Reply by wathomas

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Posted on Your favorite shop-made hand tools

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1 post in 3466 days

#1 posted 11-29-2011 11:05 PM

One item that over the years I keep making over and over are various carving chisels. They are a quick project, the material cost is very modest and they look good and it is satisfying to use chisels you made yourself. Because they are made iexpensively its easy to treat yourself to a variety of fishtail styles and widths that if your budget is tight you might be reluctant to buy store bought (but once you start using them are really handy).

Easiest to find scrap metal that gives good heat treat that I have found are various coil springs . Over years I have accumulated lots of old coil springs from various applications in various sizes 1/8” (ordinary wind up coil spring from garage door) up to 5/8” diameter (some sprt of truck spring…the older are easier the newer ones have plastic coating that is a pain to get off).

One spring that is especially convenient for gouge style carving chisels is approx 3/8” diameter and the coil is maybe 6” x 48” long ( came out of an industrial overhead door) . You can forge these with a actelylene torch but its easier cheaper and more convenient if you put together a simple propane forge. Handes are typically turned from something grabbed from wood pile (burning logs) and the ferrule is usually short section of copper pipe.

another shop made tool that I have made again again are gravers (use 1/8 square HSS lathe tool bits and turn the wood handles). The ones shown are ground to be iused for engraving but the method could be used to make very small wood carving chisels. The trick to these is to take a short length of carbon steel and make a sort of “chuck” ...just drill a hole so when a square taper is ground on the end of the HSS lathe tool that it will jam into the hole …the HSS is harder than the carbon steel ferrule or chuck and will “bite and lock in place” the taper allows it to jam tightly and as you use pushing it jams tighter.This trick of the chuck or furrule to grip the small 1/8 square bit and prevent it from being driven deeply into a wood handle could have application for some sort of marking took or awl or scribe for woodwooking

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