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#1 Sam Smith

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 03:56 AM

I have seen that many of you actually make your own knifes, chisels, gouges, scrapers ect.
I'm wondering what a lot of you have come up with to solve those pesky "wish I had a thing-o-ma-jig" moments. I made a few flat chisel/scrapers at about 0.4mm, 1mm and 2mm wide, I'm thinking of making angle scrapers small like this, these were out of nails that I flatten and grind, file, sand to shape. Then I chuck them into a mechanical pencil (lead holder) for a really controllable tool. I will post pics when my camera is charged up :D

Now I have an idea for micro 1/2 circle gouges, Hypodermic Needles come in sizes down to 30gauge thats about 1/4 of a mm, If I were to sand off the top and sharpen the outside edge, then set the needle into a toothpick and chuck that into my pencil, I would have a set of very small gouges. You can get the needles by them selfs in boxes of 100 for 10 bucks, of course most material acts differently at this size. I have one thats about 1mm, this should make a nice gouge.


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#2 Janel

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 04:37 AM

What materials will you be carving with these tools?
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#3 Debbie

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 08:11 AM

Thanks Sam for coming up with the idea of hypodermic nettles for the real small tools, and they are made of some really tough metal also, again thanks Sam!

#4 Sam Smith

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 04:29 PM

View PostJanel, on Aug 1 2008, 08:37 PM, said:

What materials will you be carving with these tools?


I was reading a discussion on this forum about tinny gouges a guy wanted for carving wood, I guess 1/2mm would be to small for anything with that kind of grain, Ill be using them for greenwax, tools for wax are silly easy to make, they never wear out and you can even use soft metals even hardwood :) , I also use a toothpick for burnishing the wax. I have a flexshaft tool but I don't like using it, I don't trust it :lol: You might be able to use the needle idea with tusk or bone..

Sam.

P.S. "edit"

I finished a micro gouge using a huge needle "1.18mm dia" that was used for injecting ink, Works well in wax. I don't know what kind of metal it is but when I first sharpened it I noticed "under high magnification" that it had tinny chips in the edge. I made the angle thicker and it seems to be holding up alright. How I mounted it was by taking a hardwood toothpick and boring a hole in the center.
For this I chucked the toothpick into my dremel then held a small bit with a pair of pliers and sorta lathed it out hollow.
For gluing the gouge into the toothpick I used a special hotglue used for gluing ends into aluminum arrows "ferr-l-tite", most any walmart would sell it, heat the gouge up a bit and rub it on the glue stick then insert into the toothpick. I find this glue holds metal really well, normal craft hotglue might work but I haven't tried that.

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#5 fkvesic

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:40 AM

Thanks, Sam, for those instructions about using hypodemic needles as tools; they're very clear. I'll be making some in the near future.

I came across some cheap Taiwanese mini-screwdrivers on Saturday, ranging from 1mm - 3mm, so had to buy some. I then spent part of yesterday sanding them into chisels and scrapers. I did wonder about the quality of the steel, but it seems fine and cuts well when sharpened. They have nasty plastic handles, but are of a small enough size to fit my hands, so I won't be exchanging the handles on these for dowelling ones.

One of the reasons for all this activity is that some years ago I bought a set of Ramelson's chisels and gouges, but find the handle too big and awkward for my hands and the tip of the tool too far away from my fingers. I'm reluctant to hack them about, which is why I've been making my own.

#6 Toothy

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:09 PM

Hi All

I have been making my own tools for years. :) I carve wood, hard wood preferably, and have made chisels, gouges, scrapers, knives and combination tools. I use a special tool steel, silver steel & masonary nails. Sizes range from +-0.5mm gouge to +- 2.5mm. Most tools are forged, ground and filed. If I get a positive response I shall try to upload a pic or 2.

It is good to be able to talk to like minded people. I normally go onto 'getwoodworking.com' which is a UK website.

Toothy :)

#7 Doug Sanders

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:13 PM

James, Please do submit a photo or two. There may be another thread within this Tools and Tech section that is more appropriate (just to keep similar themes together :) )

-Doug

#8 Toothy

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 08:31 PM

Hi
Here (I hope :blush: ) are 2 photos of tools that I made when carving my 'dragon hatching'.
If they don't appear I shal have to try again.
There are various shaped knives. gouges (side cutting, back bent and normal) a scorp that cuts both ways & a 'V' tool. The second photo shows a selection of tools made from masonary nails. I normally use the nails when the tools likely to be used seldom. Among these is my 1mm gouge, fishtail chisel, scrapers etc.

JamesB

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#9 StixnCanes

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 06:53 PM

Hi James,

Thank you for the photos of your tools. I may try to make a couple of those.
Ron Takahashi
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#10 CalvinDrews

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:01 PM

WOW JamesB! I am awestruck by your ingenuity!
Are all those small tools made from masonry nails? How do they hold up to usage? did you forge then with heat (red hot kind)? where do you get you special tool steel?
I apologize for the questions, but I dare say you have me inspired!

Thanks
uıǝʇsuıǝ ʇɹǝqlɐ- ˙ǝɔıp ʎɐld ʇou sǝop [poƃ] ǝɥ ʇɐɥʇ pǝɔuıʌuoɔ ɯɐ ı 'ǝʇɐɹ ʎuɐ ʇɐ

#11 Ed Twilbeck

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 02:40 PM

I did not know if I am posting in the correct place. I have made a good holder for carving, works well with wood. It is just a block of wood covered with GAFFERS TAPE .. This tape is very much like the old firstaid adhisieve tape. It is used in the entertainment world. The block is covered with about 5 to 8 layers. The carving that you are working on will not slide. If your tool slips snd hits the block the tape will not cause any harm to your cutting edge.. The backing is soft and felexable allowing the carving to dig into it and help you hold it.

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#12 Janel

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 04:28 PM

Good idea! Is that a sheet of thick leather underneath? It must provide traction to keep the carving support from sliding.

Is your bench always this tidy? Can you tell us about the tools we are seeing? Are the ones in the tray, on the right, Dockyard tools with some sort of thing attached at the working end? What are the ergonomically shaped tools? Did you make any of these?

Janel
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What you can do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ~ Goethe ~


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#13 Debbie

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 05:13 PM

that bench is too clean, you work on that bench or just sit back and admire it like I would. You have a pretty good setup there, is it comfortable to work on that clean bench. (I'm just funning you) It really looks good, and do those blocks work well?
Debbie

#14 Ed Twilbeck

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:59 PM

Yes it is leather and some times i use it. The tools are dockyard and the small knives are warren blades with handles that I made as needed. I have several other tools that are not in the picture.

NO my bench is not that clean most of the time. cleaned it ready to start a new carving. Take the picture.
The small disk in the holding block is some stripped ebony I found at the Woodcraft store in Mobile Al. It will be shore bird, just the head and top part of the body.

Most of my carvings are small pendants and they are ebony, black wood and sometines the stripped ,or black & white ebony,maple,and any other hardwoods that I can find. Hardwoods, here locally are hard to get.
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#15 Janel

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:54 PM

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the response. What is on the upper end of the Dockyard tools? My tools don't have that end, being about 14 years old. Also, I am not familiar with "warren blades", could you inform me?

I'll bet if you panned out with the camera, there would be quite a lot more activity within arms reach! Just a guess.

When you say "Hardwoods, here locally are hard to get", do you mean local hardwoods are not growing where you are, or there is not a supplier locally of a good variety of the world's hardwoods? Minnesota has hardwoods, but for my own choice for carving, I have not yet found a wood that I would like to harvest and use. Some sorts of woods are still drying, so in a few years, I may still find something to use. Are there some local woods that you like to use?

Janel
Teachers open doors, you enter by yourself. Chinese proverb
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ~ Goethe ~


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#16 Toothy

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 03:59 PM

Calvin
Sorry I have taken a while to answer you. I don't log on often and on this site I forget to select that I want a notification of action on the thread. :blush: I am always happy to answer questions if I can :rolleyes:
The tools made from masonry nails are first annealed by heating to a dull red hot and cooled slowly, usually to the side of the flame until no longer able to see the colour then left to cool to room temp. As the nails are galvanised, the part that is to be worked has the galvanising ground off. the metal is now ready to be forged, filed, ground and shaped as needed. Seeing that these are small tools the next stage is a little more tricky as they loose heat rapidly when removed from the flame. I use motor engine oil for cooling, water cools too rapidly and can lead to mirocracking. I have a jar of oil positioned immediately below the flame. The tool is heated to a bright cherry red and immediately dipped into the oil before it has had a chance to cool. This gives a Rockwell hardness of +- 62 - 63. Tempering is so difficult for this size tool that I dont bother. I just accept that the tools will be more brittle than if tempered to Rc 60. Cleaning and honing follow.
The steel that I buy comes from a specialist steel firm and is imported from Germany. It is supplied in a ground and annealed bar of 3mm thick by 80mm wide and 500mm long. I cut 3mm strips from an end giving me blanks 3x3x80mm. These are treated as for the nails but tend to work harden easily and (as I discovered by accident) also air harden to a diamond hard and brittle metal. Heat treating as for the nails solves this and leaves a beautiful tool. These tools all get handles.

Ed, I like your bench. It and the following posts have given me further ideas for my own. Thanks to you and Janel.

#17 Janel

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 05:21 PM

Thanks Toothy for the description above. How do you "cut" the thin strips of steel to make the tool blanks?

Janel
Teachers open doors, you enter by yourself. Chinese proverb
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ~ Goethe ~


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#18 Ed Twilbeck

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 05:49 PM

The black on the ends of the dockyard tools are the rubber grips that you find on cheap pens. I got mine from a trade show that was at the Beau Rivage Casino where I work.
Warrentools are set of carving tools some made for traveling

warren tools

I was as far back that I could be to take that picture. My studio is only about 4 ft wide and 6 ft deep a walk in closet. Most of my carving I do outside with a small cutting board for the work bench.

For hardwoods I go to Mobile Al at the woodcraft store or purchase on the internet. local hard woods in the south do not work for carving most have very heavy grain, due to the fast growing seasons.
Most local hard woods are oak, some are ok, but not good for small carvings.
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#19 Toothy

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 08:10 PM

Janel

Cutting the steel takes much effort (muscles) and a hacksaw with an 18/24 tooth blade. Each strip is marked beforehand and, with care, is cut on the line. If there is any interest I'll post a series of photos or short video when I next (not planned for a while) need to make a new tool.

Ed
Are the Warren tools anything like the Flexcut sets?

Toothy

#20 Ed Twilbeck

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 08:26 PM

[quote name='Toothy' date='Nov 30 2008, 02:10 PM' post='14065']
Janel

Cutting the steel takes much effort (muscles) and a hacksaw with an 18/24 tooth blade. Each strip is marked beforehand and, with care, is cut on the line. If there is any interest I'll post a series of photos or short video when I next (not planned for a while) need to make a new tool.

Ed
Are the Warren tools anything like the Flexcut sets?

Toothy
[/no they are not like the flex cut tools they do not bend like flex cut quote]
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Ed Twilbeck



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