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Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective #8: Swan neck carving gouge - from tractor rake spring steel

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Blog entry by mafe posted 05-17-2019 01:42 PM 1288 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Pocket drawknife - One for the road Part 8 of Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective series Part 9: Hot cutter - from bricklayers hammer »

Swan neck carving gouge
from tractor rake spring steel

This could be the fairytale about the Ugly Duckling, by H. C. Andersen.

Making another tool by the forge, this time a swan neck gouge, intended for making Kuksa’s or hand carved bowls.
Made from an old rake from a tractor, this steel is fantastic for cutting tool making and the joy of recycle is always a joy in it’s self.


Here the tractor rake and me working on the tang of a small carving knife.


At the forge, heating up the steel as I work on it.


Beating some red hot steel is always a joy, when making it into a tool, slowly blow by blow with the hammer, shape emerge from the old rake.
Here the tang are done, the neck are being shaped and you can see the end is just a block now, but will become a cutting tool.


A gouge, all shaped by the hammer and by hand.
No need to co more on the shape, when it comes to the use, so I will keep it simple, no fancy shaping, just the tool.


Here after giving it the swan neck curve, so it can reach into the Kuksa.
Will have to get a heat more, the gouge have a too steep bend and need to be straightened a little.


Here a few items from that day.
(The second swan neck gouge, is one I bought years back, it never really worked, the steel was too soft, so I tried to give it a new heat treatment, but it ended in the trash, since it was to soft still).


At cherry red, it is put into rapeseed oil to harden it, the oil is pre heated a wee bit.


Here we have it, a swan neck gouge.


Turned a little handle on the lathe, that I think will be a good shape, for this kind of use.
Short and round, so it will be easy on the hand and to move around.
Kept it rough, so it will have some friction in the hand, so no sanding also.
It also got a ferrule, since it might get some side ways force, due to the long neck.


Just from the side.


Time for the annealing.
Just an hour in the oven at 200°C.
(Heating the steel again to soften it a wee bit, this makes it less stressed and more flexible).


The gouge gets it’s handle, I like to epoxy them in place, especially if the are used for sideway force.


Finally some cutting after I have sharpened up the cutting edge.
It cuts really fine and the curved shape works surprisingly well.
So I’m a happy monkey.
(I’m trying out different shapes and angles on the cutting edge, to try and find my way in this).


A decent tool I think, really pleased that I have come to a point, where I can make something like this by the forge.


A little dye and some Danish oil, then it is ready for years of use.
An old tractor rake has gotten a new life, a swan has emerged.

Hope it can be to some inspiration, perhaps even some fairytales.

Best thoughts,

MaFe

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.



11 comments so far

View Oni's profile

Oni

55 posts in 276 days


#1 posted 05-17-2019 02:12 PM

Very nice gouge and knives.

View lew's profile

lew

12768 posts in 4144 days


#2 posted 05-17-2019 09:32 PM

I’d say you have that one pretty close to perfect!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3765 posts in 971 days


#3 posted 05-18-2019 01:11 AM

Indeed a nice looking gouge! When do we see the kuksa made with this gouge? ;-)

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22676 posts in 3495 days


#4 posted 05-18-2019 02:39 AM

Sweet tool, Mads. You appreciate it more if you make it yourself,too!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

17671 posts in 3578 days


#5 posted 05-18-2019 10:53 PM

Buddy great job, you always do the most interesting projects. Cheers.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10609 posts in 4441 days


#6 posted 05-20-2019 11:28 PM

HOT!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View mafe's profile

mafe

12051 posts in 3478 days


#7 posted 05-22-2019 09:50 AM

Hi there,
Joe, smiles.
Ken, I always ave a lot of fun trying. ;-)
Jim, yes I love using tools I have made, every shave becomes sweeter, it’s so true. Thanks.
Dave, I have made a few kuksas / cups, so I look forward to be able to use this one, to get into the tight corners and down deep, where it was difficult before.

This is my favorite, when I’m out in nature, hanging out.

Nothing like a wood cup, with hot coffee on a cold winter day.
Lew, big warm smile here thanks.
Oni, thank you so much.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19208 posts in 2957 days


#8 posted 05-23-2019 10:31 AM

now that’s cool!! well done.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View mafe's profile

mafe

12051 posts in 3478 days


#9 posted 05-24-2019 12:23 AM

Hi Don, thank you, big smile here.
I have been forging all day today.

Iron age type knife, made from a piece of car spring I found in the street, here in Copenhagen.
That was one of todays results.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19208 posts in 2957 days


#10 posted 05-24-2019 11:14 AM

Excellent. I haven’t had the forge fired up in a while. knowing me I’ll wait until it’s 85 degrees out. I’ve got a planning stop in my head I want to make out of so.e old silo rod. Keep up the good work!

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View mafe's profile

mafe

12051 posts in 3478 days


#11 posted 05-24-2019 10:55 PM

Hi Don, I have a forge inside the shop, but this one is my friends and we were having a wonderful warm sunny day.
I made a planing stop, I use for my shaving horses, it was easy and fun to make.
Will see if I can find pictures.
Smiles thanks.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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