This past October I had a chance to visit Pasadena, CA for Woodworking in America West 2012. Myself and several other of my fellow Modern Woodworkers Association members went out to see the show and run the Hand Tool Olympics. Running the booth was a lot of fun and took up a lot of my time but I still had a chance to attend a few classes and visit the vendors in the market place.
One of the vendors I had the pleasure of talking with was David Jeske of Blue Spruce Toolworks. David’s chisels and marking knives are beautiful tools of amazing quality with so much attention to detail they look like they need to be on display in my office rather than on my work bench. The tool that really supprised me though was his mallets. A mallet is for the most part not that exciting of a tool but when I picked up a Blue Spruce mallet I couldn’t believe the weight and feel. After talking to David I discovered that the heads, which are quilted maple, are completely infused with acrylic. This makes them extremly durable and have a suprising amount of weight. The large mallet is a heafty 16oz. and the small is still 14oz.
I picked up the small and have now had a few months of use from it in the shop. The balance and weight has a nice feel and the mallet is a pleasure to use. The only draw back is that like the rest of their tools it is looks more like a piece of art than a tool so I hate to scratch it up but I bought it to use not just look at so I put it to work.
Woodworking events like Woodworking in America are a great way to introduce yourself to new tool companies. Reading reviews and looking a pictures online is a great way to get an idea of what you are looking for but nothing beats putting your hands on a tool.
Be safe, learn something, and have fun!