Friday, April 29, 2011

Afghan Woodworking Planes and Tools

Afghan Woodworking Tools: Handmade Planes and Saws of Afghanistan
© 2011 Canis Dirus and The Wolf and Moon™

Roughly Made, Muscle Powered Afghan Hand Tools

While organizing and directing the flow of Local National personnel entering the base I work at, one fellow caught my eye. It wasn't because I suspected him of some nefarious plan, but rather I saw the fishtail handle of his saw jutting out of the bundle he was lugging into the base. Actually I saw the bundle first and I immediately thought he was up to no good, but then I saw the saw...

Anyway, as he cleared the inspection and search area I pulled him aside and asked to see his tools. He gladly (Like he had a choice...)allowed me to take a few pictures, probably wondering why I was intrigued.

It's not an Disston, that's for sure...

The handle is rouhly carved out of 3/4" pine, and the plate is pinned in place with a cut off and pounded 8 penny nail.

The plate itself is likely heavy gauge sheet metal rather than spring steel, and the teeth are roughly filed out in an aggressive pattern sure to lop through wood... or a misplaced finger.

This plane is a rabbet plane made out of a piece of red iron angle!

The sole is crooked on two planes to be sure, but it serves the purpose they put it to, and that is chiefly to plane any right angleish corner they deem neccesary to chew down.

The tote has been bedded very carefully...

Here is a fairly familiar pattern:

Wooden Smoother

The sole is pretty beat up, the mouth wide enough to slide a couple of quarters through, but again there is nothing like fine furniture making in this country so a plane is called upon to gnaw a bump or wave down into submission.

As in most things Afghan, their tools are rough, ready, and somewhat servicable. They prefer to use muscle to refinement. If it works, albeit poorly, that's good enough for them. It's a shame, this land deserves better.

Post Tenebras, Lux
Dirus Canis
The Wolf and Moon™


Ken M said...

That smoother looks like a German model I have -- must be a long way from home...

Canis Dirus said...

Thanks Ken,

I think a lot of us, and things, are far from home!