Sunday, 10 January 2010

Carving Tools

Been meaning to make some carving tools for a while so here we are....Made using a O-1 tool steel,brass tubing ferrules & various woods.Top row,Maple,Mahogany,Beech & Yew.Bottom row,Sapele,African Blackwood,Boxwood,Walnut & Piquia Amarello.The gouges were made on the lathe by drilling a hole the appropriate width for the chosen sweep down the center then half the material was ground away to leave a U shaped cross section that is easilly sharpened into a gouge.The largest gouge is also forged a little to open the sweep so that an 8mm diameter drill rod yeilds a gouge with a 9mm sweep(I'm not that enamoured with this tool,I'll be making another 9mm sweep gouge when the 13mm drill rod arrives.)The straight chisels were 5mm drill rod that I heated in a propane/butane torch until red hot then hammer forged to rough shape then ground to final dimension on the lap grinder.The skew & fingernail chisels were simply ground.All have been successfully heat treated & take & hold an edge that is "shaving sharp".I thoroughly enjoy making these wee tools & imagine I'll have a lot more before very long!


  1. Those are very nifty little tools. Will you put these to work making jewelry or do you have other plans?

    By the way, while we live in the U.S. now, my family and I used to get up Edinburgh way often. In fact I can't see a sea bird without being reminded of one particularly harrowing journey in an open boat out to Bass Rock -- I'll also never forget the smell!


  2. Cheers Chris,
    Most of my jewellery is flatwork with a bit of turning,not much carving although I did carve a few Maori inspired fish hooks a few years back!
    I don't have any particular plans for these wee guys,more than likely just a bit of whittling here & there,a touch of spoon carving,I might actually start that chess set I've been rumminating over for years!
    To be honest I just like making them.Although I like making all manner of things more & more I feel myself drawn to tool making,it makes it's own gravy,the more tools you have the more tools you can make....
    Yes,the aquatic avian life found in & around the shores of Edinburgh can be quite noxious,but then what can you expect from a creature that eats fag ends & chewing gum?
    Cheers again

  3. As always, you did a superb job, Black. So....when are you going to hang your "Tool Maker" Sign on your door?