Hand Forged Gouges (Surprise Swap)

  • Advertise with us
Project by bobasaurus posted 02-09-2017 06:32 PM 2919 views 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For the 2017 “Shop Made SURPRISE Tool Swap” I forged this set of three incanal wood carving gouges from 1080 steel. I forged the tangs then hammered the curvature with my swage block. I heat treated them in the forge, quenching in oil and tempering at 400 deg F, followed by softening the tangs. The handles are walnut (partially sapwood) with copper ferrules, finished with danish oil, shellac, and wax. They are three different sizes/sweeps, though it’s hard to tell from the photos.

These are incanal since I have no way of grinding the concave flutes. Maybe someday I’ll get a small radius grinding setup and try making some outcanal gouges.

I sent them out to my new friend sherm54 in Utah. For my received items, bondogaposis sent me this great tool chest and birdcage awl:

It was delivered by an army of penguins:

Bondo, thanks a lot for this amazing chest. I had no idea what I was looking at for a second when I first opened the package, then I was impressed when it clicked. The blue pine is really beautiful, and the dovetails are nice. I’m keeping my rotary bits for the flex shaft grinder in it now. The birdcage awl is really impressive too, especially the hand-carved handle. I’m not sure what the wood and inlay materials are, but they’re both beautiful.

Here are some progress photos:

Forging the tang:

Hot cutting to length:

Making the curvature with the swage block:

Rough forging complete:

Turning identical handles is tough:

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

21 comments so far

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4607 posts in 1955 days

#1 posted 02-09-2017 06:34 PM

You’re supposed to post this on the swap thread buddy. Well, at least Bondo’s item. I think you need to make a second set and ship them South.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View waho6o9's profile


9055 posts in 3793 days

#2 posted 02-09-2017 06:47 PM

Amazing work Allen and one heck of a good skill set you’re developing there!

Very nice.

View bobasaurus's profile


3734 posts in 4400 days

#3 posted 02-09-2017 06:57 PM

You re supposed to post this on the swap thread buddy. Well, at least Bondo s item. I think you need to make a second set and ship them South.

- ki7hy

Posted it right after, hopefully all is well. I hope to make a full set someday for myself.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View terryR's profile


7652 posts in 3524 days

#4 posted 02-09-2017 06:58 PM

Beautiful work, Allen!
Wish you could quit your day job and forge blanks for us all.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View cicerojoe's profile


64 posts in 4661 days

#5 posted 02-09-2017 07:06 PM

Wow. I’d say that was a success! You both should be happy. I am impressed.

-- John from the Cherry Valley Studio in NY

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4082 days

#6 posted 02-09-2017 11:10 PM

Wow! What wonderful set of shop made gouges. You have a fine set of skills to be able to forge and fabricate a set of tools like this. This post id fascinating.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View waho6o9's profile


9055 posts in 3793 days

#7 posted 02-10-2017 03:52 AM

Pure class and style:

Great gifts from Bondo too!

Heck of a swap!

View tyvekboy's profile


2128 posts in 4229 days

#8 posted 02-10-2017 04:31 AM

Nice chisels. Thanks for the pictures showing how you did it. Neat swap.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4712 days

#9 posted 02-10-2017 12:33 PM

I think everything about these gouges are awesome. Another excellent project under your belt!

-- Regards, Norm

View JayT's profile


6430 posts in 3427 days

#10 posted 02-10-2017 03:28 PM

Those are so cool, Allen!

Love that you can incorporate the metal work with woodworking. I struggle enough cutting and shaping metal, cannot imagine forging.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View PineSucks's profile


283 posts in 2243 days

#11 posted 02-10-2017 04:48 PM

That is amazing work. I tried my hand at forging last winter. It did NOT go as planned. This is lightyears beyond what I can do. Good on you for making something truly special!

View jeffswildwood's profile


4946 posts in 3193 days

#12 posted 02-10-2017 04:52 PM

Way cool. Work in metal and wood! What could be better.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View HokieKen's profile


19124 posts in 2354 days

#13 posted 02-10-2017 05:57 PM

Total badassery Allen. Love seeing the great tools coming out of that forge!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View bobasaurus's profile


3734 posts in 4400 days

#14 posted 02-10-2017 06:05 PM

Thanks friends. I definitely need a lot more practice with this whole forging thing, and some stronger arm muscles as I basically look like a twig. So I practice making all kinds of strange things. I’m looking forward to seeing more swap projects, I guess I jumped the gun posting this (itchy trigger finger).

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View pulchridude's profile


15 posts in 2272 days

#15 posted 02-15-2017 01:16 PM

And Arcanum Unbounded Hardback – Bobasaurus – you and I would be great friends, I think! I’m hugely interested in blacksmithing and woodworking is a passion. I told my wife (as I took delivery of Brandon Sanderson’s latest hard cover book last night) that my next library goal is to get a hard cover signed edition of each of his books. Currently I only have all of them on kindle and audible, and a couple of signed leather bound versions (most recently Elantris with a Brandon-drawn Aon Rao inside!) lol.

Maybe you should do some Mistborn inspired inlay on your hammer or anvil for some extra strength? (in Pewter, of course)

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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