Today, I am enjoying the second annual celebration of the New Order of Saint Valentines Day. Last year I wrote about my disdain for the traditional Valentines Day celebration of sappy love notes and gross cherry flavored chalk candy. During the last 12 months, my stance on this weird sap-centric holiday hasn't changed one iota. I established N.O.S.V.D. (I haven't worked on the name at all) last year in order to sew the seeds of change in the fertile soil that is Valentines Day tradition. The goal of the New Order is to celebrate inspirational hand made objects, especially tools.
This year, I am celebrating some of my favorite chisels from Blue Spruce Toolworks, an antique set of dividers and a genuine handmade sign of love.
I got this chisel as part of a set two years ago as a Christmas gift. Meet the fishtail chisel. Initially, this little guy seemed very task specific, but once I started using it I found that it is useful for a lot of different tasks. Any time I need to clean out a tight corner or get into a narrow opening of a mortise or dovetail I reach for this little guy. David Jeske, the owner and operator of Blue Spruce Toolworks makes incredible tools. They are both functional and beautiful. I have several of his chisels and every one of them performs exactly as advertised. These hold an edge extremely well, are made of excellent steel and have comfortable, elegant cocobolo handles.
The second chisel is a long paring chisel also from Blue Spruce Toolworks. This 3/4 inch chisel is part of a set of six which all perform equally well. I use this chisel a lot, but I don't have to sharpen it very often at all. A quick hone before use is typically all it needs. The long blade lets this chisel flex a little under use, which gives me a little more control when I am paring. Additionally, Mr. Jeske provides these chisels with a concave side, allowing the chisel to get into tight corners when paring. I have found this to be a very desirable trait in a paring chisel. The handle, like the fishtail chisel, is comfortable for long use and excellently made.
This set of wing dividers inspires me every time I put them to use. They used to belong to my grandfather which gives them some sentimental value, but they are equally functional. Fortunately, they were taken care of during their early years so they still work perfectly today!
And now for the handmade symbol of love, BACON ROSES! My sister made these for Valentines Day, but they work so much better for N.O.S.V.D.! I now declare a new tradition for N.O.S.V.D, the gift of hand made bacon roses to show your appreciation for things hand made...and delicious pork. Now, go admire a beautiful tool and allow yourself to be inspired...or just go eat some bacon!