$2 Birdcage Awl

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Project by Sergio posted 01-04-2013 09:25 AM 6253 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After read the “Hand Tools Essentials” book from Popular Woodworking Magazine, I was convinced that I should have one of this tool. Czeck Edge sells it for $50 and a kit without handle for $20… Way too much for this tool.
I then bought a second hand mini file for $2 and ground it to the shape. You can see the file in the second picture.
Handle is from cherry scraps and shaped with a rasp, not perfectly round but enough. It should have a larger back, I may do a new one someday.
I liked very much how it works cutting a perfect round hole instead of just make a punch like normal round awls.
Thanks for reading :)

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

9 comments so far

View ksSlim's profile


1304 posts in 3498 days

#1 posted 01-04-2013 10:25 AM

A custom made tool will give a lifetime of joy.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View GerardoArg1's profile


1010 posts in 2602 days

#2 posted 01-04-2013 12:36 PM

Espectacular Sergio. Me gusto. Yo voy a tener que intentar hacer una asi porque no terminan de convencerme las que son redondas ya que en maderas fibrosas cuando la usas cerca de los bordes se parten.
Yo tambien sufro para hacer que queden centrados en el mango.

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

View Oldtool's profile


2805 posts in 2799 days

#3 posted 01-04-2013 01:04 PM

Slick! I like.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1102 posts in 2920 days

#4 posted 01-04-2013 03:05 PM

Very nice! Did you need to heat treat the file or was grinding to shape all that was needed?

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 3300 days

#5 posted 01-04-2013 03:41 PM

KsSlim: Indeed I still have a couple of tools made by Granpa 40-50 years ago!
Gerardo: Yes, it is better than the normal cylindrical awl, you don´t have to force it down much, just twist.
OldTool: make one for yourself and show it :)
JR45: I just ground it. If you do it in low speed and cooling in water, the steel does not lose the temper.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Zinderin's profile


94 posts in 2740 days

#6 posted 01-04-2013 04:21 PM

Swap meets are great sources of home-made tools and jig parts. I’ve even bought crap furniture made of expensive wood, and re-purposed the wood! I -LOVE- swap meets. Good place to get a good solid walk too, if its large enough.

View Ken90712's profile


17820 posts in 3797 days

#7 posted 01-04-2013 08:21 PM

Great job and savings. Leaves more to get something you really need. Well done.

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

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2900 days

#8 posted 01-04-2013 10:58 PM

Very nicely done. Have to admire your self sufficiency in making what you want instead of depending on some manufacturer or other seller. Good job.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Bricofleur's profile


1467 posts in 3801 days

#9 posted 01-05-2013 10:14 PM

Great job. Homemade tools have precious value in each woodworker’s heart. You just inspired me to make one. Thanks for posting and for the details. While reading, I thought I would made a tiny modification, which is a flat spot so it won’t roll over.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

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