Handholding

I’ve been trying to do a little woodworking, despite the lack of a shop or a bench.

I’ve rummaged through the old outbuildings here, and have a small collection of hammer heads, ax heads, and hatchet heads in need of handles.

We have a lot of Ash trees here, and so far no Emerald Ash Borers.

Time to learn how to make some handles. I purchased a drawknife (still rather incredulous I haven’t found one of those here yet). Already had a spokeshave.

Been working at it. No shaving horse to work with, and no bench with a face vice either, so I’ve been seeing what I can accomplish literally “hand-holding” my work.

The key to it that I’ve found so far is to not try to do more than is reasonable. Take smaller cuts than you would normally. The drawknife and the spokeshave are fairly safe tools – it’s when using a chisel that things can get dangerous.

I’ve found that if you choke up on your chisel, gripping it firmly between your thumb and fingers up near the sharp end, you can make controlled small parings of wood without any danger of cutting yourself. Held correctly, even if your hand is down in front of the blade, you control how far the blade can move, so avoid any danger of a mishap.

All this begs the question why my hand is wrapped in gauze and is starting to ache something fierce – shoot, I only needed 4 stitches, wth….

Where was I? Oh – right. Using a chisel safely while holding your work with your hands. The key, as I was saying, is to hold the tool so you control how far it can move if it slips, to not try to take as much material off as usual, and something else, what was it?

Right. Don’t get distracted. Or impatient. Do that and you’ll forget the other two points.

In fact, maybe wait to try this at all until you’ve practiced zen meditation or something, and have a superior ability to focus on what you’re doing.

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3 Responses to Handholding

  1. Use a paring knife – and never have body parts in front of the sharp end no matter how much control you think you have. As for holding the wood – I have a possible solution – if you can find a post drive two thick dowels in about 3″ apart at an angle (one at 11 o’clock and one at 5 o’clock) – then place the wood to be shaved between the two pegs – the stock will be tilting down. Now take a wedge and drive it in from the back, between the upper peg and the wood . the wood should now be firmly held in place. Can send a diagram if needed.

    Liked by 1 person

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