Thursday, March 19, 2009
Cool New Marking Knife Kits
I got a call earlier tonight from Bob Zajicek of Czeck Edge Hand Tool (that's Bob enjoying a beer after work). Bob and I talk tools now and then, among other things. Tonight the "other things" was how I've been paying three bucks a six-pack for beer for the past couple years. And I'm not talking Schlitz here (I can't even buy Schlitz for $3 a six-pack!) I'm talking real beer. Micro-brews and imports mostly. Paulaner, Goose Island, Fat Tire and even beers from as far away as Australia (Baron's Black Wattle Seed Ale to be specific). It's a sweet situation, and completely legal I might add. In fact, it's quite readily available from a local grocery. For obvious reasons though, I can't reveal my source. Needless to say, Bob was a bit jealous. But Bob is also an engineer at Lockheed Martin, so by the time we ended our conversation we'd both crunched the numbers to see if shipping cheap beer to Georgia was doable. Of course it's proabably illegal, so we gave up and both agreed to each have a beer to ease our pain. Of course my 50 cent micro-brew tasted better than his $1.25 Bud Light.
We evetually got back to talking tools after Bob dried his tears. Bob cued me into his newest offering: The Pattern Pilot knife in kit form. Kits are nothing new for Bob. I've bought a few of Bob's fine tools over the past year, but when I first found out about his wares, I was too cheap to spring for a complete tool. I've done a marking knife kit and an awl kit. Both were easy and fun, and when I was done I had a great tool. I've since realized that Bob is a way better turner than I'll ever be. But there is something about doing tool kits that is quite addicting. And Bob has made it easier than ever. He's offering fully machined handle blanks-to go along with the new blade kit-in some fantastic woods for a great price.
The most important parts are already done, the ferrule tenon and shoulder, and tang hole are ready to go. All that needs to be done is the fun part: finish turning the handle and finishing. You wouldn't even need a lathe to finish the project. In fact, one of these knives would look pretty fantastic with some shallow decorative carving along the handle. And you're guaranteed a good piece of dry, sound wood. I'll put in a little plug here for the Pattern Pilot. I've been using it as my primary marking knife for a couple months now. It's not too large, and not too delicate for less-than-attentive use. It's a sweet tool. Bob's a friend, so take that how you will. But it's the truth nonetheless.
If you'd like to buy a kit, Bob's website link is over to the right...
UPDATE: Bob is hosting an online class for the new kit at the Woodworker's Zone forum. Check this link for more info.