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Any good books on making tools?


Janel

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Guest DFogg

An excellent book is Alexander Weygers Making Tools

 

He found himself in the South Pacific with lots of interesting wood and no tools to carve with so he made his own and this book details what it requires.

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  • 4 weeks later...

"An excellent book is Alexander Weygers MAKING OF TOOLS"

 

Weygers, Alexander G. THE MAKING OF TOOLS, (New York: Van Nostrand Rheinhold Company), 1973.

The author was trained first as an engineer/blacksmith, and later became a sculptor/engraver. He approaches the making of the tools from that viewpoint. Very thorough, including setting up a small forge and illustrated step-by-step instructions for about fifteen various types of tools for wood and stone carving, for metalworking, and for the kitchen and the garden. He has also authored a book about blacksmithing: THE MODERN BLACKSMITH.

 

I agree Weygars is a good one, but you also might try this:

 

 

Petrovitch, Joe. CUSTOM TOOLS FOR WOODWORKERS: DESIGNING & MAKING YOUR OWN, (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books), 1990.

The author is a woodworker and he approaches the making of the tools from the woodworker's viewpoint. However, the basic information in the book would also apply to stone-carving tools. Very thorough, including setting up a small forge and illustrated step-by-step instructions for about seven types of woodworking tools.

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I couldn't find these in the last post, but here are a couple other toolmaking suggestions:

 

Larsen, Ray. TOOL MAKING FOR WOODWORKERS, (Bethel, CT: Cambium Press), 1997.

Blacksmithing for the woodworker — the book covers tool steels, forging equipment and techniques, safety, finishing, heat treating, and design considerations. Step-by-step instructions for a skew chisel, a hollowing adze, turner's hook tool, and a mortising chisel. Illustrated with B&W photos. Though the book is intended for woodworkers, the basic information in the book also applies to stone-carving tools.

 

Bertorelli, Paul (editor). FINE WOODWORKING: ON HAND TOOLS, (Newtown, Connecticut: Taunton Press), 1986.

Reprints of 38 articles about different aspects of hand tools which appeared in FINE WOODWORKING magazine between 1975 and 1986. Topics include basic blacksmithing, heat treating, toolsteel, Alexander Weygers, chisels, using & restoring antique tools, and fashioning a set of carving gouges. Other topics are the making, sharpening and use of a wide variety of handtools: spoon bits, auger bits, doweling jigs, files & rasps, wood threading, scrapers, sharpening and making several types of saws, layout tools, tiny tools, axe handles, spokeshaves, and drawknives. Again, though the book is intended for woodworkers much of the information would be of interest to someone making stone-carving tools.

 

As you may have surmised from reading the above descriptions, I work in stone among other materials. I also make a lot of my own tools for carving stone, wood, plaster, and for modelling clay and wax, etc.

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Welcome to The Carving Path, Don! Do you have any images of your work you could share in the Photography or New Work or Show & Tell areas? Or introduce your self with pictures in Who's Who.

 

Thanks for posting the books about tools.

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Guest DFogg

Don, I read over your heat treating instructions and they are good with the one exception that brine is a faster quench than water. What makes brine faster is that as the solution contacts the hot metal it turns to steam, the salt percipitates out of solution and contacts the hot metal where it explodes off flushing in fresh solution. In water quenchs the steam forms a vapor barrier and can lead to uneven heat extraction. This is all happening in milliseconds, but there is noticeable difference in the speed of the quenches. Brine is usually reserved for medium to lower carbon shallow hardening steels. To make brine, add salt to water until it will float and egg.

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Thanks for the brine info Don, since I usually most often am making fairly robust stone carving chisels I use water for quenching, and the relatively few-and-far-between times I am making something more delicate I use oil. The one or two times I tried quenching stone-carving chisels in brine I couldn't discern any appreciable difference in the end result between that and plain water, notwithstanding what I read from the authors of the books on the subject.

I'll fix my technique page to reflect your input. Just goes to show the pitfalls of trying to provide as thorough instruction as possible while being self-taught -- books don't always tell you everything.

 

I rarely have the luxury of toolmaking at a real forge - usually I am using a torch - so when I am reshaping I rely on grinding rather than forging techniques. When you say "brine is usually reserved for medium to lower carbon shallow hardening steels" does that mean when I have - say - a piece of toolsteel that is an old lawnmower blade, or a cheap imported screwdriver or file (as opposed to recycling higher-quality brand name tools made with better steel), that brine would be a better quench for the new tool I make out of those?

 

The perennial student - Don

 

 

www.dondougan.com

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Guest DFogg

Identifying scrap steels is difficult at best especially with all the imports. Over the years, I have found that the labor is by far the most expense element, the steel is pennies so using scrap is false economy. I recommend starting with a known steel and then you can be confident in how to heat treat it. You can buy small quantities online from folks like Pacific Machine and Tool

 

I recommend a medium to high carbon steel for wood working tools. That can be safely oil quenched. If you must use scrap, then make up a sample piece and first harden it in oil. Bring it above non magnetic and quench. Break the sample and see if it through hardened. If it did then oil will be fine, if not and only the skin hardened or it didn't harden at all, go to water.

 

Heat treating is a very complex process, but for basic tools you can get by with simple processes if you use simple steels.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is not simple answer,Start with books on making knives,because you must understand the

in and outs of metal,carbon % ,in this way you will not be spending time on tool that will not hold an edge or

will twist off at the first use. Learn about stainless steel,water hardning or oil hardings the color of the metal

at each degree of heat and how to bend and mold steel into a beautiful tool..you made..

 

 

quote name='Janel' date='Mar 31 2006, 09:12 PM' post='4726']

I received this question from RL today, via email:

 

"Janel is there a good book on making tools?"

 

Help me answer this one, because I want to know too!

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  • 1 month later...

Hey Merlin,

 

I get your point. Also think the idea of using known rather than scrap steel makes sense. Do you have some good books/references on knifeblade making? I have several knives by Brye but haven't seen a book on how to make blades. Would Japanese or possibly Turkish (Damascene) swordmaking be documented somewhere?

 

Ralph

 

 

I see Pacific tool site. they offer a number of types of "Tool Steel" with different annealing codes. How do I choose the appropriate steel for woodcarving??

 

Ralph

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