmare.

Here is the story, I heard the woman [not a lady] mention to a customer that it was lucet candlewick and that got my attention.  After she was finished I asked for $3.00 worth then as is my wont I begin to engage the woman about a bit of candle making history.  She stopped me immediately and said that she had been in the business for 40 years and knew it all.  I tried to tell her about borax, again she interrupted and said her family had been in the business for 40 years.  I said I just wanted to tell her a bit of information about candle making 150 years ago and again ‘I have been in this business for 40 years’.

At that point I put the $3.00 down on the table, grabbed the candlewick and walked out of her tent.  I stepped to the side and let out a very loud scream and walked away.  A friend I saw later asked if that scream was me?  He has heard my reaction before and figured I had ran into another idiot.


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