Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

E A Berg 1″ Chisel, restored

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As previously noted, I do like the old Berg chisels that went out of production many decades ago. You can watch and buy them at old tool shops or at the big auction site in the web. What is available varies substantially in quality and price, and I selectively buy a good value, when I believe I can restore to a good usable shape. I practice patience and I am not looking for museum pieces.

In this recent acquisition, the tarnished chisel looked flat and substantial metal remaining. But the handle did not fit well (a previous owner had tried to use epoxy to hold it together), and it had abuse with an metal hammer (blade near handle) and the handle butt.

What actions were taken?

Handle, in order of actions taken:

  • Chip away the epoxy.
  • On a lathe, lightly cleaned the pin with 180 Mirka sandpaper.
  • On a lathe, lightly cleaned the handle round with steel wool.
  • On the round, apply 6 coats of shellac.
  • On the round, then apply 3 coats of Formby’s Tung Oil Finish.
  • On the butt, apply 2 applications of warmed Town Talk Orange Wax.

Happy with all materials and the steps taken,

Part of my 1″ collection of chisels

For the blade, the steps taken:

  • Use a hand brass brush, remove the tarnish, keeping the brush away from the backside towards the edge.
  • Using the Mirka and polishing pads from 2000 to 6000, removed the tarnish around the socket and blade tops.
  • Clean the socket, removed the epoxy (awl) and use dremel to remove tarnish, epoxy along the walls.
  • Then use dremel to rough up the walls. (could have create a simple wood jig with sandpaper to)
  • Final clean with alcohol.
  • Flatten the back and sides – removing the deformed edges – using 100 micro 3M micro-finishing film on glass.
    • I highly recommend this film for major clean (versus a stone)
  • Made the decision to make this a fine pairing chisel for soft hardwoods, like cherry.
  • Create the primary at 22.5 degrees using the 3M film (using Lie-Nielsen jig).
  • Then continue with the usual sharpening regime – starting on the back going from
    • Sigma 1000x stone
    • Sigma 3000x stone
    • Sigma 10000x stone
    • Remove bur as you go along.
  • Place in LN Jig for 22.5 jig (again) and go through the same stones, as above.
  • Adjust jig to 25 and create microbevel on 10000x stone.
  • The strop, and yes, I can shave hair now with this.
The bevel is finely flatten, so it is bright, but I am not looking to make it a mirror.
Edge sharpened to a fine 22.5 (25 micro-bevel). Yes, the front edge has a mirror finish.
Illustrating what remains from the abuse with the metal hammer, can be seen at edge.

Another fine tool.

There is one lesson learnt. When looking at this chisel, I did not notice under the tarnish how the side edges were NOT crisp, possible from poor previous sharpening before. As a result, the cutting edge corners are not a perfect corner. For this reason, I would not use it to clean out corners or edges in dovetail, but I am more likely to reach for a 1/2″ chisel or small for this anyway.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/03/14 at 21:25

Posted in Tools

Veverka’s Gardiner from 1992

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Honouring Bob, a picture of my one and only original Bob Veverka Dee Wing fly.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/18 at 06:30

Posted in Fly-Tying, Spey

Fishing Hooks – Tubeflies +

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Apologize for this image, all efforts to make the image look sharp and crisp are failing when I import into WordPress, but the content is there. I would argue the current editor is fighting changes, savings, et cetera.

If have read this blog, you know I like to chase fish with streamers. Top of my list of streamers are Sculpzilla, round flies built with arctic fox and many tube bunnies.

Small Sculpzilla with a Gamakatsu Octopus Red 8 – Up Turned Eye. The hook is fine and barb is easy to clean up. The point is long with a small offset and bend, providing a positive hold.

With a long unweighted fly, I prefer a light hook trailing begin, such as the Gamakatsu Octopus.

For tube bunnies, I like a moderate weight straight eye hook, so my preference goes to the Gamakatsu CS14S.

What about barbless – There are many good barbless hooks in my boxes, but I have not positively selected and tested one with these streamers. I will crush the barb and file on the water the hook, such that there remains a bump. As previously stated, I believe the best tool to file the hook is a Japanese Feather Saw file.

Alternatives to the Gamakatsu C14S with Straight Eyes (SE) or Small Up-Tile Eyes) that has passed muster with me in order of preference, and have no issue recommending:

  • Raven Specialist – small tilt on eye (SmE) with hook offset. It is a little heavier and longer than a Gamakatsu CS14S, and some days I prefer this hooks (because I do).
  • Owner Mosquito (8 5177-031) – SE and fine. A great choice on small trout streamers.
  • Daiichi X510 – Straight Eye (SE)and Stout. A heavier alternative to Gamakatsu CS14S. It is a pass, but I am more likely to sell off my stock in the future.

Rant: I do not know if it is packaging or labelling errors, but I have Gamakatsu 2407 with the same part number but different sizes. I have since separate them, and listed one group as size 6 and another size 8. The hooks are good, but it would be nice to really know what it is.

Alternatives to the fine Gamakatsu Octopus with Up Turned Eyes (UTE) (and hook offset) that good for passing line and around the shank that has passed muster with me in order of preference, and have no issue recommending:

  • Gamakatsu Octopus 02306 – Red – UPE fine wire with offset hook.
  • Gamakatsu 02405 size 10 – UPT fine wire with offset shank.
  • Gamakatsu 02406 size 8 – UPT fine wire with offset shank.
  • Gamakatsu 02407 size 6 – UPT fine wire with offset hook.
  • Gamakatsu 02307 size 6 – Red – UPT fine wire with offset shank.
  • Mustad 92568 BLN – SmE with a medium to heavy weight with a nice offset bend. It is a really nice hook.
  • Owner SSW – UPE with heavy wire and hook offset available in red.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/17 at 20:29

Upgrades and Tips for the Bosch 1617

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So far, I am happy with the Bosch 1617, but there were some upgrades that have been made, and here are some pointers to help others. I am excluding the power cable change, I previously posted.

Why is this worthy of posting? As there are no real no standards and commonality across routers, I was going to provide some pointers. If you happen upon this posting, I hope it saves you some time searching.

  1. Bosch 1/4″ Collet > 2610906283

    I am not impress that I get a near complete router kit with the 1617 – standard base, plunge base, router, et cetera, but * not * a collet for the common 1/4″ router bits. Google “Bosch 2610906283” and order from your favourite shop this necessity.
  2. Plexiglas Base for Templates – Infinity

    The Bosch 1617 is an excellent mid-size router, but the large black opaque base does restrict visibility. And the visibility is reduce to zero when you add Bosch’s template guide (which has had quality issues). Given this, I order Infinity Tools 115-030 (Almost) Universal 7.5″ Router Base Plate that is compatible with the Bosch 1617 Standard Base.

    Hint, There is no Universal Template, and make sure the template will support your router and base. My gift here, I state and illustrate this plate does fit the 1617 standard base.

    You can make your own base, but I bought this CNC made base as it already made the standard 1 3/16″ Porter Cable insert cutout for templates in-place.

    Hint, when you mount this, you will need Qty 3 10×24 screws (pan-head or cap-screws (best)), and it will not mount to the same holes that the Bosch base plate. See pictures to locate.

    And yes, I would buy this again, but it does not score a 5/5, because …

    * There are so many holes to make this almost universal, it is hard to locate the right holes. There is no manual, guide or support, et cetera. The Bosch Plate uses both Metric (M4) and 10-24, so time-experimentation (even with the alignment kit) was required to get it right. So my next gift to anybody who may find this, here is the missing guide from Infinity for the Bosch 1716.

    * It is not “perfectively” centered, so it either the plexiglass blank slipped 6 “thou” (needs to be remeasured) during build or the design-router is a little off. Centering with the current pan-heads is difficult as there is effectively no freedom to adjust and thus why I recommending the cap screws.

    I will probably add build more on this topic on a later post, when I feel I have the definitive proven solution or rebuff my measurement;.
  3. Lee-Valley 1 3/16″ Brass Template Product 46J9117 with Ring-Nut 46J9111.

    Yes, I could have bought with Infinity Tools a kit and another plastic case; but as I did not need them all and did not want another plastic case, I decided to go local and buy a Porter-Cable compatible template from LV as I need it.
With the Infinity Base
and with Lee Valley 1 3/16″ 3/4″ Template Guide
Guide to locating mounting point.

Start by locating the correct hole by the handle. Notice, by the handle there is a large outer through-hole with a smaller screw hole closer to the center.

and use 10×24.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/17 at 03:14

Posted in Tools

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Making a mistake better?

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Ouch, I cut up my power cord for the Bosch Router, but upon reflection I decided I could make an improvement, as I fixed this mistake, by adding an IEC 320 termination <30cm from the router.

Now when it is under the router table, I have a short power cord and when it is on top and across a bench, I have this visible 12+’ power cable working with me. And when I need to be safe, a power disconnect – not just a switch – is quickly accessible.

I am using Schurter IEC 320 15A UL parts – 4782 and 4735.

Does the connector get in the way? Answer, no more than the cable did before I accidently cut it up. Oh yes, I will be moving over to a plexiglas base in the near future to improve visibility.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/09 at 06:51

Posted in Tools

Overview of my chisels

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As previously stated before – maybe too many times – I avoid developing allegiance to brand, and thus will collet a diversity of products. I believe this makes me a better user of tools, but I admit I am likely with experience, develop preferences and will tend to one brand. But this grant of “favouritism” is not indefinite, due to changes with me or more likely the manufacturer.

So lets look at my collection of ‘standard’ chisels, and how I have rated them, and may you benefit from my limited experience.

My diverse collection from smallest to largest

The Ratings

Two Cherries2 mm27.5B+AB-
Two Cherries4.125B+AB-
Blue Spruce9.532.5AB-A
E A Berg9.822.5AB+A
Marples (np)12.630BAB
E A Berg12.922.5AB+A
E A Berg (short) (np)15.625AB-A
Marples (np)18.530BAB
E A Berg (np)2522.5ABA
Marples (np)2530BAB

Table and Ratings Discussion-Comments

  • OEM – With the exception of the E A Berg Eskilstuna all chisels were bought new through retailers or direct from the manufacturer.
    • np – As Chiesel was added to this table, after the initial publication, there is no picture (np) or additional commentary
  • Width of cutting measure in millimeters (mm), using a Mitutoyo Calipers.
  • Angle of Primary Bevel in degrees, using a Kell Bevel Gauge.
  • M – Judgement on Metal and Machining
    • A: Fine and edge flat bevel that allows for good cleaning in the corners and edges
    • B: Fine.
    • C: Edges are thick, suitable for heavy hits, but I would not use this in a tight spot, like a dovetail.
  • H – Judgement on handle for comfort and alignment.
    • A: Holds well and provides for inline registration.
    • B: Holds well, but circular cross section.
    • D: Uncomfortable.
  • P – How “easy” it was to get the blade to fine edge and maintain it.
    • A: Only a quick home is required.
    • B: Some sharpening and flattening is required.
    • C: Extensive sharpening is required, and often I need to take the tool to a power sharpener. This is a sign a tool is buffed to get a beautiful mirror finish (and thus harming the edges).

Recommendations anybody?

With the exception of the Hirsch, all of these chisels I would recommend. Though, I do caution, if you are buying a Two Cherries, get an unsharpened model. What would be my order of preference:

  1. Lie-Nielsen or maybe a vintage E A Berg.
  2. Ashley Iles, but I would buy the blade and make the handle (English Pattern)
  3. Blue Spruce
  4. Vintage Marples

what about the Japanese Chisel, if I was needing a paring chisel, yes, I would consider a traditional chisel with an una at or near the top of my list.

and the details, in order of acquisition – oldest to newest – my run down of my chisels:


Yes, I use a mallet, but my hits are rarely, if ever, hard enough to damage the handle, so I am always surprised when refinishing a vintage chisel to see the butts damaged.

I use several different mallets – dead-blow head, wood and the brass head mallet in the picture, but never use a steel hammer.

I suspect maintaining a sharp edge and refusal to use a metal hammer, my chisel butts are never smashed (unless they are a vintage chisel already damaged).

Vintage Marples Blue Chisel – Sheffield

I bought two sets about 30 years ago from Lee Valley, and they have served me (us (wife and I)) well. I have learnt with them, including trying different sharpening methods, angles, et cetera. As result of some experimentation, a few chisels look worst for wear.

It does not help, my wife – the mechanical engineer – “ses chisels as a substitute for screwdrivers and paint can openers with no respect for the edge. This is why we have 2 sets – hers and mine. Though, she is unlikely to abuse a tool now and we still remain happily married.

They are easy to sharpen to a fine edge, and I notice when looking between different chisels that the bevel edge sides (depth) are not consistent from model to model. Some bevel edges are tending to fine and others to be heavy, so I have seen some inconsistency in machining, but all chisel were fine.

The handle is large, comfortable and with the flats, allow you register the flat.

My belief is that they are a little soft, so they are best with a steeper primary bevel, and my default is 30 degrees, and then apply a small micro-bevel. Fine on cherry, but if I am working on hard maple it would not be my first choice, if I have a choice.

I understand the new Marples, after being bought out by Irwin are not worthy of any recommendation. Never-the-less, I believe these vintage chisels are good to own and use.

Japanese Chisel

I bought this Japanese as my first premium chisel many years ago. Can be very sharp, but its short blade does reduce options for handling and sharpening.

If I bought a paring chisel, I would seriously consider a Japanese Chisel, but otherwise I would look to a traditional western style.

Iles Chisels

Very good with two small blemish – the rounds handle and final flattening. On the former, as I inspect and prepare the blades, I see evidence of the blade springing back into shape after it being clamp. As such, it takes longer to flatten (comparable to a Lie-Neilsen) and the low side edge are fine.

I do recommend these chisels, but I would buy them as a blade only and make an english pattern handle.


The one chisel in this group that I would not recommend. The handle is fine, but the bevel edge is too big and the excess application of polish.

If you need a chisel with a large edge, locate a vintage firmer.

Two Cherries

If you do buy, search for an unpolish version – not as shiny, but its edges have not been rolled over. I really do like handling their 2 and 4mm chisels.

Vintage E A Berg

I like the steel – how it sharpens and cuts. It more durable than the Marples and I always watch for a good buy. You can find some awesome sets and chisels, but they can be expensive. The handle is a round version of an english pattern, and is comfortable.

The chisel on the left is not in group picture at the start, and I received the chisel without a handle. The handle I turned out of birch (to reflect its Swedish heritage), but it is a little larger as I generally prefer a larger grip.


Round handle, but comfortable. It is ship flat and almost ready to go. It cuts well, easy to hone, maintain, et cetera. For a chisel in production, this is my recommendation.

From left to right > Lie Neilsen, Marples and Hirsch. Note size of side bevel.

Blue Spruce

Though the handle is very similat to the Lie-Neilsen, it is just smaller and not as comfortable. It is well made and a very good tools, but I would rather buy a Lien-Neilson or restore a used Berg.

Its very fine (small) side bevel makes this an excellent tool, if you need to get into tight corners, such as blind dovetails. Below are two comparative images of the Blue Spruce against an vintage Berg (with some red paint on it).


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/08 at 06:07

Posted in Tools

Biscotti – Orange and Fruit

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I do really enjoy sourdough bread and congratulate all of those Covid bakers working on their starter and baking, but one of my other “flour” love is biscotti. As such my 2020 baking project has been simple fruit biscotti for my morning coffee.


Assemble – Dry Goods

For Food Processor – using my plastic beater

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cup granulated sugar
  • Orange (zest)

Mix into Large Mixing Bowl

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup dried fruit

Assemble – Wet Goods

  • 115 grams cold unsalted butter cut into 8 or more pieces
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

the Process

  1. Preheat Oven to 350F
  2. Prepare baking pan (I use a heavy pan with a silicon mat (Silpat))
  3. In Large Mixing Bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Using the plastic mixer blade in my old food processor, put in sugar.
  5. Add butter on-top.
  6. Mix butter and sugar to a fine consistent paste.
  7. For the first 3 eggs, mix in one egg at a time to butter and sugar.
  8. Add fourth eggs and vanilla extract. Lightly mix and then .
  9. Zest the orange into the batter.
  10. Mix and ensure battery is uniform.
  11. Combined the batter with the flour mixture.
  12. Mix in bowl.
  13. Form by hand on lightly flour marble slab.
  14. Once well “doughed”, add in fruit and mix again.
  15. Divide in thirds.
  16. Create three flat loaves.
  17. Bake for 25+ minutes (for me, often it is 30).
  18. Loaf should be lightly golden, firm with some spring.
  19. Cool for 30 minutes.
  20. Slice the loaf on the diagonal into fingers. I use a thin Nakiri (Japanese Vegetable) knife.
  21. Lay each finger separately onto pan – on its side.
  22. Bake for another 12+ minutes until firm. I will flip the cookies at ~6 minutes.
Saturday January 23 – noon, -16C outside.

Another recipe and good tutorial (not by me) on youtube > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrYYers4GV4



Written by raspberryfisher

2020/12/27 at 22:42

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Record 077 Tuning

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This one of my Record planes (bought as new from Lee Valley many years ago), and with time I have tune to be a pleasurable tool, versus a rough inclined chisel. In short, the 3 key steps taken to make this a really good tool:

  1. Always keep the nose on. If you need a chisel plane or use a chisel with a piece of wood to guide you.
  2. Flatten the sole with the nose permanently on, and be prepared this will take time (more than one night). I started with 100-micron paper on glass and finished with a Sigma 3000 ceramic.
    (I did not have to correct the hold-down, but I did inspect it)
  3. Replace the original cheap blade, with a good blade in a rebate shape – flat sides (forgo the bevel edge). This blade was made to order for me by Ron Hock and is solid (no chatter).
    It is funny – funny sad – that such a solid little plane with such mass-density, is supplied by Record with a poor blade. Is this the spot Record should be trying to save a penny.

So this post is in contrast to the L-N post earlier. As illustrated, the Record can be tuned to be a pleasure to use, but the effort and time to get there is substantially more than a Lie-Nielsen.

The experience with the Stanley Block planes are the same, you can get them great, but it takes time and effort.


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/12/15 at 01:27

Posted in Tools, Wood Projects

Tuning a Lie Nielsen Rabbet Block Plane

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Some shavings from last week, using my hand rabbet plane.

I have several Lie-Nielsen and the good news to proclaim: as the planes are true, the effort and time lost to start is low. I recall my first Record plane many years (decades ago) and the effort to get it true and sharp consumed many hours.

Though, I have had no major issues with the L-N planes that has wasted time, I note some attention should be taken to look at the shoe (gap) (takes < 5minutes to adjust), the chip-breaker (again <5 minutes) and then the plane blade.

With the latest Lie-Nielsen plane, a Jointer 7, the associated shoe placement was perfect, same for the chip-breaker and the plane blade was flat and sharp. All I needed-wanted to do was apply a micro-bevel and strop the blade, and I was able to produce fine cuts.

More common, I have had to spend 30 minutes to improve the blade – first flatten, then sharpen and hone.

Never-the-less, these planes have proven to able to get to the wood quickly, without too much fussing.

It should be acknowledge, what is flat enough and sharp enough is subjective. For me, it means the blade can easily shave the hair off my arm, and the plane can with joy, shave a fine curl.


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/12/14 at 01:21

Posted in Tools, Wood Projects

Custom Handle for Lathe Turning Tools

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I have collected a few different tools for the lathe over the years and will declare I do like Hamlet Tools and avoid the Henry Taylor (destined for the next garage sale). I few other tools that I do use – Carter and Son Bowl Gouge and a couple of EasyWood Carbide Scrapers.

My quick practical review of these scrapers …

  1. Easy to use, but you can cut better with traditional tool. But you need to put in time with traditional tools, and maybe I should say you are always learning with traditional tools to get the best cut.
  2. For comfort and handling, unless you are doing small work, get the full size tools.
  3. I like the handles, and I have some suggestions on improving the shape.
    1. Make the transition to the back handle more define to allow your hand and fingers to register the grip,
    2. Increase the thumb depression and place it such that your thumb connects on the rise.

Like comfortable single handed flyrods handles that are used to power the cast, keep the diameter wide (1 to 1.5″), so you have an open grip when you hold the tool. A narrow grip requires you to close and compressed to have a firm hold of the tool. This compressed grips adds strain and tightens your wrist; thus harming the flexibility and control of the tool-cut.

An illustration of the grip, including my dirty hands and fingernails (sorry).


Written by raspberryfisher

2020/12/12 at 23:08

Posted in Tools, Wood Projects

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