One for Awl

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Ben Trout

Nomad
Feb 19, 2006
300
1
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Wiltshire, GB
Very good point. The sewing kit I used to carry in my walking kit fell to bits and I still haven't replaced it three years later. I'll consider this a kick up the backside, before I really need one.

We recently went through my Grandad's tools. After a lifetime at various shipyards, time on board ship with Royal Navy and finishing his working life on Hawk cockpit canopies, he had all sorts of kit. I found this little beauty, which the rest of the family had ignored:



The kit



Ready to use



Useful blade that I can't remember the name of!



Blades packed away in the handle



With a stock of thread and a couple of needles it should be a handy little set.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
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Funny you should kick start this one Gary :)
I've been sorting through needles and I have a huge assortment of really big sailmaker's needles, and found a pack of awl tips in beside them.
I can't see me ever using them now though.
I'll keep a small selection and pass along the rest once Son1 and GFS1 has had a look through.

M
 
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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,295
287
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By far the nicest awl Ive ever had is the one I made from an electricians screwdriver I found in tbe work skip with the tip snapped off.

I removed the insulation off the blade, attacked it with a grinder with a flap disc to make it square in section and sharpen the point.

The corners are good and sharp, as is the point, I can hit the handle with a hammer to force it into wood, twist it about and it cuts a good hole.

As its square in section I'd call it a Birdcage awl, cos thats what they were used for. Making willow birdcages.

I'll never go back to a bought one with a wooden handle again, they're not even close to being as good for my usage.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
35,869
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S. Lanarkshire
By far the nicest awl Ive ever had is the one I made from an electricians screwdriver I found in tbe work skip with the tip snapped off.

I removed the insulation off the blade, attacked it with a grinder with a flap disc to make it square in section and sharpen the point.

The corners are good and sharp, as is the point, I can hit the handle with a hammer to force it into wood, twist it about and it cuts a good hole.

As its square in section I'd call it a Birdcage awl, cos thats what they were used for. Making willow birdcages.

I'll never go back to a bought one with a wooden handle again, they're not even close to being as good for my usage.
I didn't know that about the Birdcage awl.
Y'know, thinking on it, there's something similar in a pack of basketmaker's tools that I bought years ago. They're out in the big shed, and I need to redd them out and have a looksee. I bought the set at a market where someone was selling off, "Well, she was an old craftworker. House full of stuff, probably be glad to see it go to someone who might use it", and I bought the whole pack of assorted stuff for a few quid. There was a beating iron in it that I wanted and it was worth it for that alone.

M
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,459
483
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
I've been going through some old posts and I though this one needed updating.

I decided to make a new awl and a point sheath for it. I still think this is an important and incredibly underrated tool.



I had a nice piece of bog oak that came from Flag Fen (About 3000 years old.) and I made a collar from antler.



The little slide on the retaining thong was inspired by the traditional lasso loops used by the Saami and the sheath was made from half tanned leather for toughness.
Certainly better looking than my cork for a cover!
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,787
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Mid Wales
I bought the set at a market where someone was selling off, "Well, she was an old craftworker. House full of stuff, probably be glad to see it go to someone who might use it"

M
I'm never in the right place at the right time :)

If you'll forgive a quick thread tangent please, whilst knowledgeable folk are gathered, can anyone tell me what this is? It was amongst my late mother's crafting tools!

2019-08-12 19.24.56.jpg
 

Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
35,869
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S. Lanarkshire
It's a punch needle for rug making. It makes a series of equal sized loops 'punched' through a backing of hessian or similar textile.

It's called a, " The Magi-Carpet Automatic Needle Vintage 1960's Danish Rug Hook Tufting Tool ".

Sort of like this....sorry, not my image, just the first one I found that showed the process.

 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,295
287
-------------
I didn't know that about the Birdcage awl.
Y'know, thinking on it, there's something similar in a pack of basketmaker's tools that I bought years ago. They're out in the big shed, and I need to redd them out and have a looksee. I bought the set at a market where someone was selling off, "Well, she was an old craftworker. House full of stuff, probably be glad to see it go to someone who might use it", and I bought the whole pack of assorted stuff for a few quid. There was a beating iron in it that I wanted and it was worth it for that alone.

M
I've just had a look for 'Making willow Birdcages' on the internet and not found much but I've heard that as the explanation for birdcage awls before. Made sense to me so I remembered it.

Another one of those tools that nobody seems to mention on here but I really like is a good set of secateurs.
I have some I bought in my local secondhand shop, made by CK Germany, and Foreign written on them.

I'm guessing they were from the 50s or so. Anyway, just a nice thing to use with good leverage for the cut.
Great for cutting up dead gorse branches for my kelly kettle and thin stuff like willow.

Knives are good and we kind of obsess over them on here (sometimes a bit much) but sometimes theres a better tool.

Kind of a fan of a decent set of secateurs myself.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,787
2,958
Mid Wales
It's a punch needle for rug making. It makes a series of equal sized loops 'punched' through a backing of hessian or similar textile.

It's called a, " The Magi-Carpet Automatic Needle Vintage 1960's Danish Rug Hook Tufting Tool ".

Sort of like this....sorry, not my image, just the first one I found that showed the process.

Thanks, I thought you'd know ;)
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,787
2,958
Mid Wales
Another one of those tools that nobody seems to mention on here but I really like is a good set of secateurs.
I have some I bought in my local secondhand shop, made by CK Germany, and Foreign written on them.
Agreed, a very under-rated 'bushcraft' tool - there's nothing better when it's brambles you're having to deal with.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
35,869
1,930
S. Lanarkshire
I fully agree. There's always a pair in my foraging bag :) and usually a small pair in my wax jacket pocket too.
Much under rated tool is a good pair of secateurs.
 

Seagull

Settler
Jul 16, 2004
818
43
Gåskrikki North Lincs
Sailmakers roping needles in sizes 11 to 8 are very useful as impromptu awls....That's the old style needles, the ones sufficiently structured to take a stamped makers name and number.
Ceeg
 
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Toddy

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Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,869
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S. Lanarkshire
There was a lady on eBay selling the contents of an old shop, and she had a lot of those for sale.
I'll see if I can find a link, and you might let us know if they're worth a punt, Seagull ?

M