Monthly Archives: February 2013

Cat Chest Lifts go public


Remember the cat chest lifts?  Last Night Megan Fitzpatrick over at Popular Woodworking wrote a nice blog entry about the project.  Less than 9 hours later I have a request to make a similar set.  Looks like I may be in the cat shaped chest lift business for a while.  Thanks Megan 🙂


Whats up in the shop

Curently there are not any really spectacular projects going in the shop, but here is what is on the workbench or anvil if you prefer.

I am working on a set of fireplace tools for a local here in Beulah. These will be short for use in a wood stove. They will have heavy 3/4″ handles forged to a tapper of about 3/8″ at the tool end. There will be a poker, shovel and broom. The broom is hand tied from Grassy Creek Brooms.

There is a new order for some more hinges to match the ones Chris Shwarz put on his Dutch tool chest. I will also be making a spare set to list on the web site

I started working on a couple of small striking knives similar to the one mentioned by Chris

Of course lets not forget the Roubo workbench I started over a year ago that still has no legs

And then there is the log house that remains unfinished

Back Camera

Cat Head Chest Lifts

cat handle 001 (2)

I had never heard the term “chest lift” before.  But that is what Megan Fitzpatrick from Popular Woodworking Magazine asked for.  Turns out it is just the same as a chest handle.  since there is generally a waiting list around here it was going to be awhile before I got the handles done.  In the meantime Megan posted a blog about her new tool chest she showed some little toggles that hold the hand saws in the till, they are shaped like little cats.  I commented that I could make the handles for the chest look like cats as well.  Really I thought she would laugh and write it off as a joke.  But she loved the idea.  So I have been working on my first ever set of cat shaped tool chest handles.  This has really been a fun project and I’m glad Megan liked the idea.

The design was drawn up in Correll Draw by Janet (my wife and the head of our quality control department).  The paper copy is then glued to an 1/8″ piece of steel plate.  I cut to the line using a Beverly shear, hacksaw and belt grinder.

Cutting the cats on the Beverly shear

Cutting the cats on the Beverly shear

the ears are cut a bit closer with a hacksaw

Here is one of the blanks before trimming, the one on the left is ready to grind right down to the line.

Here is one of the blanks before trimming, the one on the left is ready to grind right down to the line.


I wish I had some pictures of the chasing process for the eyes, but I can’t get pictures while working very well.

the ears are cut a bit closer with a hacksaw

New Holdfasts available

I am now offeering holdfasts on the website After talking with Phil Koontz, who is very well known for his holdfasts, He gave me all of the details for his style of work. Phil is no longer making holdfasts and was glad to pass the information on to someone to continue making his style.
holdfast 020

I plan to include free shipping and a guarantee with these holdfasts