Monday 19 March 2012

Snakewood marking knives

I've had a bit of a run on my snakewood marking knives so it's time to restock. Here is a small log costing £100 cut into two.

Here is the inside which shows how wasteful this fine wood can be, the snake pattern only goes about half way in and the centre has decayed.

Here are 26 usable blanks which makes them about £4 each. Wood doesn't come much rarer or expensive than this! These blanks will be taken to Jim my turner friend, he is too fast and too good for me to think about turning these myself.

This is the last of the stock turned about 6 months ago. The ferules are simply brass tube cut on my small band saw and the blades are heavy duty Swann Morton which I have shortened.

The blade slot is cut carefully by hand using and old dovetail saw which I sharpened. It has a kerf of .6mm which matches the blade width nicely.
Notice the way my index finger is curled into a notch on the handle rather than pointing down the blade. I find this easier to control the saw and it prevents you from applying too much pressure which can cause the line to wander. I have noticed on some of the high end current day saws that the makers have cut this notch but left it far too small to actually be used as it was intended, which is a shame.

The maker is stamped Hill late Howell on the steel back. Two names were often used for a period after a maker took over anothers business, usually after he had died, hence the use of the word 'late'. From memeory this dates this saw to the 1850's, I like old tools and it's nice to put them back in service.

1 comment:

  1. Old Tools:
    Up in Maine, there are three used tool outlets recycling tools back into use. I spent five weeks there and on the first stop looked extra hard to establish that I wasn't kicking tires. There was a beautiful Disston panel CC saw dumped into a barrrel, but the saw restoration line is getting long. Then I spotted two clean hacksaws ($4 and $8). My grandfather's hand-me-downs are rusty beyond belief so I took the $8 hacksaw. Something about the blade fasteners caught my eye. Paying for it, I spotted the Starrett stamp and logo. Too, late, guys! $8 it was going to be and cleaning and oiling will keep the rust away.