Monday 9 July 2018
Crown Hand Tools, the Sheffield based hand tool manufacturer, has recently announced a new addition to its wide range of woodturning tools. As with most woodturning tools, there are other similar products available from other manufacturers but as with most things now, a big consideration must also be value for money.
These new products from Crown Hand Tools come in the form of two different sized texturing and spiralling tools – a mini tool for smaller, more delicate work and a larger version suited more to larger pieces. This allows the texturing and spiralling to be applied to the work surface in proportion to its size and shape.
What they are
Both tools are supplied with one texturing wheel and two different spiralling wheels, which have different numbers of 'teeth.' The more 'teeth,' the closer they are, and the finer the form of the spiral produced. For spiralling use, there is a very substantial indexing tool provided which allows adjustment of the pitch of the spiral form. Included with each tool are the Allen keys that are used to change the wheels and a set of very basic instructions on tool set up, lathe set up, using the tool and sharpening.
The same techniques were used for both the mini and larger tools. It was also found that although there is a difference in design between the texturing and spiralling wheels, both could be used for creating very nice textured finishes. For both tools, I found it necessary to install the wheel screw so that when in use and the wheel was spinning in a clockwise direction, the screw top was on the top of the tool therefore tending to tighten up rather than becoming loose.
The spiralling tool
I used the spiralling tools on different woods ranging from soft open grain to a close grain hard wood. Even on the softer wood, I was amazed at how well the spiralling cutter produced a very clean, well formed profile on the wood which could be finished easily with fine sanding. Having only had limited experience with these types of tool, I also found it straightforward to accurately start and stop the spiral without any 'cross threading' across the form shape.
I think the main point with this tool is that providing the tool is used in a safe way and with the handle raised slightly higher than the cutters, there are many very nice effects that can be quite easily achieved. I found that being inexperienced with this type of tool, I needed to read the instructions carefully and I also watched a range of demonstrations on my computer. It was obvious during the trial with these tools that with some practice and using the videos, these would be a really useful addition to the toolbox for those people that have patience and time to watch and learn from others.
A big benefit to all of us would be if more manufacturers of special purpose tools provided some form of basic CD with the tool or YouTube video on their website; this would make it a little easier to get started as the instructions provided are quite basic.