Could never figure out if Archie was cursed or blessed with two lovely ladies competing for his affections. Last night found me in a similar situation.
If I’m lucky, I get one night of shop time a week, usually after working my real job for 8 hours. Of course last night was extra special since there was a little package from eBay waiting for me… a hewing hatchet! Made sure the back was in good shape after having to deal with a full sized broad ax that was badly pitted. Unfortunately there was a decent back bevel on it, such that it bounced off the wood instead of cutting into it. Mind you this was after being worked on the brand new 80 grit belt. I took a dinner break and stopped into the local BBS. They had 36 grit belts in stock, and what a good investment that turned out to be! Working the back and the bevel, I quickly got the two planes to intersect in the appropriate manner. So then the question arose, what else can I grind the piss out of?
A little voice spoke to me from the “to do” pile under the work bench. “Pick me! Pick me!” It was a slick I picked up at the flea market for eight bucks two years ago. The underside was badly pitted and the whole thing was a real ugly duckling. I’d tried grinding it before, but the pits were very deep all along the back. Tonight was different, and fifteen minutes later, the back of small swan neck was flat! I touched both the ax and the slick up on the 80 grit belt, and then stoned them up through the graduations. To my amazement, that cruddy old slick was taking shavings like it came off the forge yesterday. After messing around with both of them I was stumped, which one did I love more?
Needed a break after all the awesome, so I googled Blodgett edge tool, the company that made the hatchet. Sweet! they were bought up in 1862 by the underhill tool company, so my new ax dates between 1853 and 1862. Interesting to note is that the backside of the hatchet works like an american broad ax, in that it’s slightly convex. I rocked it back and forth on the belt grinder to maintain the profile. This was the case with the slick as well though not as pronounced. Also worthy of note is the handle on the broad hatchet… it feels original, but who knows?
Now it’s getting late, and I had wanted to work on my Daughter’s Lund viking stool replica. While hewing the edges off the firewood destined for the lathe, it hit me. Why was I going to make a viking era replica stool with a lathe? Hewn is much more appropriate and also the perfect excuse to use my new sharp friends. Bonus? I got to knock the virginity off my estate sale drawknife too.
Fortunately, unlike Archie, I don’t have to choose (since tools aren’t as jealous of each other).