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New member, can you help please.


graham

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Hello Everyone.

I just joined the group and hope to learn as much as possible about miniature carving.

I wonder if someone could give me some advice please regarding making tools to use for carving miniatures, netsuke etc from hardwood and bone.

I have quite a lot of small diameter silver steel rods ( I think its known as drill rod in the USA. is this suitable for making such tools.

Any help or advice will be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Graham

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome to TCP Graham,

 

I would suggest that you introduce yourself in the who's who column so we all know a little more of your interests. As to tool making with drill rod - this is a good material for many tools if you have the ability to harden and temper the tool after grinding and shaping it. There are many threads in this Tools and Techniques section that could lead into the right direction. Please explore. Once again -welcome - I look forward to seeing some of your ideas in the future.

Best regards,

Magnus

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I have quite a lot of small diameter silver steel rods ( I think its known as drill rod in the USA. is this suitable for making such tools.

 

Silver steel is a lovely steel for making edged tools - a bit of a generic name, unfortunately, but all the ones I've used have been in the order of 1% carbon. Hardens easily, glycerine is often recommended.

 

Closest type I've been able to find is that it is similar to W2 (confirmed by Howard Clark when he spark tested & forged some).

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Welcome to TCP Graham,

Magnus

Hello Magus.

Thanks for your reply, and for the welcome. I will , as you suggest introduce myself in the Who's who column and read and follow the threads on toolmaking. I have used some of the steel to make small form tools for turning ( I make miniature furniture ) but have never hardened or tempered it, just hammered it flat then ground or filed the form. So I have lots to learn.

Thanks again.

Graham

 

Silver steel is a lovely steel for making edged tools - a bit of a generic name, unfortunately, but all the ones I've used have been in the order of 1% carbon. Hardens easily, glycerine is often recommended.

 

Closest type I've been able to find is that it is similar to W2 (confirmed by Howard Clark when he spark tested & forged some).

Hello Peter.

Thanks for your reply. at the moment I know next to nothing about hardening and tempering steel, but I am looking forward to learning, and now I know that the silver steel is good to work with I am looking forward to having a go.

Thanks again.

Graham.

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Welcome Graham. I would suggest digging into the tools and tehniques category as Magnus mentioned, and also using the search function. There is a lot of info here on your interest. We'll then happily try to address more specific questions.

Hello Jim. Thanks for the reply and the welcome. as you suggest I will search the posts. I have loads to learn and I am looking forward to the challenge.

I make miniature furniture, so I am used to working on lathes, saws etc but carving is a new direction for me. I will have a go at making some scrapers/gravers.

Thanks again. Graham.

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Hello Everyone.

I just joined the group and hope to learn as much as possible about miniature carving.

I wonder if someone could give me some advice please regarding making tools to use for carving miniatures, netsuke etc from hardwood and bone.

I have quite a lot of small diameter silver steel rods ( I think its known as drill rod in the USA. is this suitable for making such tools.

Any help or advice will be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Graham

Dear Graham.I was a toolmaker and have experienced rhe making of many tools.The drill rod is rxcellent and what is also available in the same alloy are square rods which lend themselves for making tools .I have made many tools in the japaneese sgtyle.{scraping}.The shape of the scraper is usually ndtermined by the cut you want to make.The drill rod comes in oil or water hardening.If you have a small torch You heat the scraper end about a half inch long to a cherry red { about 1500.Degr.F.} and quickly dump it into water then you polish the hardened part until the oxidization ois off then you reheat the cutter slowly about 2 inches from your scraoer and wach the colour change from ligh straw to dark straw and quiuckly dunk it in the water This will gib=ve you a hard edge and it is good to stone the cutting edge.

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Dear Graham.I was a toolmaker and have experienced rhe making of many tools.The drill rod is rxcellent and what is also available in the same alloy are square rods which lend themselves for making tools .I have made many tools in the japaneese sgtyle.{scraping}.The shape of the scraper is usually ndtermined by the cut you want to make.The drill rod comes in oil or water hardening.If you have a small torch You heat the scraper end about a half inch long to a cherry red { about 1500.Degr.F.} and quickly dump it into water then you polish the hardened part until the oxidization ois off then you reheat the cutter slowly about 2 inches from your scraoer and wach the colour change from ligh straw to dark straw and quiuckly dunk it in the water This will gib=ve you a hard edge and it is good to stone the cutting edge.

Hello David. Thanks very much for your reply and for the great information on how harden and temper the drill rod. I have some square section steel also, I was told it is called "Key steel ", could this be the same steel that you mention in your reply do you think ?

Regarding making the scrapers, am I correct in asuming that first you form the profile on the end of the steel, then harden and temper it, and lastly stone it sharp ?. Would you mind giving me some more information on the Japanese style that you mention in your reply please, or perhaps point me in the direction of the information, also if you dont mind, would you recommend some useful profiles of scrapers for me to have a go at making please.

Thanks again for your help.

Best regards.

Graham

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Hello David. Thanks very much for your reply and for the great information on how harden and temper the drill rod. I have some square section steel also, I was told it is called "Key steel ", could this be the same steel that you mention in your reply do you think ?

 

Key steel in my experience is usually a low carbon (and consequently not really hardenable) steel - it might harden a bit, but it'll be very, very soft to the point of not being worth the effort.

 

In the UK, I tend to use Cromwell for O1 and silver steel - http://www.cromwell.co.uk (under Materials, Maintenance & Repair/Materials). No connection, other than the fact that they've had a fair amount of money off me! They do silver steel rounds in lengths up to 60", as well as ground flat stock (O1) in square and flat cross section.

 

Regarding making the scrapers, am I correct in asuming that first you form the profile on the end of the steel, then harden and temper it, and lastly stone it sharp ?.

 

That's the order I'd do it in. One tip - prior to hardening, if you warm the tool so that some soap will melt on it, then coat the thing with melted soap, then harden it it'll make cleanup a lot easier. There are more high-tech solutions to this too, but the soap trick works for small pieces.

 

HTH

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Key steel in my experience is usually a low carbon (and consequently not really hardenable) steel - it might harden a bit, but it'll be very, very soft to the point of not being worth the effort.

 

In the UK, I tend to use Cromwell for O1 and silver steel - http://www.cromwell.co.uk (under Materials, Maintenance & Repair/Materials). No connection, other than the fact that they've had a fair amount of money off me! They do silver steel rounds in lengths up to 60", as well as ground flat stock (O1) in square and flat cross section.

That's the order I'd do it in. One tip - prior to hardening, if you warm the tool so that some soap will melt on it, then coat the thing with melted soap, then harden it it'll make cleanup a lot easier. There are more high-tech solutions to this too, but the soap trick works for small pieces.

 

HTH

Hi Peter.

Thanks very much for the information and the website for the flat stock. I will be sending for some and having a go at making some scrapers, as soon as I find out what profiles to to put on the end of them.

Thanks again.

best regards.

Graham

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Hello all-

 

I have made serviceable carving tools in the past out of various saw and hacksaw blades. I use a Dremmel tool or grinder to get the shape I need, making sure I quench often so as not to ruin the temper. Among raw "stock" I have picked up in flea markets are old files, electricial "fish" snakes (spring steel), hacksaw blades (High carbon or HSS type) large diameter panio strings, spring steel rods and old wood saw blades.

I also grind down razor blades and exacto knife blades to get the size and shape I want.

I have seen several artists on this site make "reformed" dental tools like I do also.

I believe you are only limited by what you cannot imagine.

 

Take care and good luck.

 

Joe Aimetti

Kingsport, TN

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Thanks for that reminder!

 

Ran across this article on doing exactly that a wee while back -

http://www.scavm.com/gouges.htm

 

 

That is a good article and extends beyond the flat carving blades I have made. I like gouges and scorps for shaping material. It reminds me of the tools I use for shaping clay when I am working on an idea to carve.

 

Take care

 

Joe Aimetti

Kingsport, TN

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