KESTREL TOOL NEWS 2015
Hey friends it has been about two years since we sent out a general mailing, we thought perhaps you might enjoy knowing what we are up to here. Charlie and I are about a year and a half into the transition of Charlie taking over the tool biz and we are having a blast. Thanks to all of you who have been patrons we have been able to refine this operation with new machinery and even have cautiously added some new tool offerings to the custom end of the business. I say cautiously because much of the time we have been up to our hips with orders. The word is out about these tools and the pride we feel for what we do. Since Charlie joined me here we have up-graded many of our tools and processes. The latest addition involves a new electric furnace for heat treating.
This is a corner of the forge shop, a pretty busy place. In the left foreground is one of our blacksmiths post vices. Behind is our (not very visible) anvil, a lovely, to us anyway, 265 pound chunk of steel. Below the windows are two circulating quenching tanks. The one on the right is a heated initial quench tank. The blue box in the corner is our new atmospherically controlled furnace, behind it, unseen is a tank of inert gas (argon) that is metered into the furnace when blades are in process. To the right of the furnace is the gas fired forge we use for forging and for heat treating the adze irons. On the right, in blue is our power hammer , it's used for D-adze irons and other heavy forging. The other items we use for heat treating are our laboratory circulating tempering oven (out of sight in the left corner of the building) and the hardness tester that lives in the big shop. After years of seat of the pants heat treat we have finally assembled all of the tools to insure really accurately heat treated edged tools. A dream come true for us.
Pole Carvers' Blades
For years Kestrel has been producing small quantities of "Pole Carvers" blades for professional carvers needing larger knives for large work. We have
sent off a number of them for canoe and pole carvers. They are hard working tools, slightly thicker, strong blades that will withstand a lot of torque. These tools are made from scratch from O-1 steel. They are a lot of work and so are priced accordingly.
Here's how we haft these puppies, but they would look good with the blades secured with a seine wrap as well. The blades with rivets sell for $85 each, your choice of bend.
The New Big Mama Adze
Charlie did the calligraphy on Bill's adze, not too bad, eh?
We gave this adze to Bill Holm for his 90TH birthday. In a letter afterwards Bill thanked us for the adze and said:
"I want mention a conversation I had with Art Thompson, right after he had felt the edge of a Kestrel adze, “It scared me!!” he said. I had the same thought when I felt the edge of this one!"
The Big Mama is available as an iron with a Kydex sheath, as a adze with Kydex sheath or as an adze with a formed leather sheath.
Iron with Kydex $130, Adze with Kydex $255
Adze with leather sheath $ 295
The Pole carvers knives and this new adze are
custom items at this time. We have so many orders coming in here at times that we feel we need to fill the orders for our standard items first. We also treat the deluxe Northwest Coast Straight Knives as custom items. The leather sheath making slows us down, I think you can see why in the photos.
Gallery of Autumn and Winter Carving Projects
Above, Charlie's wife Milla checks out his recently completed articulated Bear mask in Alder.
That's Gregg's frog rattle to the left. The rattle is tied with deer sinew.
Below, Gregg is in the doorway to the forge shop wearing his wolf mask. On the door is a cast stone piece by Loren White.
Photo Summer Moon
Charlie's Deer mask, above.
To the left, Bear mask by Gregg. Alder, acrylic pigments, abalone, turban snail opercula teeth.
Charlie and Summer Moon carve below on a winter Sunday in the shop.
If these tools weren't so much fun to use, we sure wouldn't be making them! Don't be shy, feel free to share your carvings pictures with us. We love to see what you all are up to out there. You are our inspiration. Happy carving!
Above, a work in progress, Wolf helmet, by Bruce Richardson.
Below, Irene with daughter Summer Moon by our pond with a button blanket the Lopez community made for Irene's 60TH Birthday. Otter design by Steve Brown, Summer designed the rest.
Charlie and I thank you all for looking through
this mailing. Have a great Summer and Autumn, take some time from busy-ness and create
something fun. If you haven't already, don't forget to check out
Love to you and your families! Charlie Prince, Gregg Blomberg