Toolmaking
September 1, 2007
Entry Details
 

# 599
Jeffrey Myers
Assiniboia, SK
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   6.75
  Height:   2.5
  Depth:   2.75
Materials:   aluminum alloy
high carbon steel
russian olive wood
deer antler

Certain factors contribute to this tool's functionality which may not be immediately apparent.  The use of a cast aluminum body gives the tool relatively low weight and high mass.  This reduces its tendency to vibrate, an important consideration for small tools with large blades.  For the same reason, the blade is held firmly top and bottom.  The tool's sole is slightly convex to make it more versatile, but still manageable on plane surfaces.  The blade bed is 45 degrees to the sole to suit normal materials.  The unusual use of transverse handles gives leverage for ease of blade control, and a pleasant, ergonomic grip.  Rather than cast the entire tool, wooden handles with antler accents were added to moderate temperature and absorb moisture.
 

The over-all shape and finish is practical and snag-proof, and reflects its maker's preferences.  The buffed aluminum finish is uncoated and easy to touch up; and the wood grips have just the  lightest coat of wax to keep from getting grungy.  Holes bored to accommodate screws for attaching grips, and a thin laminate between body and grip, have been made of shed deer antler, collected locally.  The grips themselves are wood of the Russian olive tree, grown and seasoned by the craftsman.  The blade was fashioned of steel from a saw blade, heat treated and tempered to dark straw.  The aluminum was from an assortment of melted waste.
 

This picture shows the apogee of the spokeshave's construction.  The castings, with their sprue removed, sit with ladle, bellows and model.  Behind, the cope and drag cool in the snow before being emptied of sand and returned to the workshop.
 

Judges Comments
Brian : Good proportions, appears simple to use, craftsmanship
CS : This shave gets high points for originality and ambitiousness. Casting aluminum is no small feat. My quibbles are with the handles. In use, I wanted them oriented off the horizontal to make the tool more comfortable to wield.
Clarence : A lot of effort went into getting this tool this far. The finish details are all that is holding it back. The non-traditional handle design is actually quite comfortable.

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