Old Tools.

During the restoration of our home on the edge of the Peak district, we were asked to take down the rear wall of part of the property to allow for a small extension.

The wall was shown on the tithe map of the village in 1842. During the course of the demolition we found several bottles and the blade of an old tool. As this formed part of the history of the building I decided it would be good to clean up the metal and fabricate some sort of handle so the blade, which must be close to 200 years old, could be displayed.

In my tool box I have several old tools which I love to use when not rushing to get projects completed. Going back to basics and taking time to do things by hand rather than using noisy power tools is a real pleasure. My great grandads spoke shave is one of my favourites. Although very old the blade will hold a very good edge and when I am using these old bits of kit I hope some of the previous owners skill rubs off on me.






 Make and attach handle

One of the other old tools I have collected is a huge axe with a lovely shaped ash handle. The blade we found buried in the wall looked like an adze or some sort of hoe/mattock, so I decided to base the new handle on the shape of the old axe handle and make it to the sort of length that felt comfortable to use the blade as an adze.

A piece of maple left over from another job had been sitting on my wood rack for some time, and although not the easiest wood to use it had the potential to make a decent looking handle.

I started with the spoke shave, adjusting the depth of cut with gentle taps on the pins attached to the blade. Sitting in the workshop, music playing, I lost myself for several hours and produced a reasonably shaped handle.

Next stage was to make a cut in the end of the handle where the blade was to fit, attach the blade and fix it with a wedge.

 Once the assembly was completed I made a small stand so the tool could be displayed in the cottage.