Sunday, September 7, 2008

Birthday Gifts

Trying to the flatten the spaces between the knots in a Celtic cross is difficult with a chisel. Typically, you wind up with a 4-sided raised pyramid as you work the chisel into the wall of each knot, as shown in the first photo.

I tried using the chisel like a scraper with fair results. But a gift certificate to Woodcraft for my birthday from my partner's mom presented a much better option.

I purchased 3 bent chisels which gave me the leverage and angle I needed to remove the pyramid and flatten the background areas between each knot. You can see how well it worked in the two square-shaped recesses in the third photo.

The smallest bent chisel is less than 1/16" wide and works great on the skinny perimeter of the design.

Another one of my favorite gifts was a book that I had found in the Woodworking Library of Dan's Woodshop. I noted a number of other books that will be added to future wish lists.

American Country Furniture showcases projects built by The Workshops of David T. Smith. The projects range from very simple (spoon rack) to more challenging (corner cabinet). A short description of the origin of the piece precedes the plans and cut list for each project.

The photos are black and white and the step-by-step instructions are well-illustrated. I've already dog-eared about half of the pages in the book, which mark construction techniques or projects I'd like to build, like the ratchet candle stand.

It's a fun little book which would appeal to anyone who loves simple, country furniture.


Vic Hubbard said...


That Celtic cross you're making for your trip is going to be magnificent!
The old "right tool for the right job" really comes to light when you finally get the right tool, huh?

Kari Hultman said...

Vic, I didn't even know there were chisels like this until I said to another woodworker regarding this cross, "I wish they made a bent chisel so I could flatten the background." "They do." he said. Oh.

Vic Hubbard said...

There's a whole world out there we don't know about! At least, I don't.
I didn't know about these type of chisels. Boy, I wish we had a Woodcraft store here. The closest one to me is either Spokane or Portland. There's always the internet, but it's not the same for things you want to touch before you buy.

Dan said...


The cross is looking great! As always, thanks for the inspiration. Those chisels look cool - can't say I have ever seen those before. And I can relate to dog-earing pages! Are yo familiar with the "book darts" that Lee Valley sells. I love them...

Kari Hultman said...

Book darts? Hmmm...something else I can spend my money on...

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