Scratch Awl

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Project by Indiana_Parrothead posted 10-18-2009 02:10 PM 2325 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a very simple project that any turner can do in about half an hour. I got tiered of using the punny little Stanley scratch awl that I had. The point was bent and it was just not substantual enough. I made this one using some everyday materials that I had around the shop.

The wood is Ziricote, the point materal is just 1/4” cold rolled steel and the ferrul is a 3/4” copper water line fitting. I turned the wood down to the size and shape that I wanted and then glued the ferrul on. I then drilled the hole for the point and sanded the handle and ferrul together to 800 grit. The point was ground down on a slow speed grinder to the shape and then further refined on the Tormek. Then I chucked up the point in my lathe an sanded/polished the point to 800 grit. Then just used CA glue to glue the point in. It is finished with 4 coats of spray lacquer.

Very simple and fun to make. I am sure it will be better than the little Stanley that I had and come in very handy.


-- We are the people our parents warned us about.

8 comments so far

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 3960 days

#1 posted 10-18-2009 02:18 PM

Did you also harden the point? I di my tools with a MAPP torch and mineral oil. If you turn, you should make one in 1/8” too, with a bent point. They are great for picking bugs out of wood when you run agross them!

-- Steven

View Indiana_Parrothead's profile


110 posts in 3177 days

#2 posted 10-18-2009 02:27 PM

I didn’t harden the point. It actually seemed pretty good. If I find in the future that I need to I can do it then. But thinks for the good point (pun intended) lol…

-- We are the people our parents warned us about.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3710 days

#3 posted 10-18-2009 03:38 PM

Nice job : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View loupitou06's profile


137 posts in 3348 days

#4 posted 10-18-2009 04:40 PM

Hi Mike,

I did not harden the point of my first awl and I had to regrind it and harden it because after several month, the point was bent. The quenching is really all you need : turn it (cherry) red hot with a torch and then dip it really quickly into water or oil, swirl your tool in water for a good 5 minutes. It should be harder than your file now.
I did not feel the need for tempering my awl as I do for my turning chisel since I don’t mind it being brittle (it’s not a cutting edge per say).

Hope this helps

-- 100 fois sur le metier remettez votre ouvrage

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#5 posted 10-18-2009 04:42 PM

Looks good

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3307 days

#6 posted 10-18-2009 08:22 PM

That looked like a fun and useful project. Turned out looking really good.

-- John @

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3383 days

#7 posted 10-19-2009 11:11 AM

Nice job.

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 3320 days

#8 posted 10-21-2009 02:00 AM

Nice scratch awl, it should come in handy.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

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