Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tool Treasures Found!

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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And they were right by me the whole time!

Sometimes you just get lucky! I was sitting in front of my garage on a Concrete Masonry Unit, or cinder block for the uninformed, whittling and sanding away on powder horn number II. My garage neighbor, a Columbian fellow who happens to be a Viet Nam Vet, comes to chat with me often. I really like him, he's polite, talks just enough but not too much, and always brings me a bottled water.

He takes an interest in all my projects, and I believe he really enjoys watching me struggle my way through some crazy plan I have cooked up!

This weekend, like I said, I was working on Horn #II. I was scraping the inside curve when he stopped by, cold bottle of water in hand.

As he handed the bottle to me he said, "Let me show you some tools I was given some years ago. There's a plane that might be useful to you."

The tool box is a three drawer, top tray affair, hand made, and painted in oil. It's obviously older and has seen honest use.

As he opened the top tray, my eyes fell upon a cranked slick, another large slick, and a brace with an assortment of auger bits. Slicks are basically very large wood chisels used in wooden boat construction and timber frame construction. You don't see them very often. The one I own I found at a flea market and it was quite beat up. It took me a while to bring it back to its former glory.

In the trays was a small, but valuable assortment of chisels, auger bits, odd-ball tools, and several bronze pattern makers planes! Again, tools not frequently seen in your usual tool chest.

Bronze round bottom pattern makers planes.

My friend has invited me to use them any time I care to, and I definitely took him up on the offer. I gave the pattern makers planes a quick clean up, just to make them look better, and he loaned me two chisels and a turner's gouge, all of which I am going to sharpen so they are usable again. I have some old blue jean pants' legs I have been saving that will make good oil cloth. So I'll make a chisel wrap to protect them while I am at it.

Turning gouge, 3/8" gouge, hand forged fishtail gouge

I have to make a custom slip to sharpen the fish tail, and the 3/8" gouge needs to be reground and profiled. The turner's gouge just needs a quick swipe across a fine stone, and it will be fit to work with.

By the way, I researched the 3/8 gouge. It's 138 years old! The William Butcher Steel Works existed between 1867 and 1873. To think I am holding a tool that who knows how many craftsmen held, really thrills me. I hope my work can do it justice!

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Bagram Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Old tools, Ah and some people don't believe in magic.

Stephen said...

That's way cool. I've got an old upright piano that's over a hundred years old. The ivory is well worn. Often when I'm playing I wonder about whose fingers danced on those keys before mine. Sometimes, when out of the blue music you've never heard or played before manifests through your fingers, I just think it's me responding to faint resonations from earlier players. Always makes me smile.

Murphyfish said...

Ah Albert there is something special about old tools, I just love the feel, the look and the weight of them, and the thoughts of who used them eons ago sometimes make me hesitate and ponder for a while (no wonder I spend so long in the garage). SBW is right, there's a magic here al-right.

Wild Ed said...

I'm building a wood boat and someone gives you the tools to do it with. That's the way it goes with my luck. I know you will find a use for them. Up until a week ago I had never used a plane or Japanese saw and now I am looking for all this old stuff too.
Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors

Rick Kratzke said...

Old tools are really cool. I have a few myself that my father had given me.
I hope to hand them down to mine son.