Generally, a personal tool kit starts with carpenters’ tool bags which are worn about the waist. A 1″x 25′ tape measure, carpenter’s pencil and/or pen, utility knife, chalk line (blue chalk), and torpedo level should find a place in these bags. As more implements are needed to accomplish the task of the day, a personal tool box will become necessary and should be of a size that can be easily transported from one work area to another.
First and foremost, the axe has been the primary wood shaping tool of our ancestors. They come in many shapes, sizes, weights, and qualities to address specific purposes and user preferences. We will be recommending the 2.5 lb German made Oxhead Axe by Iltis.
The Builder’s Level and Framing Square.
The importance of a plumb line and its counterpart, the level line, is fundamental to the orientation and layout of our roundish, irregular, tapered cylinder friends. A good quality 2′ level and 2 Framing Squares (for squaring ends around), should be close at hand.
In one form or another, this device is very useful for obtaining tight joinery and other layout considerations. The bubble attachment enables the user to transfer an exact measurement from one surface to another in a vertical alignment. Good logwork is made possible with this tool.
The Mallet, Gouge and Chisel
Mallets come in many shapes and sizes. Choosing one that is not too heavy and shaped in a manner that feels right is the goal. The Gouge is used to “score” the line produced by the scriber at the notch. A #3 or #5 sweep with a width of 1″ – 2″ are the most useful when using logs with a 8″ – 12″ diameter. The Chisel is used to remove wood on a ‘flat’ plane and produce a clean, straight surface.
These, too, come in many shapes, sizes and weights. Choosing one that is designed for peeling logs is the goal. (See the Post referring to tool sources).
The Sharpening Gear
An ‘edge tool’ is meant to be extremely sharp and kept in a sheath that protects the edge from damage and the user from being accidentally cut. The files, sharpening stones and honing belts are essential to producing and maintaining the cutting edge. The goal is to work the steel to a point where one can see their reflection in the outer 1/4″ of the edge.
The Peavey or Cant Hook
The serious builder will have one of these at hand. Although they come in various sizes, they need to be in proportion to the size logs being worked on. A short handle and small ‘cant hook’ is good for 6″ – 8″ logs. A slightly longer handle with slightly larger ‘cant hook’ is good for 10″ – 16″ logs. They allow the safe movement of logs when adjustments or repositioning is required.
Sizing a chainsaw to its primary use can be confusing. Choosing one not too heavy is the key. Off course, a professional grade is critical since it will be used in extreme circumstances. Once a chainsaw is in use, safety gear is required. Protective clothing, ear and eye protection, hard hat, gloves, and training reduce the risk of the many kinds of injuries these tools can cause.