Diobsud Forge Chisel Plane Carving Tool:
Sorting through some of my late father’s tools, I discovered this odd-looking item in a box of carving tools. I had never seen anything like it. Knowing my dad, it was part of a yard sale or auction find.
Looking closely at the brand on the tool’s handle, I discovered it was made by a now-defunct company out of Washington state: Diobsud Forge. The company no longer exists but an internet search reveals some interesting tidbits about this particular tool. One carver, Dan Heine, stated that “Diobsud Forge makes [made]a really nice tool for this situation. It looks like a brick layer’s trowel but works like a dream.”
An old link on woodcarvingsupplies.com described tools made by Diobsud Forge:
“These fine knives are forged from high carbon steel. They are hand hammered so that the grain structure is refined, ground and hardened to a full Martensite hardness to give them the best combination of edge holding and ease of sharpening. They are then honed to a razor edge. Use caution as they are very sharp. Handles are of premium straight grained Maple with an oiled finish. This is a Western made tool unlike any other you have used and we guarantee you will be more than pleased with your purchase. Use a strop to keep them sharp.”
The tool features an arrow-shaped, slightly curved blade with a cutting edge on each side. The bottom of the blade is flat.
To sharpen this tool, I place 400-grit sandpaper face-up on a flat surface. With an arcing motion, I smooth the bottom face of the blade, ensuring it’s flat.
I then loosely roll up the sandpaper and touch up the bevels on the top of the blade.
I can see this carving tool being useful for smoothing the background of a carving, cleaning out an undercut, or getting into tight spaces. To use the tool, I place the flat bottom on the surface of the workpiece. Then, slightly rotate the tool, engaging the cutting edge to take a thin shaving. With its dual cutting edges, you can use the tool on the push or pull stroke.
For those familiar with Japanese woodworking tools, you’ll notice the similarity of this carving tool to the much larger Yarri Kanna spear planes used for smoothing timbers. You can find these at Dieter Schmid Fine Tools in Germany (https://www.fine-tools.com/yari-ganna.html) and at Highland Woodworking in the U.S. (https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/japaneseyarikannadrawshave34.aspx).
You might be able to find carving tools on ebay.com made by Diobsud Forge but, due to their scarcity, they’ll be a little pricey.