Atkins Backsaw

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Monhagen Saw


Making and Using Tools - Miscellaneous Tools


new to me... Curved strops by Scott Grandstaff

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Well, I was sharpening my favorite gunboat spokeshave. This is the big mamoo... An old coopers tool of course. I rebuilt it and put more comfy handle tips on it years ago.

I love this thing. Its practically a cross between a spokeshave and a drawknife. Easiest tool to use I own,
and the one I always hand visitors in my shop to try out.

It takes less than 60 seconds for most people to "get it" and start cutting wood with gusto!

It has been a hassle to sharpen. The blade is substantially rounded. Not just barely curved like many are. This one cranks!

As I am sure you know by now, I am a strop fan. I like to finish any edge I make on a strop. But a flat strop wasn't working well at all. So I thought to myself, ...say there self,... how about a round strop?? Immediately following, I had to examine the slap marks on my forehead.

So I headed out and drove to the priss-a-torium, where the sky is always falling. I ordered up some rare and exotic, hyper sensitive, guaranteed phobic/obsessive approved... Yeah right, as if!

I grabbed a scrap from the "maybe burn" pile near the stove. Black oak with a taste of sapwood. It had a little twist to remove. And over by the drawer I keep good leather. I had an old belt laying right out on the floor.

I love old belts, did I ever mention that? I wouldn't give you 2 cents for a new leather belt. Squeaky, smelly, stiff, edges that cut into you, yuck.

Gimme a Salvation Army special! A belt some large guy wore for 27 years belt!! Broooooke in!!

When I find them, I reserve the best of these for guitar straps. (feels like a darling girl's cheesecake against your skin!!). But this particular belt was so abused and pitiful I wouldn't use it against my skin, so it was just laying out there, wondering whether it was going into the trash or not.

It ain't about what you thought, fellas.

I skinned down that scrap into a pleasing curve. Jack plane and then smoothed it out with a 4. Looked good. Easy peasy. Then,.. uh oh.

How do you glue leather smoothly to a longitudinal curve? Hmmmm Rubber bands would make a motocross racecourse out of it. I thought of several other approaches, but all of them were fraught with peril and hassle, one way or another.

So I realized I had to make a clamping caul. I grabbed another piece of the oak (an even worse one) and just kept working until it fit. Gutter plane, big round, and gutter spokeshave.

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