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Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Ernest DuBois, Nov 30, 2020.
Not deterred by a bit of criticism - of course not . So, getting back to business at hand...
Ernest, I’m impressed with your slick. Did you make the handle? My handle is much plainer, although the end is rounded. The blade is also slightly concave toward the bevel side, which lets me shave a center deeper than the edges, if that makes sense. I don’t know if that’s common - the only other one I’ve ever used was quite straight.
I wish there was a “chisel” sub forum here, but that’d probly open the door to plane irons and who knows what else.
You see then what's going on in the topic, making explicit the connection to the wider range of tools and at the same time being relevant and additionally to acknowledge that the axe in action rarely is standing alone.
The slick came together with its handle which has many well thought through subtitles. It is a common thing to create a radius on the back side of the blade though not something I choose to do because this complicates getting the sharpness I like but it depends on what the primary use of the slick is.
catspa-The slick is made by a smith named Barr Quarton. His company is BARR SPECIALTY TOOLS, McCall, Idaho. The handle shown is original Barr issue. Barr's tools are hand forged and excellent quality. My Barr slicks have been with me for 30 yrs. They hold an edge better than any other slick I own, that includes vintage Greenlee, Underhill, and a couple of unsigned slicks. Barr makes a scarf slick that has about a #1 sweep, like you describe yours. The scarf slick is very useful for Log and Timber Frame construction. He did make what I would call, a gouge slick that was great for round log construction. I dont see that listed anymore.
OK, we can secretly continue on the diversion now with a good set-up. O.A. has spilled the beans on my slick and I also have nothing but praises for the work's gone into these. I like the edge characteristics of these Barr tools. There seems to be a confusion about the nature of this rounding you are going on about Parker. Do you have more specifics?
And what's wrong with Plane Irons?
Plane Irons beneath Chisels are they, Plane Irons not good enough for you then, suppose you don't use a Plane then.........
I think you're Toolist.
Thank you for that info, OA. Sounds like a neat operation.
My slick is a 3-3/8” Wilcox which I’ve owned for about 20 years. It has a laminated blade, takes a very keen edge, and although I’ve never had the handle out of it, it appears the socket broke and was welded back at one time. It is curved like a leaf spring, about 1/8” over the 9-1/2” of blade. In fact, at one time I considered making a slick (still might someday, just to see if I can) and I had a piece of leaf spring selected for the blade.
This one came to me in an odd way. I was at a swap meet, and a tool seller had 2 slicks. This Wilcox all rusty and dirty, and a smaller shiny clean one that was dull, priced at 30 and 50. I offered to sharpen them, and he said he’d rather keep them dull because somebody would cut themselves. So I sharpened the pretty one and made it a leather guard, in exchange for the rusty one. Later on he sold the pretty one for 100.
Soon after, I hired onto a log cabin job and used it quite often. I’ve also used it on other jobs to shave down a proud trimmer or match a joist corner to a rafter. I’m very careful not to run it into nails, staples, etc. and I don’t loan it out.
This slick has one interesting feature - a small groove in the handle knob at a position exactly perpendicular to the cutting edge. It helps to index it by feel on angled cuts. Wish I’d thought of that, but I’m glad some previous owner did.
ISS, I’m pleading not guilty to your cruel accusation - “some of my best friends are plane irons”.
If we can include block planes, I probly use mine more often on a trim job than chisels, framing job features big chisels slightly more. But do you really want to start rubbing shoulders with drawknives and spokeshaves and scorps? Different tools for different fools, y’know.
It's one aspect of the Barr handle that I was going to mention, that is to say its formation allows for easy disassembly.
By the way, in preparation for a long long journey, I'm planning essential tools that'll get included. So far I've settled on plane and axe. No surprises I guess.
All this talk of Slicks (something I wasn't familiar with) has had the usual effect of making me want one.... funny you should mention leaf spring as that's the first thing that sprung (no pun intended) to mind after seeing the kind of money being asked for new or used Slicks!
My forged one might have to be a big tang though, my socket making abilities are a bit lacking.
Drawknives now... we should all be able to get along, after all it's nothing but sharp edges that are pushed, pulled or struck.
Do you have specific work in mind Ernest, or general woodworking?
If I had a cool carpenter’s hatchet like Ernest, I’d take it on every trip longer than down the hall to the bathroom. There’s some authorized thread content for ya.
So how ‘bout it Ernest, will you be packing a chisel?
ISS, I’d be concerned about a big fat tang splitting the handle, unless you installed a stout ferrule. Some people mallet their slicks - if you plan to do that, install a strike ring on the butt also.
You are not alone, being unfamiliar. Slick, as far as I can tell it, is strictly an American tool. Even the diminutive Japanese version is derived from the American concept. It's an odd thing that of all building traditions it only is standard in the American one, with others to one degree on the other adopting it or leaving it aside from there. It sure would be interesting to know the origin of this tool. I have some ideas, highly speculative ones so better left to a more methodical uncovering.
I got nowhere with a generalized approach so I pinned my planning to one concrete project and work backwards, + a certainty of splitting wood to keep the stove going.
Yes Parker, I bring with me a chisel though it seems a luxury along side the carpentry axe. Maybe for mortising it's handy (just planning out loud).
Below are a couple of big stick tangs I've made in the past, the hand Adze (torsion spring bar) has a full length 10" tang much thinner than where it enters the handle that is riveted through the end cap. In use this is really too harsh in the hand, OK for a little while but you wouldn't want to use it for long, we live & learn.... The 32" long machette type thing is forged leaf spring, the tang is about 2/3rds tapering, I'd probably go that route with a long ferrule with a view to not hammer on it.
I'm only familiar with British & some Spanish tools so that explains why I hadn't seen a Slick then.
You might want to take a Shutterer's Claw Hammer for the project.
Properly fitted a tang mounting should be fine. I've even heard that a tang can out perform socket mountings though I'm no expert on such things. Probably in Spain, like here in Holland tang mounting predominates. French, German carpenters, no slobs when it comes to heavy timber construction, and others also don't have slicks but do have their bisagues and stichtaxes, respectively. And uniquely the Dutch wind-mill carpenter carried his snick!
Normally I avoid hammers with claws - there was a time here in Holland that if a new help showed up on the job with such a hammer he was sent packing - Still, as a matter economy I've packed one that I have. All-in-all in one shot I've hit my kilo allowance on the mark even including 1 or 2 extra chisels.
ISS, it’s clear that I’m not the guy who can tutor you on tang tools. As a carpenter who came to metal fabrication late in life, I made a couple tanged chisels and knives early on that ended badly. Those are some nice pieces there, and I admire your skills in making them. Tang on, and pay me no heed.
I also don’t mean to mislead you into the belief that sockets or slicks are common here. Tangs have taken over commercial chisel manufacturing, along with plastic-y handles and steel butt caps, and carpenters blast them through knots and nails with their pound-and-a-half (2/3 kg) framing hammers (with claws - a helper who shows up without claws on his/her hammer would be laughed at, and then sent packing). To be honest, I have some chisels like that, but when I sharpen coworkers chisels on the job, it’s a complete regrind - not a touch up. I put an ugly blunt edge on, and then they cut their finger because “it’s too sharp”.
So when I occasionally take out my slick, nobody is familiar with them. They come around saying “Wow, that’s really ‘old school’ tooling, man.” Maybe, in a rural area, somebody recalls their grandfather having one. In 35 working years, I’ve met one guy who inherited his grand-dad’s slick. I imagine he still has it cause it’s not the kind of thing you part with. So no shame in not being familiar.
Dang it, Ernest. Now I need a snick.
I've never heard of T.W.S. For those of us less enlightened than you, I don't care if it's been presented elsewhere.
Is there anything on the interwebs that hasn't been posted hundreds of times in multiple languages?
Ernest is a valued contributor to this sub forum. What have you contributed in you 12 posts?
In even a place like Germany, where we're thinking all the time, zimmermann, Wandergeselle, fachwerk and so on and so on... work of a kind calling for these tools is practically non existent amounting to less than 1% of all building and carpentry work so common is truly a relative concept.
Parker I bet those colleagues whose chisels you've tuned up were very amazed to learn the potential they held in their hands without even knowing it.
Good luck finding your slick, ha, ha, ha, not going to happen.
Apprentice - "Master, why does your hammer have no claw"
Master - "As the axe is for chopping and so needs no claw the hammer is for hammering."
Apprentice - “I see, master, that we must consider two different hammers. YOURS is for driving nails, and needs no claw. MINE is for bending nails over, and the claw extracts them. Thank you for the lesson.”
P.S. I may not find a snick, but I have lots of leaf spring...
Here then, to help you out I believe it is a three part construction, maybe four if you include the bit. Roughly speaking the length, palm to shoulder.