a tool every turner needs

There must be no bowl turner in the world that can get by without one of these. It’s the first tool you use to mark out the wood yet most folk have nasty flimsy ones that don’t do the job very well. I love these old forged ones. I like the way they feel in the hand. I like that I can bash them into the wood with a firm push on the broad top with my palm so that the centre sits securely and doesn’t come adrift. I like that I don’t have to keep buying and sharpening pencils I just scribe the line with the points. I like that the big adjustment screw works easily when my hands are freezing in the winter. I like that I can still pick them up on ebay for £20 which is less than it would cost to forge such a beautiful thing today. Unfortunately I loose the things, if the archaeologists ever excavate my workshop and spoil heaps in 1000 years time there won’t be much left since most of my waste is organic but there will be several pairs of these buried somewhere along with a much loved old kent pattern axe. Maybe I should paint them dayglow orange, it would help me find them but I think I’ll live with them as they are, a beautiful small functional sculpture that I use every day, what could be better.

3 Responses to a tool every turner needs

  1. Colin Reed January 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I've found a pair exactly the same in a box full of old tools I've been given. They're seized solid at the moment but should be great once freed off and cleaned up.Colin

  2. Robin Wood January 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Most of mine have been old ones found at car boot fairs etc for pennies. I just lost my last pair though hence resorting to ebay. I don't begrudge £20 for a tool of this quality.

  3. Barn the Spoon January 15, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    this has got to be one of my favourite posts you've done. I know how much you love them and they are just one of those beautiful tools that make us feel good each time we use them. Circles are great.