Like most tool tinkerers, Arthur Aveling saw an unfilled need and created a product for it. Unlike most, he has created a kingdom around it, founding King Arthur's Tools, which today sells more than 100 products around the world.

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Arthur Aveling

Credit: Photo: Sara Ritter

As a woodcarver, Aveling was unnerved by the dangerous-yet-common technique of using a chainsaw's nose for hollowing cuts. The top half of a chainsaw bar's nose is responsible for the chainsaw's dreaded kickback and burying or scooping with the nose is a sure way to cause it. Looking to replace this with a controlled method of hollowing led Aveling to create the "Lancelot," a 4-inch-diameter chainsaw blade disc that fits on common angle grinders.

Aveling continued to knight new wood-shaping tools–each with a caricature born of Arthurian legend. Seeing each one as a character in his family of tools, Aveling has cleverly named them according to attributes shared with their namesakes: Merlin, a wizard of a tool and akin to a magic wand, is a miniature grinder fitting "the world's smallest chainsaw" and other cutting accessories; Percival, supposedly the one who actually caught a glimpse of the Holy Grail, is a small chainsaw cutter on a shaft that fits die grinders and gets into places others can't go; Bors, the lone knight to return from the quest for the Holy Grail alive, is the carbide-tooth version of the chainsaw cutter that outlasts the others; and onward to Guinevere, Galahad, Igraine, and others.

A surprising new niche market captured Aveling's attention when his tools were adopted by members of the bovine hoof-trimming industry, which led to his development of carbide-tooth specialty trimming tools. Successful forays into the equine trimming and even taxidermy realms have since followed.

Far too busy to do much carving anymore, Aveling is hard at work at his Round Table designing the future of legendary tools.

–Michael Springer