2020 hasn’t exactly turned out to be a great year. Getting stuck at home for this amount of time is a bummer… but it is somewhat good for getting small projects done (or at least that’s the theory). With the supply-chain being what it is this year, best to get in early.
- The Anarchist’s Workbench by Christopher Schwarz. (Lee Valley, C$34.50), but it is a free PDF download. If you like historical books, this is the last in the Anarchist series, and looks at the history of workbenches.
- This was on my list last year, but makes it again… a Japanese tool, more specifically a plane (kanna). I have bought two planes from Tokyocraft on Etsy. They always have great second-hand Japanese tools, and reasonably priced.
- An axe from Toronto Blacksmith. I haven’t bought one yet, but they seem well designed, nicely made, and local.
- Ever wanted a Stanley No.1? Likely too costly, but now there is an option from Lee Valley, the Veritas Bevel-Up #1 Plane. A different take on the No.1 with a bevel-up blade. (C$249)
- Need a tiny pocket plane. something that would fit in an. apron pocket? Try the Veritas Pocket Plane. This thing is tiny and so well made. Veritas is a true innovator when it comes to planes. (C$119)
- Japanese saws are easy to use, and quick. What about a Convex Crosscut Kabata, designed to use the natural arc of your arm as you saw. (C$39.50)
- Not really a tool per se, except for drinking coffee in the workshop, but the Kupilka seems like a cool idea. Made of wood fibre and thermoplastic they are made in Finland. (210ml, Canadian Outdoor Equipment C$28.75)
- A carving tool from Chipping Away perhaps? This Canadian store is a one-stop shop for carving tools… from beginner to experienced carver, there is something for everyone, including some neat bird carving kits.
- Combination blue (4000 grit) and yellow (6000-8000 grit) coticule sharpening stones from Belgian. Various sizes and slurry stones, from Fendrihan.
- Sharpening stones need flattening? Diamond lapping plates, 300 and 800 grit (C$65 and $80 at Knife).
- It may seem odd to use a broom, versus a vacuum, but there is something inherently satisfying about using a hand-made broom to clean up wood shavings. I have a couple from the Granville Island Broom Co. Less noisy too. Or perhaps a Swedish dust brush or Japanese Bunnuku dust pan?
- Sometime in the workshop a folding rule is a convenient way to measure things 1-2m in length… way better than a tape measure. Big Bear Tools has Hultafors brand in 1 & 2m lengths, in wood, aluminum or fibreglass, metric/imperial. For a great overview of these oft-forgotten measuring tools, check of the Hultafors website.
There are also a myriad of custom hand tool makers out there. Maybe a beautiful handcrafted custom hammer from British company Kinetic Customs, or a replica Medieval tools from Daegrad Tools in Sheffield (England).