Dangerous Edges

twas a dark and stormy night…

Well, not really. But unprotected cutting edges in a tool box can be a bit of a scary story.

Way back when I was young and rocks were soft I signed up to take a chair making class at the Windsor Institute.

Among the many tools listed as being needed for chair making was an inshave. So I bought one, and it didn’t work right so I returned it…

I had a box full of damaged drawknives, handles missing, backs bent and mushroomed out from being pounded on with a hammer to split kindling wood (angry face for the bad words person who hits tools with hammers that are not supposed to be hit).

And I had a small farriers forge, a busted anvil, and some hammers…

so I lit a fire and “fixed” one of the wreaked drawknives by turning it into an Inshave! new handles. and it was a chrm to work with, I still use it!


BUT it sits in my tool box with a rag wrapped around it that doesn’t always stay where it belongs! So it’s like a shark waiting in the depths of my tool box, is it going to bite me today or is it satiated already?…

I got this great book by Peter Galbert, “Chairmaker’s Notebook”, last year, and in it (and on his blog) is a picture of this elegant little sheath or case that he keeps a drawknife in…

inspired by it I made a case for the inshave..


a thick block of wood @ 1/2″ thicker than the depth of the blade, this is slightly spalted soft maple. then I cut 1/4″ or more off the bottom, I drew an outline of the blade on the thick part, and bandsawed that to fit the blade into it. then I glued the bottom back on.

Then I layed out the dovetailed recess sawed down the sides (hand saw) and cleared it out with my hand router.

then I made a lid from White Oak, @ 3/8″ thick. to fit once I got it into place nicely (contact all along the edges) it was too far into the slot so I cut 2 strips of ebony (waste from another project long ago to “shim” it.

a nut insert and a brass thumb screw secure the lid. a bit of sanding and a coat of finish and it will be protecting my fingers for years to come.


be well



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