under estimated tools

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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,291
282
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I find cabinet scrapers work better on hardwoods as softwoods just end up kind of fuzzy when Ive used one on it.

For me another underappreciated tool on here is a set of secateurs, nice accurate tool for just snipping off old dry gorse branches for a kelly kettle, cutting bramble creepers or when weaving something from willow.

Oh and on the subject of cabinet scrapers something I've only recently used is a toothing plane which I've found to be surprisingly good for wild grain and can be cleaned up with a scraper afterwards.
 
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Orhdposs

Full Member
Mar 27, 2020
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Essex
I find cabinet scrapers work better on hardwoods as softwoods just end up kind of fuzzy when Ive used one on it.

For me another underappreciated tool on here is a set of secateurs, nice accurate tool for just snipping off old dry gorse branches for a kelly kettle, cutting bramble creepers or when weaving something from willow.

Oh and on the subject of cabinet scrapers something I've only recently used is a toothing plane which I've found to be surprisingly good for wild grain and can be cleaned up with a scraper afterwards.
I turned a smoothing plane iron into a scrub iron has a much more pronounced curve on the blade great for going across the grain or with it to even up the surface, of rough sawn timber to bring it down to a more even surface, also with wild grain as you put it, cut a cross the grain, it cut it to shorter length so won't tear out as much, then use a smoother and a scraper, paper to finish if needed.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Softwoods, the conifers, are something like trying to cut an over-ripe tomato. You need sharper than sharp.
Lots of wood carving will give you many lessons.
Cabinet scrapers are easy to make ( I use steel lumber strapping) and use as a superior replacement for sandpapers.
Everyone's advice for woods vs scrapers is echoed in Leonard Lee's book: The Complete Guide To Sharpening.
 
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Orhdposs

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Mar 27, 2020
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You can always tell a sharp chisel cut the end grain of a piece of soft wood, you can hear the shear on the cut and it will leave a near polished edge, harder to do on soft wood as the grain structure is softer and will crush if the tool is not razor sharp, easier on hardwood as the grain structure is more supportive so a blunter tool still leaves a decent polish on the end grain, try now on the soft wood?
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
For the purposes of carving in the styles of the Pacific Northwest, I work with ring counts between 15 and 40/inch. More, say 50, is a little boney but OK.
12 rings or less per inch in any conifer is a fence board. Presumably, the tools are "carving sharp."
 
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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,291
282
-------------
I turned a smoothing plane iron into a scrub iron has a much more pronounced curve on the blade great for going across the grain or with it to even up the surface, of rough sawn timber to bring it down to a more even surface, also with wild grain as you put it, cut a cross the grain, it cut it to shorter length so won't tear out as much, then use a smoother and a scraper, paper to finish if needed.
Yup, done that also.
Then bought a very basic metal plane for eight quid, it doesn't even have a threaded blade advance adjuster and looks like a Stanley 40 scrub, I attacked the mouth with a file to open it up and now I have a scrub. Scrubs don't have to be made by Veritas or the like, can be just a cheapo.
Or like you have done can be a No 4 which almost everyone with a plane has. Think the 4 is the most common handplane in existance and thats for a reason. Can be adapted to most tasks but light enough to carry about in a tool bass.
Scrubs are pretty simple tools to be honest and when worked across the grain make a difference fast.

British Red might laugh at this because I've not really seen the point of old resharpanable handsaws in the past but thats because powertools are used far more on site and I'm often working in less that ideal conditions where its simpler to just use five quid hardpoints.
Thing is, in a small workshop I'm starting to see the need for handtools, they don't make so much noise, dust or in the long run cost as much.

Which is why I have a few old Disstons and other assorted second/tenth hand handsaws kicking about waiting for me to sharpen them.
I've sharpened backsaws before and setting up for ripcuts isn't so bad. Lets face it, I have the time now.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,656
1,619
McBride, BC
Any tool that can do the task is the right tool. I've got both gas and electric power saws (chain saws.)
I'd rather use a bow saw and a mallet and chisel.

Cabinet scrapers are so cool with the nearly microscopic shavings. They cut the wood, not shred it like sandpapers.
I had to see it to believe it. On seasoned birch, I get a surface like glass.

One thing which I never see mentioned, maybe it's an assumption that everybody knows:
Any time that you ever need to use a file for any reason, rub the file with old fashioned school chalk.
That fills the grooves so filings can't jam in there to make the file bump and run.
You will notice that the file edges now cut really cleanly in any metal, soft or hard.

Easiest way I know of to do the edge on a scraper.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,291
282
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Invaluable tool for bowyery the cab scraper. I think some folk give up on them when they lose their edge. Like any tool they need to be kept sharp and true which is easy to do once you learn how.
Do you ever use a toothing plane? Seems like a good way to get a grippier glueline to me and its used for that with veneering. Seems like the kind of thing bowmakers might use.
 
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Orhdposs

Full Member
Mar 27, 2020
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Essex
Lost count of how many chisels I have, one of my pics is some of my newer / old Bench chisels all makes all countries, Back to saws as an apprentice Carpenter many years ago not done it lately but sharpening your hands saw was a must or get your bottom kicked, it's like riding a bike when you get going, still sharpen me chain saws nearly same principle just no setting.
 
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dwardo

Maker
Aug 30, 2006
6,215
231
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Nr Chester
Do you ever use a toothing plane? Seems like a good way to get a grippier glueline to me and its used for that with veneering. Seems like the kind of thing bowmakers might use.
I haven't but have seen them used on various guides. Tbh I have never glued up a bow as i had access to lots of staves which have all but dried up. As has my time to make bows. Hoping that will change soon so may have to look at gluing up lams instead of having to find staves which is a mammoth task.

Do you lam? :)
 

Orhdposs

Full Member
Mar 27, 2020
103
57
64
Essex
I haven't but have seen them used on various guides. Tbh I have never glued up a bow as i had access to lots of staves which have all but dried up. As has my time to make bows. Hoping that will change soon so may have to look at gluing up lams instead of having to find staves which is a mammoth task.

Do you lam? :)
Never use a toothing plane or own one ? made Ash bow's from scratch cut tree, split, cleaved, shaped, tilered.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
Used an underrated tool today, the EOD Breacher bar. Created for the US Army for opening crates etc, it’s a fairly blunt object. I have seen them ground and heat treated as knives. Mine gets used for separating fence panels from posts enough to get a hacksaw blade into to cut the nails, cleaning weeds out of paving, lifting slabs, hammering into kindling wood, and today for levering off a corroded car battery terminal. One of those tools that you don’t worry about using hard.

65C649FB-E7A9-4D7D-9AC7-3460DF3133B2.jpeg
 

gra_farmer

Nomad
Mar 29, 2016
454
233
Kent
Used an underrated tool today, the EOD Breacher bar. Created for the US Army for opening crates etc, it’s a fairly blunt object. I have seen them ground and heat treated as knives. Mine gets used for separating fence panels from posts enough to get a hacksaw blade into to cut the nails, cleaning weeds out of paving, lifting slabs, hammering into kindling wood, and today for levering off a corroded car battery terminal. One of those tools that you don’t worry about using hard.

View attachment 58675
One of my earlier attempts at making a knife was a tanto version of this, without realising this existed....interesting, what steel type is it, 1055 carbon?