I’ve turned hollow mortise chisels into square punches, refashioned chisels and their handles, made a number of scratch stocks, ground steel bar stock into embossing punches and a made a few other quick tools. And I’ve built a few wooden, Krenov-style handplanes over the years – I had a fine time and wound up with a few serviceable tools, but for the most part I’ve avoided the bug for obsessive tool making that I’ve seen and often envied in others.
But at the recent Woodworking in America show in Northern Kentucky I revived a little excitement toward making my own tools. First, I spent a little time at the booth of Scott Meek, a furniture and handtool maker from Asheville, N.C. Scott makes some beautiful wooden hand planes – their look, feel and performance is stunning, and there is something about the feel of a wooden plane that can’t be replicated in other tools. While I don’t expect to make anything like Scott’s planes right out of the chute (or ever), I did think, “Boy I need to give this another shot.”