Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wood Carving Tools for the Beginning Galoot

By Mike Gabor

A galoot is a hand tool aficionado, specifically old hand tools. They prefer muscle power over horse power. Some times finding and restoring old hand tools are more of a drive then wood working it’s self. Old wood carving tools are a great find and when lovingly restored can last for many more years.

The galoot community includes, but is not restricted to, collectors of old tools. The only qualification for being a galoot is a love of hand tools (especially older hand tools) and a willingness to admit that this love may seem odd or unexplainable to others. By extension, galoots are often interested in old methods of achieving wood or metal work. For example, it is not uncommon for a galoot to create a replacement tool handle with a spokeshave, to resaw a plank with a frame saw, or even to forge and temper his or her own chisels. According to wikipedia.

The following is basic list of Galoot hand tools.

Wooden Mallet

A wood mallet is important to use so you don’t damage your tools. You can make your own or find one in a garage sale or similar place.

Chisels (Morticing, Paring)

Many chisels can be found at flea markets and antique stores. The Morticing chisel is hit with the mallet and used for cutting across the grain. Thy paring chisel is used for more delicate work by taking thin shavings from the work piece.

Measuring and Marking tools

Accuracy is one of the chief hallmarks of good woodworking. Stay true to your cuts and to your love of hand tools with a combination square - look for fine machining and deep etch markings. A try square will get you into smaller spaces and is important for furniture making. A sliding bevel will help you transfer accurate angles from one working piece of wood to another. Folding rulers have been mostly replaced by the tape measure. Don’t let that bother you - use your folding wood rule with pride. Marking knives, gauges, and awls will keep your fine cuts as accurate as possible.

Plane (Block, Smoothing, Jack, Jointer)

Planes smooth the surface of your work piece. The block plane is for shearing off the end grain of your piece, the smoothing plane is for very small shavings, the jack plane smoothes with more blade depth. The jointer plane is a long plane used for flattening the joint face of a board.

Brace and Bit and Hand Drill

The brace and bit are used for drilling larger holes in the wood. While the hand drill is used for smaller holes.

Saws (rip, crosscut, coping)

Saw teeth are designed for different cutting applications. The rip saw is used to cut down the length of the grain. The crosscut saw as its name applies is used for cutting across the grain. While the coping blade is small and maneuverable are cutting intricate designs.

Tool Box and Workbench

With your new found interest in the galoot lifestyle the first thing for you to build should be your tool box and workbench. There is nothing like working on a custom made bench exactly to your liking that you can build on to as your collection grows.

I hope this gave you a nice introduction to the galoot lifestyle and their use of wood carving tools.