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3 Shopbuilt Brass Tools

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 01-31-2015 12:14 AM 1547 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my great weaknesses is brass. Another is shop made tools. I like the look of brass, especially when it has aged. I must have a steam punk side that is trying to come out. I made these 3 tools out of brass. The square and the Fibonacci gauge can certainly be made of wood, but the gauge is so esoteric it just seemed like it would be better in brass. The square I made partly as an experiment, partly because I needed a small square and begrudge the $8 or more it would cost in steel. The last tool is a small right angle screwdriver which I made to tighten a screw in my daughter’s cuckoo clock. (I since discovered that one of my long computer screwdrivers reaches even better.)

The long arm of the gauge is 12 inches. The screwdriver elbow to elbow is 2-3/4 inches and the square is only 2 inches.

[Above] I have been thinking of making this square for a while, just because I thought it would be cool to have. When I recently went to re-set up my band saw from scratch I realized I had no good way to check if the table was 90 degrees to the blade. That put the project on the front burner. I made it from 1/16th inch thick brass bar 1/2 inch wide. The ‘handle’ is soldered together, but the blade is glued in because my torch ran out of gas.

[EDIT] 9 August 2015: I lost track of this square for a while because I rarely use it. I found it this morning and checked it against my try square. It’s still square! Somehow I expected it to go out of square.

[Above] I needed a small right angle screwdriver so grabbed some 1/8 inch brass rod and bent the ends. Then I ground the blade, one 90 degrees to the other with my grinder. It works, but a better solution was to use a long thin computer screwdriver, accessing the screw through one of the chain holes

[Above] After watching Steve Ramsey's video years ago on making a Fibonacci gauge, I knew that one day I would make one. I just used 1/16×1/2 inch brass bar instead of wood. I looked on Google and located something like an Instructible that showed all the required parts to scale along with the locations for the holes. I sized it on my computer to use 1 foot long brass stock, printed it out and glued the paper pieces to my stock. I didn’t buy brass rivets, but tried making my own. My rivets work, but they are rather crude. I put a screw and wing nut at the main pivot so that I can lock the gauge if I need to. So far I don’t think I’ve used this gauge for its intended purpose. It hangs on my cabinet waiting.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



11 comments so far

View greg48's profile

greg48

588 posts in 2217 days


#1 posted 01-31-2015 12:45 AM

Perhaps you ought to consider the marriage of brass and rosewood. I could see a marking gauge in the offspring.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1648 days


#2 posted 01-31-2015 12:58 AM



Perhaps you ought to consider the marriage of brass and rosewood. I could see a marking gauge in the offspring.

- greg48

I should make a nice marking gauge. The one I made a few years ago is kind of clunky.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8732 posts in 1300 days


#3 posted 01-31-2015 04:54 AM

Nicely done, Dave!

-- God bless, Candy

View ksSlim's profile

ksSlim

1204 posts in 2350 days


#4 posted 01-31-2015 04:33 PM

Knot too shabby for a wood worker.

I like brass because it engraves nicely with simple tools.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3019 posts in 1711 days


#5 posted 01-31-2015 05:00 PM

Well done, Dave. My favorites are the small square and the Fibonacci gauge. +1 to a nice marking gauge.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1648 days


#6 posted 01-31-2015 05:21 PM



Knot too shabby for a wood worker.

I like brass because it engraves nicely with simple tools.

- ksSlim

Do you engrave brass by hand, or with a power tool?

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#7 posted 02-01-2015 05:40 PM

Really nice, I also have a soft spot for that brass.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1648 days


#8 posted 02-01-2015 06:25 PM



Really nice, I also have a soft spot for that brass.
Best thoughts,
Mads

- mafe

Looking over your projects, I can tell that’s true. Quite inspiring. Nice!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#9 posted 02-01-2015 11:12 PM

;-) smiles yes I guess can’t run away from that.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1648 days


#10 posted 02-01-2015 11:50 PM



;-) smiles yes I guess can t run away from that.

- mafe

I went into my shop to check if I had enough brass to make a little brass bevel gauge like yours. I do not. I’ll have to make a run to the hobby shop. ;-)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#11 posted 02-04-2015 12:20 AM

;-)
Pick up some rod also:
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/44212

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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