A Tale of Two Awls

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Project by bondogaposis posted 03-03-2014 01:36 PM 1799 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I like making awls for some reason. Perhaps it goes back to the days when I only had one and could never find it when I needed it. Now I have them all over the shop and I’ve taken to giving them away. Sometimes to people who have little use for an awl. When urge strikes I just make them. This time I decided on a couple of bird cage awls. The steel is O1 tool steel. I hardened and tempered the tips. The handles are mesquite burl and stabilized spalted maple.

-- Bondo Gaposis

10 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile


17941 posts in 3456 days

#1 posted 03-03-2014 01:58 PM

I find that multiple awls in the shop come in handy. Those are pretty darn handsome Bondo. Makes me want a lathe.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

527 posts in 3966 days

#2 posted 03-03-2014 02:14 PM

If people don’t think they don’t have a use for one, I call them ice picks…of course they probably have no use for those either. Those look very good!

-- jstegall

View drbyte's profile


831 posts in 4512 days

#3 posted 03-03-2014 02:16 PM

Great project! Are they 3 sided? Looks like triangular from the pic. Got to make a couple of these. I’m stuck on screwdriver handles and spheres right at the moment. The spheres are not hard, just very tedious to do by hand with no jig and no replaceable tail stock fitting.

-- Dennis, WV

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3316 days

#4 posted 03-03-2014 02:19 PM

A practical addition to anyone’s shop. Nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bondogaposis's profile


5489 posts in 2801 days

#5 posted 03-03-2014 02:42 PM

Are they 3 sided? Looks like triangular from the pic.

No they are 4 sided, 3/16” square O1 steel from McMaster Carr. I apologize for my photography skills.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View john2005's profile


1768 posts in 2628 days

#6 posted 03-03-2014 03:25 PM

That spalted one looks pretty sweet. I like em

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

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1340 posts in 2084 days

#7 posted 03-03-2014 03:41 PM

Nice looking, you can send one to me :-)
I love the look over standard store bought 1950s stanleys.

-- Jeff NJ

View waho6o9's profile


8706 posts in 3027 days

#8 posted 03-03-2014 03:42 PM

Great work Bondo.

View Tim's profile


3824 posts in 2411 days

#9 posted 03-03-2014 04:33 PM

Very nice. If you feel the need to send one where it will get used I’ll PM you my address. :)

About how far back would you say that taper goes? I ground a rounded over phillips screwdriver into a birdcage awl but I think I made the angle too steep.

View bondogaposis's profile


5489 posts in 2801 days

#10 posted 03-03-2014 05:02 PM

The taper goes back 1/2” inch. I’ve made them with longer tapers but my thinking is that the short taper will make better screw holes. Time will tell.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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