under estimated tools

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Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,462
486
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
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
I made my own version.
I’ll take some pics later!
 
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Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,839
1,452
55
W.Sussex
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?
Not sure of the steel, it’ll be a standard mild steel I’d have thought.

More importantly where can you get one in the UK?

I could only find overseas suppliers :dunno:
I got mine, many years ago, from Miles at EndTimesReport survival shop. In those days the dollar and GBP were a little more in my favour. I’ll have a look around later, my dogs are driving me crazy for a walk.
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
564
335
Ceredigion
When I first started beekeeping I couldn't believe just how handy a hive tool is (and sharp!). So useful for a variety of tasks that I keep thinking you could use it when doing other things as well.
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,000
522
47
Wiltshire
a prybar or small jemmy has all sorts of uses.

(I have servral but never really used them; shows how many projects I work on, eh?)
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,462
486
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
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
So my version that I have in use is at work so I pulled out a blank instead.

Not actually much difference to a ‘finished’ one due to how I ground the bevels.

On the breacher bar, the chisel ground bevels are both on the same side. For mine, I put the chisel on the right for the main cutting edge. For the tip I put the bevel on the left, thinking how I would use it for prying.



Clearly for mine I went narrower - I thought the wide profile of the EOD was unnecessary and potentially uncomfortable.
A slight curve and finger groove for the handle for comfort.
Big holes for a cord wrap.
Rounded end for hitting with something / comfort in the hand if pushing on it.
Bottle opener for the end of the day....
 

Silverclaws2

Tenderfoot
Dec 30, 2019
72
39
52
Devon
What is 'underestimated' I find is but a perspective and in this day and age a perspective proffered by those that instruct, where it is as a craftsperson I know every craftsperson has the tools that work for them, where if one was only to listen to those that instruct one might miss out on new tools and the exploration involved in those tools to find out what they're really made of. My craft is mostly non ferrous metal but I use a scraper in my craft, to be meticulous in the upkeep of that scraper, a triangular machinist's scraper for planing metal for there to be lots of unusual tools in my tool box even from other disciplines as my ethos is the tool I want is the tool that does the job. Oldest one I have was made in the mid nineteenth century to be a collectors item but I keep it for what it was intended for ; using and I use it
 
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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
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Someone mentioned scrub planes and theres right expensive fancy pants versions from Lie Neilson and Veritas, and also very expensive older ones from Stanley.
You don't need them at all, lots of people either just buy a No 4 Stanley or an old wooden plane with a large mouth.
The fancy ones don't even need a chipbreaker/cap iron. This tool is not needing fancy mechanisms or extreme flatness.
Look on Youtube for Paul Sellers videos about using them for more info.
This is a cheapo handplane I boight off Ebay, can't remember what make it is but it claims to be a No 2 although its basically the same size as a Record No 3 I have.
No chipbreaker and I reprofiled the blade to a tight camber then opened the mouth up with a file. I launched the original tension screw into the skip and fitted a wingbolt cos it doesn't need a screwdriver.
All dead easy to do and using it across the grain at 45 degrees then 45 degrees the other way is an absolute dream, fast and effective. Think it cost me eight quid.


 
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,296
289
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Another one which isn't really so much a tool as much as a technique but it's definitely underrated so I'll mention it anyway.

I'm not at all a fan of sandpaper and avoid using it as much as I can.
I much prefer using a decent sharp handplane and possibly a scraper to get a good shrface.
Then if its in need of further refinement I use a handfull of the shavings more or less like sandpaper. Thing is it burnishes the timber nicely and doesn't cost me anything.
For the people who like sandpaper its still worth a try instead of the really high grits.
It creates a noticable difference.

I'd like to point out that I saw this technique being demostrated by Frank Klausz on Youtube.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,676
1,629
McBride, BC
I discovered cabinet scrapers for myself, not many years ago. Hardwoods.
Fairly hopeless on softwoods like the cedars.
I make my scrapers from the hard steel lumber bundle strapping.

Steel wool. There's a profound difference between the fine and coarse grades.

Furniture makers advocate a light and fine sanding between coats of finish.
Wood carvers can't do that easily, usually working with combination curved surfaces.
However,
Apply the first coat of finish to a wood carving. Let it set and harden thoroughly.
Now, rub the carving with a pad of XXX coarse steel wool.
You will note that the strands are not round, they are flat.
Those flat strands float over the finish and cut off "fuzzies" as if they were a million chisels.
Then, more coats of finish as you might wish. Glass smooth.

If you are pre-painting new molding in a home renovation, the steel wool trick is the answer to the profile.
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,144
189
Devon
Someone mentioned scrub planes and theres right expensive fancy pants versions from Lie Neilson and Veritas, and also very expensive older ones from Stanley.
Thanks for the post. I have a fair number of boards I need to thin down (making some bee hives) and this looks ideal. I've a couple of suitable, old planes knocking about as I've picked them up for pennies in boxes of tools in house clearance sale.
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
544
363
yorks
I will throw in the good ol' wooden mallet as a highly underrated tool. Easily made, it can turn a small axe and some wooden wedges into gigantic tree splitting machines. Plenty of other uses too.
 
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,296
289
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Thanks for the post. I have a fair number of boards I need to thin down (making some bee hives) and this looks ideal. I've a couple of suitable, old planes knocking about as I've picked them up for pennies in boxes of tools in house clearance sale.
Hit Youtube with the term Scrub Plane or Using a Scrub Plane and there's a decent bit of info but the main point is the very open mouth and heavily cambered blade.
I do have a few fairly posh planes and a surplus of sizes but there's really not much to scrub planes. For me its not worth spending a hundred quid on one.

As Paul Sellers points out in one of his excellent videos many old wooden coffin style scrubs are actually just a worn out smoother where the mouth is too big for effective smoother usage.
You don't need much in the way of adjustments on them either.
Put the plane on a flat surface, drop the blade in til it touches the flat surface, tighten it up and then give the blade a tap at the back so its sticking out slightly.

With an old No4 you will likely have to attack the front of the mouth with a file or it won't allow the bigger and thicker chips through and it will jam up.
Obviously with a 4 you have a thumbturn knob to set it but the lateral adjust lever will be mostly redundant because the large camber of the blade.

Just remember, you don't need to be spending Veritas type money on these things. Its just a rough plane with a very open mouth and a heavily cambered blade.
You're not going to be jointing tabletop boards with them so extreme flatness just isn't needed. Also a wider blade isn't always an advantage because you have to push it through the cut with a deep setting.
Personally I chamfer the edge thats away from me so it doesn't spelch out and do diagonally across the board where its needed and then maybe diagonally the other way before moving onto a jackplane/jointer or smoother depending on what I'm on with making.

I have recently been getting a few wooden planes as well, wbicb for years I avoided like the plague but surprise surprise, I was wrong. They can be surprisingly good and great value.
I'll fire up a few of my findings with those when I get time.
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,144
189
Devon
I've bookmarked Paul Sellers' videos when you first mentioned him and I wasn't sure what a scrub plane was. I've picked up a few wooden planes as well, whenever they are cheap enough. They are currently sitting about the house looking pretty but the intention is to bring them back into use. One's 26" long, the others a bit shorter. Also picked up a jack sized plane for a few pounds that seems perfectly usable.
 
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,296
289
-------------
I've bookmarked Paul Sellers' videos when you first mentioned him and I wasn't sure what a scrub plane was. I've picked up a few wooden planes as well, whenever they are cheap enough. They are currently sitting about the house looking pretty but the intention is to bring them back into use. One's 26" long, the others a bit shorter. Also picked up a jack sized plane for a few pounds that seems perfectly usable.
Nice one. Give em a go and see how you get on.
If it's short but doesn't make a good smoother then you can either fettle it til it does, put a bit more camber on the blade and use it as a jack or if its really rough and possibly not so flat open the mouth upto a scrub.
If you look at the prices for a No8 jointer the prices for a wooden jointer you can flatten the sole of with another plane starts to make sense.
Get an old No8 with an out of flat sole and getting it flat needs serious work for a couple of days using an emery paper covered massive (read expensive) surface plate or something like it.

There's another bloke on Youtube calling himself The English Woodworker who works a good bit with handtools and wooden planes and he's well worth a watch.
Down to earth and doesnt mess about.