Monday, November 28, 2016

handles at Nääs

I have begun the restoration of the Nääs Firmer chisel and replacement of handle by reading the following from Otto Salomon's book, The Teacher's Hand-book of Slöjd:

V. –– Chisels, Gouges, Carving Tools etc.
These terms include a whole group of tools which are used in wood-slöjd for the removal of small pieces of wood, in cases where the knife, the saw, or the plane could not advantageously be used.

They consist of a flat or concave blade made of steel, the cutting end of which is cut straight across and sharpened to an edge, and the other wrought into a four-sided tang, which is set into a wooden handle. The tool in working is driven into the wood either by the pressure of the hand, or by blows from a mallet. In order that the handle may not slip or twist round when grasped, it is generally made with four sides, greater in breadth and in thickness, and with the broader sides rounded. To keep the handle from splitting under violent pressure, the base of the tang is furnished with a shoulder, on which the handle rests.

These tools vary greatly in size both as regards length and breadth. The latter dimensions determined by the dimensions of the edge. The broadest tools are generally also the longest. In order to be able to execute all the different kinds of exercises which occur, it is necessary to have a complete set of each description of tools. There are usually 12 to a set, all of different breadths.
The first step was the removal of the handle, allowing the blade to be more easily "handled" in honing the face side flat. What appears as brown discoloration is actually rust, and small rust pits must be removed in order to be able to hone the angled side flat. The rust pitting is the result of the chisel being stored under improper conditions over its very long life. Honing the face side perfectly flat can take over an hour or more, depending on how deep the rust pits have become.

Woodworkers often spend a great deal of time honing the beveled side to perfection, but the actual sharpness of the cutting edge will only be as good as the surface developed on both sides of it. Once the face side of an old chisel has been honed to a mirror like finish and if it is stored under proper conditions, keeping the edge sharp will be easy, and accomplished by honing the beveled side with only minor attention to the face.

Later, I will made a simple handle in the Nääs design.

Make, fix, create, and suggest by your example that others learn likewise.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Doug

    I can see that the Nääs handles are quite different from the standard turned E.A. Berg handles.
    Based on the sketch, it looks almost like those octagonal London pattern handles, but with rounded sides instead of octagons.

    It will be interesting to see the chisel restored back to its former glory.