New toy

Last wood turning class was tonight. I originally went so I could learn how to turn to make the hilt for a bollock dagger I’m building. I didn’t end up getting the hilt done for various reasons but in the lathe time I did get tonight I turned up this:


It’s an awl haft, based on the ones in the Life of St Mark (image below filched from Marc Carlson’s shoemaker pictures page)


It still needs a ferrule to stop it splitting when I set an awl blade into it and it’s not quite the right shape. I made it from memory [goldfish impersonation goes here] kind of on the spur of the moment, and the bulge is the right shape but it’s on backwards, the taper should point towards the blade and the more blunt bit should point backwards. The guy at the very right of the picture is using one and seems to be holding it behind the bulge and using my one like that the taper makes it hard to push on. The end of the long spike isn’t, well, spikey enough based on the picture but I really want to see a better resolution copy of that picture to figure that out.

The good thing is that it wasn’t real hard to make so I’ll track down some better wood (Fijian Kauri not being real period and all) and make some more. It’ll be fun figuring out how to use it and whether that big ol’ spike out the back is actually good for anything or if it just snaps off. There’s a part of me that wonders if the back spike isn’t some kind of scratch awl or something and not really wood at all.

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