Posts Tagged ‘hand tools’

S is for Scraper

April 22, 2015

I was fairly late to the game with scrapers, for which I often kick myself. These simple little pieces of metal with edges that have a “hook” or a “burr” as it is commonly called, don’t really even feel sharp, but they do a phenomenal job of putting a smooth surface on a piece of wood.

for paddle making, the scraper is one of my top three tools. Of course paddle making does not require many tools. Regardless of that a scraper is one of those tools I would deem essential in every paddle maker’s toolbox.

Scrapers compete with sandpaper. Scrapers produce a thin shaving by cutting the surface of the wood. Sandpaper produces dust by ripping the surface of the wood and breaking free chunk of wood from the grooves created by the grains that are embedded in the paper.

Have a look at Youtube and see what others do with a scraper. Adding one to your tool kit offers a whole new way to achieve a smooth finish on just about any type of wood or surface. A great little piece of humble metal that does great work.


B is for Block Plane

April 2, 2015

One of my most favorite/hated tools is the block plane. Favorite because when I have it going well, it does what it does fabulously well, better than any other tool. Hated because when I stray from being vigilant, or when the wood grain misbehaves and takes a plunge or a climb, the block plan takes a gouge out of my precious paddle blades that proves time consuming to fix.

This is an old tool with a long history and a strong place in current modern woodworking, especially if you are a fan of doing things by hand.

I buy them, sell them, and use them and will continue doing so because as long as I come into a planing session mindful and patient, good things happen. When I stray, whether due to attention span expiration or some other distraction, like my beautiful and long suffering wife surprising me, that is when misfortune visits my piece of wood. It is my fault for doing too much in a hurry with too much pressure. Most people seek out woodworking to escape the mind games and relax. I find that the more I create and construct with wood and hand tools the more mindful I need to be. While this vigilance is not relaxing, it is absorbing and all consuming, which I greatly enjoy. The end of a session in wood working is often accompanied by the passage of a solid hour in which I have been unaware of all but the task in my hands. This, in our age of constant distraction, is a wonderful feeling.