Chisels – 5

What I realized is that I was making those chisels for a beginner, who was going to be working at a makerspace, and, unlike mine, the chisels were not going to sit permanently on a rack near the lathe. They were going to wind up being transported in a car, carried around, etc. Godzilla chisels might be a tad ostentatious. Also, the skew chisel might be mistaken for a harpoon, or a murder weapon, and police involved. We need a chisel carrier!

My first thought was that I had some heavy felt and maybe I could make a couple of felt bags, sort of like the bags you store a katana in, with a flap at the top that folds over and a wrap-tie. But that still had the problem that the chisels would be separate and could be dropped, or something. So, a roll-up carrier seemed like the best option.

As a board-certified packrat, I almost always have the right materials on hand for pretty much anything, and in this case it was a half split of beautiful waxed hide that was just the right color to echo the reddish tones in the cherry wood. To get the dimensions approximately correct, I just cut a big rectangle, and started experimenting with rolling it up. I decided to add another slot for a roughing gouge, since I have a couple spares I hardly ever use. (Again, I thought there might be problems if a beginner in a makerspace starts attacking their rough-in using a carbide disc. So, learning to use a roughing gouge seemed like a good idea.)

Since the roughing gouge was going to take up the low bottom part of the wrap, I had room at the top and decided to make a flapped pocket to store spare carbide discs, allen wrenches, lock-tite, etc. “I am not getting fancy with this” became my mantra, because I am aware of a certain institutional tendency to overdo things. For example, I know that machine-stitching leather that weight is going to result in less than fine-art stitches, but, screw that I am not spending hours and hours hand stitching.

I had a few celtic knotwork conchos in the findings box, and decided those would make nice buttons to hold the flap shut with a thin piece of leather wrapped around them. I simply nailed the pocket in place with a run of stitches and almost stitched the flap shut. My spacial sense is not what it used to be. I stopped just in time and sat there flop-sweating for a minute; it was a mistake that I never would have made even 5 years ago.

I added two flappy things (known as “the flappy things”) to keep the chisels from whacking into eachother when the roll is rolled up. It’s starting to look like something! Time to finish it off. Uh, how does it roll? Need a mechanism, maybe buckles. Can’t use velcro because it’ll pick up shavings – it has to be buckles. Back to the findings box to dig out a few buckles.

That’s it. It’s looking pretty fair for something I just sort of hacked together on the fly. I decided not to stain the wrap-thingies to add a bit of visual contrast to the whole thing. And, of course, a shoulder strap, so she can carry it crosswise on her back like some kind of carbide-slinging ronin from the Muromachi period. [Did I ever mention that I mostly live in mythical reality?]

Of course I made it sound like adding the shoulder strap was an after-thought but it wasn’t, I had to stitch the D-rings onto a loop, and the strap as well, before I stitched the whole pad onto the roll. I made the pad a bit oversized because I had some rough notion about using a woodburner or a Dremel tool with a small round burr to carve the owner’s name into it, but, seriously, I was sick and tired of the whole project and gave everything a thin wipedown with wax, and sent it on its way.

Another project, projected. I am overkill.


  1. dangerousbeans says

    I think it’s a bit late for not getting fancy with this :P
    Looks very cool though

  2. Jazzlet says

    It does the job, looks satisfyingly robust, attracive, and I suspect it will wear into something wonderfully tactile too, what more could you want?

  3. Tethys says

    Oooooooh, well done!
    I hope the owner is absolutely delighted with the whole kit and caboodle. I know I would be pretty overwhelmed to order tools and receive not only beautiful tools, but also extra tools and a handmade carrying case.

    Apparently you have an industrial sewing machine in your shop of mythical reality?
    Of course one requires a wide variety of random stuff to create, just as a chef requires a well stocked pantry. You never know when a creative urge will strike, so one needs supplies.
    I have managed to accrue a ridiculous supply of beads, fabric, yarns, threads, etc in the process of making things.

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