Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blue Spruce Marking Knife

Although I do not have an abundance of money, I believe in the "buy your last tool first" philosophy (see contradiction here). When I was deciding which marking knife I wanted to buy, I found a great independent tool maker, David Jeske, who owns and runs Blue Spruce Tool Works. His marking knives come highly recommended throughout the hand tool blogosphere, so I figured that I would buy the small marking knife...with a special piece of wood for the handle.

Truly a work of art.

I had some holly wood (insert witty movie star joke here) that I was saving for the right project and figured my one and only marking knife would be the perfect candidate for such nice wood. So I contacted David Jeske to ask about the use of holly as a handle material. David was more than helpful with my questions and even went into some details about the finishing processes that he uses for his tools and how they hold up in use. After discussing the details through several emails I dropped my piece of holly in the mail and anxiously checked my mailbox morning and night. Within two weeks, pretty amazing for a custom handmade knife, I received an awesome little cardboard box in the mail from Oregon.

A detail of the intricate turning.

When I opened the box I was immediately impressed by the quality of my marking knife; other people's reviews didn't even begin to do David's work justice. The blade was bright, the ferrule had a lustrous brushed look and the handle, well the hand-rubbed lacquered holly handle looked and felt like polished ivory. DISCLAIMER: No Woolly Mammoths were exhumed for the making of my marking knife.

Detail of the two part ferrule and perfectly formed handle. 

Since receiving the marking knife, I have had several projects which I have used it on. The handle fits my hand perfectly and the knife is crisp and sharp, severing the wood fibers for a nice clean line. I am very pleased with how well the knife feels and tracks in a mark. Making things by hand is a deeply personal matter and the tools one uses to do so are just as personal. I have no doubt that I will get to know this small knife very well throughout my journey of hand joinery.

Tools of the trade.

No comments:

Post a Comment