I am a professional Sculptor, Furniture Designer, and Professor. Over the years I have learned hundreds of methods for shaping and manipulating materials of all kinds, ranging from fine art metal casting, to the mass production of injection molded plastics. I have worked on the shop floors for production furniture and cabinet facilities, completed a five year classical apprenticeship under an old-world Italian Master Cabinetmaker, and now I run my own custom shop. Needless to say I have spectated as tool ‘innovations’ come and go like bad fashion. I am often unimpressed because I can smell a cheap tool gimmick a mile away. I work hard for my money and think hard about what a new tool will do for me – increase efficiency? Replace an underperformer? Save money long term? (you get the idea).
Enter Easy Wood Tools. I became familiar with their chisels during a demo at a favorite Woodcraft Store while planning for a Fulbright project to Central America. That day’s visit was a scouting trip to consider all possibilities that could lighten my load and reduce the cost of shipping tools internationally. I had seen Easy Wood Tools hanging in the woodturning section for a while, so I surrendered my new tool suspicions for a whirl at the lathe with a Mid-Size Easy Rougher. Done. I was converted. American Made, stainless steel, carbide, copper, curly maple, no grinding? No rusting? Fast, consistent cutting? 3 tools replacing at least 6? I went home, contacted Easy Wood Tools founder and tool innovator Craig Jackson, and told him about my project. He graciously offered to sponsor my work and sent some tools. I used them to make the very last commission for Stuart Kent & Co. before temporarily closing the doors and moving to Central America for a year.
I now turn exclusively with Easy Wood Tools and will never look back. They are hands down the finest lathe tooling on the market. I am using Easy Wood Tools to create a collection of large scale sculptures for a solo exhibition of my work as part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the National University of Costa Rica. I have never required so much from my tooling as I am right now, living and working in a rainforest cabin where the ambient humidity nears 100% seven days a week, and raining up to 4 ½” in 3 hours. The central focus of my work here is to explore the economic viability of two species of overlooked, rapid growing, renewable tropical hardwoods. The trees have high silica contents and contain so much water it’s like woodturning with water being poured on the spinning work piece. To complicate matters, the trees grow so quickly that the cells actually pull up grains of soil, so the lower trunk sections have dirt in the wood. And, everything I make is huge which compounds tool edge-destroying heat buildup. No lathe chisel produced today can stand up to this kind of abuse except Easy Wood Tools.
For serious turners, custom furniture makers, and enthusiasts alike, I recommend these tools without exception or critique. They have solved so many issues for me I do not see any justification for using other lathe tooling with very few exceptions for specialty profiles or texturing.
While I have the opportunity I want to also share my thoughts on EWT’s latest product introduction, the Easy Wood Chuck. If I was in a position to give awards for tool innovations, this year’s grand champion would go to the Easy Wood Tools for this chuck. I was skeptical as usual about something as tried and true as a lathe chuck being improved upon, but Craig did just that. He took something fast and supercharged it. Easy Wood Chuck is a heavy duty scroll chuck with a time saving quick adjustment zoom ring and quick release round-cornered jaws (really don’t tear your hands up…). I can attest to the fact that it won’t rust, and it is better machined than my old favorite chuck. This new chuck holds as strong as any of its competitors but leaves them in the dust with 30 second jaw changes and quick adjustment. I am dependent on tool quality for safety and my livelihood, Easy Wood Tools has improved both for me. Give me a call, or send an email so I can tailor a set of Easy Wood Tools to your turning needs. If you are not 100% satisfied I will buy them back.
But you won’t be disappointed.
Stuart R. Kent