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Carvers and Joinery Floats.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 06-09-2014 04:53 AM 2012 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Floats seem to be hardly known to woodworkers even though they cut smoothly and efficiently. These are some new ones I have just made. Mainly for smoothing down the larger detail on carvings. One is for cleaning up mortices on furniture. All are made from a recycled saw blade and an old discarded chisel. The handles are oak. I put a crank in two of the blades to make the tools easier to use in awkward places.

Its is not difficult to make a float albeit with some careful filing required. I soften the steel right down, file the teeth using triangular files in descending size and then re-harden the blade. People say the last step is not necessary but I found that it is. I could not get sharp teeth with and edge to them on the soft steel.

-- RusticJohn





8 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17105 posts in 2565 days


#1 posted 06-09-2014 11:59 AM

Very good idea. They look very useful where another tool will not work. Thanks for sharing!!
.................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1751 days


#2 posted 06-09-2014 12:49 PM

Very nice work. Thanks for sharing both your work and experience using and making floats.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View jeffwedekind's profile

jeffwedekind

139 posts in 2151 days


#3 posted 06-27-2014 03:25 PM

Love the two floats that I have. Great tools. (Sadly, mine are not cool home made ones like yours. KUDOS)
John I have never quite grasped the ‘re hardening process. Any tips?

-- Jeff, eastern Wa

View RusticJohn's profile

RusticJohn

216 posts in 3050 days


#4 posted 06-28-2014 08:46 AM

Hardening is quite straightforward. Heat the steel to red hot and cool slowly. This softens the metal so it can be filed. Then heat the items to red hot again and cool very quickly. Then polish the surface and then reheat to brown just going onto purple. This will give the right degree of hardness.

-- RusticJohn

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2548 days


#5 posted 01-09-2015 02:07 PM

Really nice.
How do you harden them?
Best thoughts,
Mads

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

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

821 posts in 2394 days


#6 posted 01-09-2015 02:18 PM

I recently bought a float from LN and agree they are very handy to have around. I never thought of making one though. Good idea!

View RusticJohn's profile

RusticJohn

216 posts in 3050 days


#7 posted 01-09-2015 07:00 PM

I just harden them by first heating to red hot and quenching and then tempering to a dirty straw colour. Slightly tricky as they need to be hard enough to hold an edge but soft enough to sharpen with a file.

-- RusticJohn

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2548 days


#8 posted 01-09-2015 10:29 PM

I will have to play a little with hardening since I love making tools.
Thx.

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

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