With Every Ending There Is A New Beginning

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The Logan Cabinet Shoppe, as it was.

You might have seen my post from a few weeks ago on my new workshop. Well, it is with mixed feelings today that I am officially closing down the Logan Cabinet Shoppe. This will be my official last blog post under that name.

Recently, my family and I have made the decision to pull up our roots and make a permanent move from Logan Township, NJ to southwest VA. It is somewhat bittersweet, because we have put so much work into our current home, and made so many great friends here, but we know that this is the best thing for our family going forward.

The official move will take place at the end of June, however, we have already started the process. Over Memorial weekend, I disassembled the shop, packed everything up, and we began moving south. So I won’t be doing any woodworking in the near term.

The good news is that I’ll be gaining a 340 sq. ft. standalone shop. The added space of the new shop will give me the opportunity to do some things that I’ve only dreamed about doing in my NJ shop. However, the building needs a bit of work before I can move in. So over the next few months, I’ll be rehabbing the shop and making it ready for the new projects that I have in mind. But for now, everything is simply stacked up in boxes and piles awaiting a new home.

The move also gives me an opportunity to build a new web site.  You can find Bob Rozaieski Fine Woodworking at brfinewoodworking.com.  I hope to continue my blogging over on the new site once I have the new workshop all set up.

Thanks for your support for all of the years I’ve been doing this!  See you from Virginia!

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“Savannah, fare you well…”

 

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It’s the Bulge

Several people have emailed me pointing me to different places where I’m told I can buy the style of striking knife I just finished making.  To all of those people, I offer my sincere thanks. But the fact is that none of the commercially available knives are quite right. They all lack “the bulge”.

It’s not really evident in the knife I just made, because I simply got tired of filing metal away.  So the bulge on my knife is not very pronounced.  But it’s there, albeit not as deep or as shapely as I would like it to be. For reference again, here is the Smith’s Key knife.

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Note how behind the knife blade, the shaft tapers in, then bulges out, then tapers down to the awl point.  Here’s a photo of Christopher Schwarz’s antique version.  Note the same bulge.

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This bulge lifts the awl end off the bench, making the knife easier to pick up, and it makes it settle into the hand much nicer than a straight taper.  All of the other knives that I’ve found available commercially that are a similar style do not have the bulge.  They have a straight taper from the knife to the awl.

Here’s one I bought from the smiths at Williamsburg next to the one I just made. The Williamsburg knife has no bulge. In this overhead shot of my new one, you can see the slight bulge a little better.  It’s more noticable in the hand than it is by eye. Like I said, I would like it more pronounced (and I may someday grind it down some more), but I can feel the difference.

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And the standard knives currently sold by John at Black Bear Forge. Again, straight taper (though I’m sure John can forge in a bulge, his standard knives just don’t have one).

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And finally one from Woodcraft. Sorry, but this one is just plain ugly, and that knurling looks down right uncomfortable for long sessions marking out lots of joinery.

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So thanks again for all the suggestions, but I’m still looking for a good commercially made example like the one in Smith’s Key with a nice round handle with “the bulge”. Though now that I’ve made one, I guess I can stop looking.

Smith’s Key Striking Knife

So I just finished a new striking knife based upon the one pictured in Smith’s Key.  I’ve made a lot of striking knives in the past, and used a bunch of different commercially available models as well. However, none have felt as nice to me in use as this one. Maybe it’s just because this one has been more work to make than any other knife I’ve ever made or used. But I don’t think so. Something about that swell just behind the tapered blade that just makes it fit the hand so well.

This is probably an easy tool for a blacksmith to forge, but for someone working from 1/4″ thick O1 stock and using nothing more than a hacksaw and file (and maybe a little help from a belt sander and grinder), it’s just plain tedious work.  Not the kind I enjoy either. But it was worth it. I love the look and feel of this knife. However, I won’t be making any more.

Someone out there needs to start making these again, though. Please!

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Logan Cabinet Shoppes?

I just returned from a week long “vacation” at our new home in the mountains of VA. I say vacation but there wasn’t much leisure involved. Just lots of cleaning, and we still haven’t finished. But we did manage to get some time to walk our 24 acres.  

  

I also had a little time to check this out.  

Compared to my current shop, this one is over 3 times larger. It needs work, but it will make a good project once the rest of the house is done. We just got back to NJ but I’m already anxious to get back to VA. 

A Special Pair of Saws

A couple of months ago, I saw the very saddening news that Stephen Shepherd, proprietor of the Full Chisel Blog, had suffered a serious stroke. I have been a follower of Stephen’s site since its very early days and had communicated with Stephen somewhat regularly through email and our two blogs over the years. While we have never had the chance to meet in person, being physically separated by almost an entire continent, I have always considered Stephen a friend. So it was very hard for me to hear of this event. I was and continue to be very thankful that Stephen survived the ordeal and that his condition continues to slowly improve with therapy. But it is still hard to think that he may never put a tool to wood again. 

Recently, I was browsing the big auction site as I occasionally do, and I stumbled across two auctions for saws that looked very familiar to me. The seller advertised them as “Shepherd” gentleman’s saws. When I inquired with the seller if they were a friend of Stephen’s, they simply replied that they did not know Stephen. I didn’t ask where the seller obtained the saws from, but I did press the Buy It Now button on both to ensure that they continued to stay together and that they continued to do the work that they were so carefully crafted by Stephen’s hands to do.

I do hope that you continue to recover Stephen, and that by God’s blessing you are one day able to put tool to wood again. In the mean time, I hope that you can at least find some satisfaction in knowing that these saws will become a permanent addition to my tool kit, and that they will continue to live on and work as they were intended to do for at least the rest on my days. Godspeed my friend.