Bowl Adze Build

  • Advertise with us
Project by Levex posted 10-21-2015 12:39 AM 1658 views 8 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bowl Adze Build
Bowl Adze Build No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

Here’s the most recent bowl carving tool that I’ve built, a modified elbow adze.

For this blade I purchased a couple of feet of annealed 4140 alloy bar stock from a specialty steel shop in town. The cost was $16 LF for a 2” wide by 1\4” thick bar.

I cut the blade to length and width with a hack saw and ground out the edge on my bench grinder. I put a very gentle sweep on the blade, (about a #2 sweep), by heating it up with a torch and bending it over a very small anvil I have. I then drilled and counter sunk two holes for screws, (before hardening the blade this time).

It took two tries to get the blade to properly harden. I didn’t get it hot enough the first time but was successful on the second try by getting it orange hot with my torch. I quenched it in automatic transmission fluid and tempered it on a bbq for an hour at around 400 degrees C. I’m really pleased with how well the blade turned out. It was a bit of work getting it properly sharpened but it is still holding a good edge after a lot of time spent whacking away on a piece of maple.

The handle was made from some oak I salvaged out of a pallet. I’ve got a bunch of this stuff and it’s great material, nice and hard, with just a few nail holes for character. To keep the handle as strong a possible I made it in two pieces to keep the grain running in the right direction. I hand cut the saddle joint and glued it up with PL Prem.

The blade is attached with two #10 screws, two part epoxy, and wrapped with paracord for good measure.

I’ve never used an adze before and I’m having as much fun using this one as I did building it. I’ll build another one as soon as I can make or find a swage block to create a blade with an even greater sweep.


5 comments so far

View htl's profile


4793 posts in 1643 days

#1 posted 10-21-2015 03:52 AM

Nicely done!
Your hand made tools look like they will really chew up some wood.
We may need to start calling you the wood butcher me thinks. lol

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View CFrye's profile (online now)


10742 posts in 2324 days

#2 posted 10-21-2015 05:08 AM

Great job, Lexex! I’ve been on the hunt for a bowl adze, hadn’t really considered making one. I may have to reconsider that! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View upchuck's profile


540 posts in 2149 days

#3 posted 10-21-2015 05:29 AM

Nice work. My attempt at the same thing resulted in a malformed blade and I gave up in frustration.

P.S. I also see that the hook knife I read about earlier in the day is your work. I admire both of these shop made tools and aspire to similar results

View GerardoArg1's profile


1000 posts in 2478 days

#4 posted 10-21-2015 11:37 AM

So beatiful. Congratulations

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2252 days

#5 posted 10-21-2015 12:07 PM

Looks very nice and functional.


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics