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Tools of a Classic Craft

The three tools on this page were donated to the Center for Wooden Boats by the Blanchard Boat Company at the end of Lake Union’s great wooden boat building era.  Although long ago supplanted by power tools, hand tools like these are still used by wooden boat builders who prefer the sound and feel of steel against wood to the noise and dust of a machine tool shop.

Lipped Shipwright’s Adze (above)

Used for removing large chunks of wood from keel timbers and other parts of large vessels, this powerful tool is operated by swinging it between one’s legs.  A leather cover protects a thin, arched blade.

Drawknife or Spokeshave (above)

This razor-sharp knife is used for accurately shaping rounded boat parts such as masts and spars.

Slick (right)

Measuring about three feet in length, this tool is “a cross between a chisel and an axe,” as described by Dick Wagner. Thrust away from one’s body with both arms, it is used for quickly giving rough shape to boat timbers.


Boat Shops