Chris Schwarz's Blog

Woodworking in America: New Tools

I got to spend a little time in the Marketplace area of the Woodworking in America conference this morning and got a first look at some new hand tools that will be available soon.

First stop was with Dave Jeske at Blue Spruce Toolworks. Dave has a new line of try squares coming out this fall (they will be ready in time for our Woodworking in America Hand Tools show in Valley Forge, Pa.).

The try squares have a solid brass stock that is infilled with a very nice piece of wood. On the 12″ prototype square that Dave was showing, it was infilled with Macassar ebony, though it will be available with other exotic woods as well. The blade is joined to the stock with hardened steel dowels (which are hidden under the infill).

Jeske said the try squares will be available in three different sizes. The largest one should sell for $85 to $95. He also will be making a special edition try square (which he’ll unveil at Valley Forge in October) that is based on an antique.

Jeske is also hard at work at developing torpedo levels and a bevel gauge.

I also stopped to chat with Dan and Kyle Barrett of D.L. Barrett & Sons Toolworks. They were showing off Kyle’s newest plow plane design, the No. 109 self-regulating plow. It has an ingenious screw mechanism that allows you to dial in the fence setting, keep the fence parallel to the skate and quickly lock its position.

The plane works great, and the workmanship is, as always, fantastic. The Barretts were sharing a booth with Medallion Toolworks, and I got to handle several of Ed Paik’s handsaws. All of them have the extraordinary fit and finish of the carcase saw we tested earlier this year.

Our only quibble with his saw during the review was we thought the tote was a bit thick for our hands. Ed insisted on making us a new one that we would be happy with, which he brought to the show. I know from Ed’s customers that this is how he treats all his clients.

The new saw is very comfortable. I’ll give you a full report when we return to Cincinnati and the full staff has a chance to use the saw in the shop.

I’ve got lots of other booths to visit during the next few days. I must continue to resist Slav’s booth. There is an enormous Starrett combination square there that is calling to me.

– Christopher Schwarz

7 thoughts on “Woodworking in America: New Tools

  1. Graween

    argghh

    I wish I live in USA …. you guys build european workbench, but please when are you going to come over in Europe, for such an event.
    I’m pretty sure it would be a success also.
    Christopher this is "une invitation" ! Come on a give a course over !

    Hopes you’ll think about it.

  2. Ethan

    Chris,

    Did Dave say if he’s going to allow for customer-supplied wood as the infill on the new squares like he does with his chisel handles?

  3. Patrick Lund

    In my opion nothing really except weight in the larger sizes vs. the combination and engineer’s square and a larger reference surface vs. a combination square. But I do like using the try square better than the other two when it comes to laying out cuts on boards.

    Patrick

  4. Sharon Lev

    So what differs a try-square from an engineer square? or a combi square? or a double square? if one has either of those, what would be a reason to obtain and use a try-square?

  5. The Village Carpenter

    Chris, just wanted to thank you for the descriptive title to this post. It provided ample warning, so I was able to lay a drool cloth over my keyboard before viewing the pretty pictures.

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