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These fine tools are the result of collaboration between Jason Breach, one of the country's leading woodturners, and the well respected Sheffield toolmaker, Henry Taylor. Jason is a tutor in our Skill Centre here in Axminster and many students over the years have experienced first hand Jason's enthusiasm, skill and passion for woodturning. Jason specialises in box making and for many years has felt the need for some tools that you just can't obtain off the shelf. So Jason went about adapting some of his existing tools and they worked so well that he was encouraged to let others benefit from their use. Three tools are now available, each playing a role in the production of a typical turned lidded box.
The 3/4" round nosed refinement tool was designed for fine finishing cuts on the inside recess of box lids but would be just as useful for goblet interiors. The cutting edge has a negative rake which is formed by grinding bevels on both the top and bottom of the blade giving a very forgiving tool that is less likely to catch and offering excellent control.
The square ended tool works in a similar way to the round nose tool and shares the same negative rake grinding but in a different profile. The shape of this tool makes it perfect for the transition from the side of a box into the base area. It can be difficult to achieve a good finish using conventional tools and this tool leaves a great finish on both the sides and base of a turned box. The left side of the blade looking from above is undercut and used for refining the box sides, and this angle is repeated at the nose of the blade for the end grain of the box base.
The special skew chisel is unusual in that it is supplied without a handle, and it is meant to be used in this form as Jason has found that for the precision fitting of box lids, a handle just got in the way. The tool is of oval section with a flat ground edge on the long point side of the blade for stability on the tool rest during paring cuts. The bevels that form the cutting edge are ground differently in that one is flat ground and the other is convex and this makes the tool very versatile by leaving more material behind the edge for very fine scraping cuts. These fine cuts can make the difference between a lid that fits well and a failure, so a tool designed for the job makes perfect sense. The more you use this tool, the more uses you will find for it, as it is also excellent for all manner of fine detail work.