Superb Bent Gouges Were Upgraded

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Project by Dilo Marcio Fernandino posted 984 days ago 2403 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Dear Lumberjocks,

Brazil and Argentina are neighbor countries in South America. Despite that, Brazilians speak Portuguese while Argentines speak Spanish and the cultural differences between them are so many that Brazilians and Argentines seldom agree on an issue. In spite of having a highly developed steel industry, the Brazilian manufacture of chisels is probably the worst on Earth. They are simply useless. That is why I am always looking for foreign brands of chisels.

Last year I admitted as a carving student Mr. Luiz Flavio Rocha Gomes (please refer to my blog who introduced me to an unknown brand of chisels handmade in Argentina, named “Stassen”. Their blades were pretty well forged, carefully sharpened and so polished that they reminded me of the German brands. Unfortunately, their wood handles looked terrible concerning style and ergonomics.

Recently Luiz Flavio decided to go to Argentina and offered me the opportunity to buy locally the Stassen chisels that I might choose from his Stassen catalog. I accepted his kind offer and requested a selection of seven tiny bent gouges plus a large bent spade shaped gouge, whose exquisite shapes I did not have among my collection of 300 plus chisels and gouges. He brought me back all of them which proved to be razor sharpened. However, their practical usage demonstrated to be quite awkward because of their badly shaped handles.

As a consequence, I resolved that those fine gouges deserved to be improved by replacing their original handles by customized ones which would fit my hand palms. Also, I resolved to ennoble them by making the handles using black Rio Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) selected from my leftovers, as well as to upgrade the whole set by housing it in a specially built toolbox made of white Pau Marfim (Balfourodendron riedelianum).

So, I designed a “half-pear” shape (flat on the bottom) so that the handle could comfortably fit in my hand palm, but considering that I have no lathe I had to shape each wood blank with a bow saw. Also considering that the Rosewood leftovers were as hard as a stone, I took advantage of this drawback by faceting them with rasps and files as if they were rare gemstones, instead of simply rounding them.

All works were performed on the handles and toolbox with hand tools (saws, planes, rasps, files, chisels, sandpaper). Please, see the upgrading sequence photos.

Dimension of the box: 13” long x 10” wide x 2” deep

Visit my website:
My email:
Best Regards,

-- Dilo

16 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11639 posts in 2292 days

#1 posted 984 days ago

Looks like you did a fantastic job on everything : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View ChuckM's profile


496 posts in 2271 days

#2 posted 984 days ago

I must say the old handles were good, but the new ones are even better. Thanks for sharing.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View blackcherry's profile


3148 posts in 2427 days

#3 posted 984 days ago

And now my good man your have a gem collection of beautiful chisel with a traveling case. Thanks for all your wonderful pic’s on your procedures on this fine set of handcrafted handles, your friend in woodworking Blkcherry

View Woodbridge's profile


2578 posts in 1022 days

#4 posted 984 days ago

Your new handles and case are very nice. The carving work you have posted is superb! A fine set of chsiels in the hands of a master carver!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View kiefer's profile (online now)


2969 posts in 1271 days

#5 posted 984 days ago

A very nice set of what I would call custom carving chisels .
I am envious of these nice tools but for me they would not be much use as I never learned the carving discipline and use power carving tools instead.
Congratulations on your new chisels and I am looking forward to seeing them in use .
Your work is exceptional and very inspiring !
Thanks Kiefer

-- Kiefer 松

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

620 posts in 1997 days

#6 posted 984 days ago

Fantastic job. I am amazed at your talent with only hand tools.. You are a TRUE artisan!

View sras's profile


3784 posts in 1733 days

#7 posted 984 days ago

The chisels now have first class handles and a first class owner. A beautiful set of tools. Enjoy them!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Woodwrecker's profile


3566 posts in 2180 days

#8 posted 984 days ago

Magnificent job my friend.

You have turned a good tool into a great tool!

You honor these tools by using them in your superb work !

-- Having fun...Eric

View patron's profile (online now)


12976 posts in 1945 days

#9 posted 984 days ago

you are a true master

the detail and attention
you put into your work
is exceptional

great upgrade these


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ruddy's profile


395 posts in 1543 days

#10 posted 984 days ago


-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View Woodbutcher3's profile


364 posts in 1491 days

#11 posted 984 days ago

Fabulous job. All that work my hand imparts a special attachment to your tools and assures you’re going to get them out and use them. Excellant work. I’m keeping an eye on your future posts!

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View jeepturner's profile


920 posts in 1397 days

#12 posted 984 days ago

That is a nice upgrade to the tools.
I like the faceted design, mostly because I don’t like to have sharp ends on handles that can roll off of a bench.

All your work is exceptional, and I thank you for sharing it with us.

-- Mel,

View MShort's profile


1724 posts in 2023 days

#13 posted 984 days ago

Now that is an upgrade !! The new handles really made a great looking set of tools. Thanks for the putting the before pictures with the new updgrades.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Bertha's profile


12951 posts in 1297 days

#14 posted 984 days ago

Boy, I love looking at your work. Those gouges are exceptional. I may copy your faceted form if you’d allow it. I imagine the grip with the palm swell is great for carving. Thanks for sharing! al

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 1414 days

#15 posted 984 days ago

Now thats a true craftman!

So nice to see homemade tools made with perfektion.

Awesome job!

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

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