Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old chisel

This chisel, found during a visit to a flea market, captured my attention by the handle  shape and a short
blade.I thought it was a "butt chisel", particularly suitable for cut   hinge mortices, as well as for job in  restricted spaces or when more control is required, since the handle sits perfectly in the palm of the hand. I saw that, however, usually, these chisels have sides chamfered (bevelled edges) not square as in this case.
The chisel is long ca. 15 cm, the blade is 25mm wide. This was probably a firmer chisel ,adapted for this purpose, a hypothesis also sustained by brand position that would be less close to the edge in the case of an original butt chisel. However, given also good quality blade, marked "Kirschenwerk" (Two Cherries), I decided to try a restore for reuse it after years of dust and rust. I first separate the blade from the handle. The old ferrule was clearly ruined and I took the opportunity to change it with a  brass new one. The source was a hydraulic brass pipe from which I cut a piece of appropriate measures. I gave support to the ferrule inserting  a wooden rod into the handle. It  also serves to redo the hole for the pyramidal tang. I drilled it using decreasing diameter drill bit.

The bit diameters must be between the minimum and maximum diagonal found in the tang section. Between the blade and the ferrule I put a hydraulic seal  that will serve to absorb the shots of a mallet.
The blade is hardly pitted, fortunately, mainly  on the bevel side, while the back appeared to be in good conditions, so that the flattening was quick and easy. After a over night vinegar bath, a  25° bevel °has been regrinded. To maintain a vintage look I gave a coat of  "antique walnut " varnish  and finished with two coats of wax.
The result satisfied me, and certainly this chisel will still have something to add to its long history.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8: time for Nativity Crib

The Nativity Crib (presepe) for Neapolitan people is a real must and in these gray days for our city, it's nice to find some serenity and optimism in the continuing traditions full of  religious and family meaning. Yes, because the presepe as well as tells the Nativity, is a joy moment to share with our Family and especially with our children. I remember with great emotion the days of childhood, when my father invited me to look carefully at the presepe construction scheme, so that one day I might do it for my children.
The characters (called  generically "pastors") are still those of the time, jealously preserved for all these years (about 40) and that the December 8 begin to live  their annual glory moment, until Epiphany, when traditionally, the presepe is disposed and retained for the  next year.Wood, cork, glue and nails are the simple ingredients to build a traditional Nativity scene, but clearly there are no limits to our fantasy. Become a big play for us to try to make the scene as real as possible. The characters are all there, from the Roman soldier to the camel drivers, the pipers, shepherds with their sheep, the Archangel Gabriel announcing the forthcoming Jesus birth, the Magi Kings who come on their camels to bring gifts to the humanity Savior.
Of course the scene lacks of the main character, Baby Jesus, which cannot be placed in the manger before midnight on December 24.

Merry Christmas to you!