Guarantee on materials and workmanship
There is a lifetime guarantee on materials and workmanship for all Vesper Tools products. If it breaks or has any other problems unrelated to mis-use or abuse and entirely related to shoddy manufacture or materials then it is covered.
The workshop and visitation
Vesper Tools does not have a shop frontage and sales counter. Based in an industrial area our focus is making tools as efficiently as possible to un-erring high standards.
We are a small business with many commitments including having to visit the shops to post orders, or buy milk etc so we may not be here if you turn up un-announced.
That said we run a very unique workshop space and am quite happy to show folks around if time and pre-planning permits.
Back orders and production
Here at Vesper Tools we are very busy trying to run a small business and keep product prices reasonable for all. Sometimes we run out of stock of tools leading to long delays. This is the nature of handmade high quality tools and we make no apologies for that.
You can place an order at any time for items in or out of stock and it will be kept on file indefinitely until it is complete and ready to ship. No payment taken until it is complete.
Vesper Tools typically cycles through production of different tools once per year. This allows maximum efficiency in hand made production of small batch lots. But it sometimes means it it many months before the next batch will be completed as we are of course busy working on other tools that ran out prior!
Please be patient and good things will come to those who wait.
What timbers do you use for handles and infills, and why?
Chris Vesper personally travels where necessary to select the blocks or boards most suitable for the purpose. It then comes back to the workshop where it is air dried or EMC stabilised for some years before finally ending up in a climate controlled store room where it is kept at around 8% timber MC.
The primary timber used here figured Tasmanian Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) for the regular production tools.
Moving into the Premium and Signature Series tools we use a variety of tried and true timbers from amazing Australian natives to the big name exotics: Ebony, Boxwood, Cocobolo, Black Red Gum (10,000 years old), Lace Sheoak, Ringed Gidgee, and more.
Also in the ‘Mid-Range’ level of knives there are other such as Tiger Myrtle, Hairy Oak and Olive Wood being used.
All these timbers are suitable for toolmaking owing to their hardness, their strength, and very importantly their stability.
There is another very important factor in timber choice too: Bling! Figured Blackwood in standard tools for example is a stunning timber, when nicely polished – it pops, the wavy fibres throw light back at your eye and dances as you move the piece. This is called chatoyance.
Do your tools need maintenance or polishing?
Shellac is the finish applied to my tools. It is a natural product, its easy to apply by hand, and it is easy to repair should you wish to re-sand or cut back a damaged tool with steel wool before you re coat with your choice of shellac. Only 2-3 coats is necessary.
Shellac polish is wonderful to hold in the hand, given time and being pushed around the bench it will scratch a little, you can either leave the tool to patinate naturally, or you can choose to re-polish it occasionally if you wish.
Do you personally make all the Vesper branded items?
Yes – All tools branded Vesper are made by my own hand with some assistance in my own workshop in Melbourne, Australia.
We do sell other high quality brands that complement my range though, such as Mitutoyo, Toei, M-Stein, Glen-Drake.
You have a large selection of marking knives, why? And why not just use a sharp pencil?
Marking knives are for those who feel the need to step up their woodworking from the limited precision a pencil gives, we all started with pencils that is for sure but eventually it becomes too ambiguous to work to the left or the middle or the right side of that damn pencil line.
A knife line is absolute for accuracy. All knives on the website here have a flat back and a beveled side much like a chisel.
The flat side goes against your square or ruler blade to making a line as the knife is dragged towards you.
The different knives on offer are for different handle size selection, or different blade size. The larger heavy Joinery Knives and Mini’s are for general work, pretty well indestructible and nice to use. The Cohen knives are more special purpose. Thinner blades are more fragile, ruling them out for most general work but for where you are marking fine dovetail joints for example they are indispensable.
I’m new to woodworking, which minimal measuring and marking tools do I need to get started?
No matter what sort of woodworking you plan to do, you need a good square, a marking knife, cutting gauge, sliding bevel, and a couple of rulers as your ‘everyday’ tools that will get used many times every day no matter what you make. These tools are indispensable even if you are more a power tool woodworker.
By choosing the average size tool to purchase (7″ bevel and 7″ square for example) you can enjoy the general use of the nicely sized tools, then add the other sizes larger or smaller at a later date if you have a need to do so.
Consider the two Joinery Kits offered by Vesper Tools, they offer the fundamental tools to get you started at an encouraging price.
And don’t disregard quality even if you choose not to purchase from us, buy the best you can afford. If you get something halfway decent you will at least have tools that are not viewed as a disposable tool shaped objects and will function a little better than the real junk out there.
“These sliding bevels and try squares represent all that I have learned in my self taught toolmaking career to date. I have poured my heart and soul into trying to make the BEST tools available anywhere in the world. And I know, after years of work and research that no others will come anywhere near this level of quality and value. If after purchasing my tools and you don’t 100% agree, just send it back in original saleable condition and I will refund the purchase price. Therefore there is no risk in buying it”.