Friday, July 7, 2023

Pfeill Modification


This is a Pfeill lino or woodcut gouge, made in Switzerland. They are excellent chisels, good steel, good ergonomics, and well made. There are cheaper ones available for sure, but with this sort of tool you tend to get what you pay for.

This specific one is a #11 sweep or veiner; it's a tiny U-gouge that creates a very regular fine line. It's not impossible to modulate the line, but there's not much scope for variation in the line it creates.

It's held with the mushroom-shaped handle against the heel of the palm, with the fingers wrapped around it and the index finger right out near the tip for accuracy of steering.

The flat on the bottom, as well as keeping the tool from rolling around all over your workbench, provides a place for the last two fingers to rest. It's a comfortable grip, developed over centuries, and it's my favourite style of grip for block cutting.

My only issue with it is that the hard edge of the mushroom can start to dig into my little finger if I'm using the tool for long stretches.

Fortunately, the fix is very easy indeed.

I just knock off the corner that my finger rests on by scraping and sanding it with very fine sandpaper. Not a lot of material needs to be removed, just enough to get rid of the hard corner on that side.

The tool handles are made of pear wood I think, and they work very easily.

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