These traditional tools are a throwback for a thoroughly modern maker. By Christopher Schwarz Page 14 Perhaps the last tools I ever expected to come out of the Blue Spruce Toolworks are the most traditional set of modern bench chisels I have ever used. After all, Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce has spent all of … Read more
Tag Archives: Tool Test
By Megan Fitzpatrick
Spear-point marking knives are my favorite marking knives because they’re a good all-around choice for most layout tasks in the shop. Because a spear-point knife has two bevels and a flat back, it can easily register against a guide on either the right or left side – very handy when marking dovetails. And the flat back means you don’t have to rotate the tool to use it up against a guide (as you do with an X-Acto knife); that means you can sneak a thin spear-point into the smallest of spaces.
Way back in 2005, I wrote an article for issue #4 of Woodworking Magazine about holdfasts. At the time, very few woodworkers knew what a holdfast was, and the article reviewed available manufactured holdfasts, as well as a few blacksmith made ones. We recently put the original holdfast article online, and included a link to … Read more
Canadian company creates a steel combining the best of the old and new.
By Christoper Schwarz
I’ve long been suspicious of the so-called “super steels” that promise long edge life between sharpenings. That has always meant that you have to spend a long time sharpening the tool on your stones or – even worse – you have to buy fancy equipment to even get a serviceable edge.
Plus, no new steel I’ve tried has ever had the feel of old-fashioned high-carbon steel. Until now.
Veritas is using a powdered steel (a closely guarded formula) that seems to defy many of the normal laws of high-carbon and alloy steels. Powdered metal is nothing new in woodworking. During the last decade, I’ve tried out several plane irons and chisels that were made using the sintering process.
In a nutshell, powdered metals are where you take your raw materials, combine them in liquid form and then atomize them to form a powder. The powder is sifted through a screen for consistency, put into a mould and then heated to form a solid billet. This sintering process allows you to make materials with remarkable consistency that can have properties that would be impossible to make by smelting.
Last week I was at the North American headquarters of Bosch Tools, part of a group of woodworking journalists taking a look at new offerings of the company’s products. The first woodworking tools we were shown were a pair of new jigsaws, the top-handle model JS572EL and the barrel-grip model JS572EBL. My first thoughts were … Read more
Executive editor Robert W. Lang takes a Makita Compact Router kit for a test drive with both the standard and plunge bases. Complete review is in the August 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. – Robert Lang
By Megan Fitzpatrick
This wee bronze plane from Warren, Maine, is a reproduction (of sorts) of the Stanley No. 101 plane – a small block plane originally designed for household use and light work (and sold in toy tool chests, according to Patrick Leach’s “Blood and Gore” web site).
But unlike its inspiration, this new version from Lie-Nielsen, which is also called a violin maker’s plane, has all the same features as its slightly larger cousin, the No. 102, including a stainless steel adjuster to advance and retract the blade.
With a sole just less than 3″ long and 11⁄4″ wide, the plane fits comfortably in even the smallest hands, and its size allows you to work very locally indeed, and in tight spaces – and anywhere else you’d typically turn to a block plane. Plus, it’s the perfect size for slipping into an apron pocket or even your pants pocket.
The 7⁄8″-wide A2 steel iron is bedded at 20° for a typical 45° cutting angle.