Any of you make your own tools? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-11-2010, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Any of you make your own tools?

I'm not happy with my tool selection and even less happy with the cost of a "good" tool. I had some old wood chisels that aren't worth anything so I've ground one into a very useful parting tool. I've also made a (less useful) scraper. Plus turning the handles is fun practice work.

Thing is I need a good spindle gouge. I only had the two chisels, and they aren't round anyways. Anybody out there making their own spindle gouges? I need a big one - like > one inch.

Any ideas why using a chisel would be dangerous - I've heard of people using old files and the file breaking because it is TOO hard.
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-11-2010, 09:23 AM
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I have made a lot of tools over the years and written a few articles on how to make them. Files can be used but must be annealed to take away the hardness. They can still break because you have fracture lines where they were stamped to make the teeth. If you heat them in an oven at 350 degrees for 1/3 hour per 1/4" of thickness and then let them cool naturally you will reduce the hardness to where they won't shatter but be aware they can still break with a good catch. Plus it's a pain to grind off the teeth.
For a spindle gouge you don't really have to have the flute. There have been many tools introduced on the market that cut like a spindle gouge but are flat on top. They simply have the bottom ground to a bevel that resembles a spindle gouge. A tool called a Skewchigouge is really nothing more than this.
The old style spindle gouges were done by forming the tool. I've made one using traditional blacksmithing techiques. Took a flat bar and hammered it over a pipe to get the flute. Made the tang and then ground it
A bowl gouge is the hardest thing to make yourself. It really requires a surface grinder with custom ground wheel or a milling machine to make one.
The problem with making your own tools is you can't really make High Speed Steel tools. Well you can make scrapers using HSS pieces and grinding them to shape but it's very hard to drill them. I cut slots in them to attach them to cold rolled bar stock for tools. You can also buy HSS square cutters and drill a hole in the end of a bar and insert these. They make good hollowing tools.
The tools you make from chisels and files are high carbon steel and won't hold an edge very long. They are also very easy to overheat on a grinder. If you blue the edge it will not hold an edge for long at all until you either grind past that blue area or you re heat treat the metal.
Even though I've made a lot of tools and still do for specialty tools. It's just hard to beat a good HSS tool or even better one of the particle metal tools like Thompson tools. These hold an edge a lot longer and you won't damage them by overheating on the grinder. It's worth the money to get these tools for you major tools.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-11-2010, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the reply

seems like if a fellow is going to do a lot of roughing then he would need a couple of good gouges. I sharpened my existing one on the grinder and yep, I blued the edge.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-11-2010, 02:33 PM
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http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/fi...e-gouge-19990/

You can never have too much pepperoni on your pizza or own too many clamps.
www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-17-2010, 09:54 PM
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Check second hand / antique stores for old carving gouges and put turning handles on them. I use 3/4 copper pipe for ferrules.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-18-2010, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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good tips, thanks

I like the ease of implementation of the copper ferule is it strong enough for roughing work?

Are old carving gouges from second hand store generally the high-carbon steel referred to above?
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-18-2010, 09:19 AM
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woodcraft sells just the tool not the handle, which will knock off a good chunk of the price if you have the tools to turn your own handles for them? other than that i buy good turning tools. If you are going to start or do a lot of turning, good tools is a must have. not only will the turning be more enjoyable, you will be able to turn more pieces faster. depending on what species of wood i am working with, i don't have to sharpen my tools nearly as often as my old grandfathers tools. now if i turn any burls i may sharpen my tools while i am turning that piece.
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-18-2010, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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tools with no handle

I had a hard time finding these tools at woodcraft yesterday. I checked their website too, but again, selection is limited to a couple of bowl gouges and scrapers.

I think I'll head to the carbide tool tips mentioned above.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-18-2010, 03:42 PM
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old files are brittle and will break if not annealed, and then that takes away the temper which will cause the ground edge to easily dull. One other source of cutting tool stock is flat spring steel leaves. They will not schatter under steress, and if not detempered
with heat they will hold a good sharp edge. Give them a try.
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