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Making your own tools

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  • Captain_Bandaid
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    :P I tried using an alloy jig saw blade for a knife. It did not work very well as it was still too soft to really hold an edge. It is tough to beat forged O1 or W1 tool steel for taking and holding an edge.

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  • millhoused
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    I make carving knife blades from .050' power hacksaw blades I buy from an industrial supply house. I just make sure they are the blades that are hardened the entire width of the blade. Some blades only have the edge hardened. I cut the blank with my dremel cutoff wheel. I cut for 1 sec. then put the metal in water to cool. I have never had a problem with overheating. After the blank is cut I place it in a handle made from scrap hardwood and glue it in with gorilla glue. After the glue dries I shape the blade and handle then sharpen it. Works well and lasts forever.

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  • Big_Sid
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    Thanks Capt'n. I might try one of those golf clubs as I do more carving these days than I do golf. I've even started carving my golf balls. It is fun to make the tools but I do find the people who do it professionally have much better tools and I try to buy some every chance I get. I have about 10 times more tools than I already need but you never know when you might need some for a friend who is just starting to learn to carve.

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  • Captain_Bandaid
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    Big Sid, I have seen chisels made from spade drills for sale at carving shows. Never tried one but I hear they work well. Another thought is to use the shaft from a golf club. The shafts on the newer ones are 5160 and are hard enough to take and hold a fair edge. The round shape makes it a natural for a variety of sweeps from one shaft. Cut a section long enough to mount in a handle, cut diagonally across the cutting end with a hack saw, then cross-cut to remove a 1/2 section and presto...ok, not presto, ya gotta grind an edge on it but not much work involved.

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  • Big_Sid
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    I have made a few nice gouges out of spade drill bits. I ground them on a grinder being careful not to overheat. Then I polished and shaped them. They work fine and I have the satisfaction that I made them. I don't worry so much about ruining them as I can always make more. I have used one for years and it is one of my favorite tools to go to. It seems to stay sharp a long time. It still has the stamp of 1/2' on the blade.

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  • Captain_Bandaid
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    8) Dave, I do it the way the article suggested. Got a 3/4' x 3' bolt and drilled a 1/4' hole through the threaded area. I ground a 1/4' groove in the bolt head about 3/16' deep. I then bent a 1/4' diameter piece of the drill rod into a horse shoe shape, inserted one end through the hole, ran the washer and nut up tight to hold it, and adjust the other end so that it sat about 1/8' above the groove in the bolt head. You then heat the rod, forge it flat, reheat and insert the flattened end between the rod and the groove. Several light hits applied while rotating the drill rod will form a gouge shape. The article shows forming only about 1/2' on the end but I found that forming 3/4'-1' give you more regrinds. Make sure you forge the metal to a uniform thickness all around the sweep. Now, let it cool and use a dremmel to grind the inside and outside smooth. Harden and temper it, then, sharpen as any other gouge.

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    P.S.

    I just sent in my subscrition to WCI and don't have the recent article and no news stands in these parts carry it. :-/

    Dave

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    so how are you forming your gouges? Grinding or forging? speaking of ginding do you need the same shape grinding wheel as the tool profile? this guy makes a block to form gouges http://www.scavm.com/gouges.htm
    do you think he has a good idea?

    I wish I could remember all they taught me back in 7th grade when I took a year of metal shop. I do remember forging from round stock a hex shank screw driver and filing the final shape (we didn't get to use power tools till 8th grade) and getting it ready to insert into a handle. I was just about finished polishing it with the last grades of emery cloth and was carrying it my back pocket with some emery to work on as home work and decided to go to a rock concert. The police at the door said it could be used as a weapon and said I could get it back after. Of course after checking several thousand people through it was hopeless to find it afterwards. Needless to say I didn't get a very good grade on that project. :P

    Dave

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  • Captain_Bandaid
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    Dave, the W1 rods are easily cut with a hacksaw so I assume they are not hardened. You can buy hardened and ground flat stock but it can get pretty expensive. W1 is extremely easy to work with (see the WCI article on this) and makes excellent blades, chisels, and gouges. The gouges are NOT as easily made as the other two!

    Harold, I met a man in a Woodcraft store in San Antonio who taught himself to carve and now runs a business with 10-12 full time carvers doing architectural carving work for local churches. They make all of their own tools from files! Oh, yeah, he also owned the Woodcraft store!

    Groozier, The plane blades would make great knives but I don't know how you plan to cut them into smaller pieces. An abrasive disk grinder would work if you kept the steel cool. Most of us tend to think that the metallurgy of the steel is the most important part of making a good knife, but my experience suggests that the proper taper and thinness of the blade are equally important. When I grind the finish taper on a tempered blade, I make 1 pass on the abrasive belt and immediately dip it into water. If it turns blue, your blade is ruined. Good luck!

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  • groozier
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    I have three old planer blades that I would like to make into knives and , or carving tools but I don't know if they would be the right kind of steel.If anyone that knows anything about this would tell me something it would be greatly appreciated.groozier PS The blades came out of a twelve inch Rockwell delta planer,if you need this info.

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  • Harold
    replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    I just read with some amusement your article relating to forging carving tools. I have a friend in Eau Claire Wis who has experimented with forging carving tools for years. I have a set of tiny left and right bent shaft skews that are my pride and joy made by him and a carving detail knife he made from a concrete nail which I love. Am sending him a copy of your comments and respnses. Thank you for your thoughts and help to us poor lost soles... incidently, way back when, it was common for a carver to forge for himself a specialty tool when one was needed. Harold

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    Is W1 ready to be ground and pollished (respecting not overheating it) and set in a handle? Or is it just a good choice to use for the forge and hardening and tempering? I made a knife a few years back from an old file. Ground, polished, spot heated the tang to drill holes for rivets, shaped a nice cherry handle and shaved a sliver of wood so thin you could read through it. You know what happened the first time it hit the floor... :'(

    Dave

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  • Captain_Bandaid
    replied

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  • Waldgeist
    Guest replied
    Re: Making your own tools

    Captain, Making your own tools, knives in particular, is only worth it if you have the right materials and tools to do that.
    For examle, if you want to make knives that are equal or better in quality to anything you can buy, You start with Kobalt steel which is used by machine shops to make lathe cutting bits. Onle little chunk that is Half by half byfour inches is available in the machine tool market for around $35.00 last time I checked. This will make about 3 knives if you are careful. Kobalt steel will grind without tempering and getting brittle. I have not done this myself yet, but I am pumping a friend of mine for the details in case I want to try it. He makes Kobalt knives and sells them for $30.00 each. I have one of his Kobalt knives and it carves much better than any other tool that I know of. Not even three cherries or Pfeil tools are made tthis way. Waldgeist

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    http://www.scavm.com/gouges.htm

    good luck and keep sharing your discoveries.

    Dave
    [/quote]

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