Barr Quarton has been working with tool steel since 1977 and as a professional knife maker has had the opportunity to work with some of the best bladesmiths and blacksmiths in the USA. He gained additional experience after receiving an Idaho Arts Council grant in 1985 which allowed him to apprentice with a traditional Japanese swordsmith.
Barr has taken his knowledge and skill and applied them to the making of fine woodworking hand tools.
Hand Forged v Machine Made
Barr would say there is no comparison. In a day and age where most tools are drop forged, stamped or cut out (and then often poorly tempered), the majority of people have never had the pleasure of using a well-made tool.
Hand forging with hammers compresses the steel, introducing more carbon into a smaller area. Carbon is what cuts, therefore you can get a superior edge. After annealing, the tools are quenched then tempered to the proper hardness. The tool is then fitted with a hardwood handle that seats properly in the socket. The shock ring on top helps prevent the handle from splitting.
Barr's tools all come shaving sharp. Please note these tools are hand forged, sizes are approximate and may vary slightly.