Kestrel Tool

Nov 16 2017 0 Comments

Posted on November 17th, 2017 by Gaston Monge-Grassi
Last week I couldn't resist to keep searching for more traditional woodworking tools and I found this small artisan tool shop based in the US making handcrafted, top-of-the-line, artisan wood carving and sculpting tools. Kestrel Tool is an artisan-owned and operated tool smith shop on Lopez Island in the Northwest corner of Washington state. Kestrel Tool consists of Gregg Blomberg, master toolmaker.
These tools are inherently different from the woodworking tools of European or Japanese heritage, and are used in a unique way, resulting in a unique art form.
Gregg says:
"When I began learning to carve in the Northwest Coast styles, I couldn’t help but wonder, as the chips peeled off and fell around my feet, whether the shape of the tools evolved from the need to make the forms expressed in the artwork, or if the artwork evolved as it did from the shape of the tools. The two separate pieces, the art and the tools, are inseparable, and could hardly exist without each other. The result is magic.  The pleasure of creating a well made object is at least equal to the pleasure of using a well made tool to do so."
                 Sitka straight adze.  
Carver Jim Heaton of Haines, Alaska, calls the adze his "bandsaw on a stick."  An adze with truly proper geometry is a very effective means of rapidly wasting wood. It is also an accurate way to work to the line without wasting time on unnecessary knife strokes.  Properly designed, an adze will have such control that you can hog with it or take chips the thickness of this page.
The Kestrel knife is a refined version of the traditional crooked knife, using tool steels hardened and tempered to close tolerance.The knife is a dream for fitting two curved surfaces; boat builders, luthiers, and cabinet makers who lean toward the flowing line also make ready use of these tools.
A major advantage of the crooked knife is economy. The double edge cuts with a draw or a push stroke. The bent shape allows access to areas in a wide variety of configurations.
If you didn't get enough, feel free to check their website and also their YouTube channel. Plenty of info, pictures and videos.
Have a great weekend everyone.

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