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Cocobolo and Brass Marking Set

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Project by HokieKen posted 10-13-2016 11:36 AM 414 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I made the marking set for terryR in the Layout & Marking Tool Swap we just wrapped up, I knew I was going to make another set for myself using some Cocobolo I had squirreled away just for that purpose. So, I ground myself a knife blade, scratch awl and birdcage awl when I made his.

The geometries of the the tools I made Terry were almost perfectly to my liking so I pretty much tried to replicate them for my own set. I did change the geometry of the marking knife a little so I could use a shorter ferrule and shortened up the scratch awl a bit to make it closer to the same length as the knife. Other than that, those 2 are pretty much the same as Terry’s set.

The second and third pictures show the knife from different sides. It’s turned down on the lathe then 2 sides were rough-shaped with a sanding drum in the drill press and then finish-shaped by hand with rasps and sandpaper.

My birdcage awl came out quite different because the largest Cocobolo blank I had was 1.5” square and I made Terry’s BC awl with a 1-3/4” diameter. I didn’t think it would make a big difference but it does. I like the handle on Terry’s much better. That extra 1/4” on the diameter really makes a difference in the feel and ability to twist the tool to sever the wood fibers. So, I’ll be on the lookout for a bigger Cocobolo blank to re-make the handle for the BC awl.

The ferrules on all 3 tools started out as caps for gas line compression fittings. I usually like steel ferrules but I do like the look of brass on Cocobolo. I slotted the one for the knife to accept the blade and drilled the others to fit the shanks. This is the first time I’ve slotted a ferrule and tenon to accept a knife blade instead of just using a slotted dowel (like I did on Terry’s). Not sure it looks any better or is any more stable but at least I know how to do it now. The last pic shows how the blade was ground and how the ferrule and tenon were slotted.

This was my first experience with Cocobolo and it was a pleasure to turn. It’s gorgeous wood and finishes to an extremely smooth texture. Finish was just several coats of BLO (as oily as the wood is naturally, I was surprised at how it soaked up so much BLO but I just kept coating until it quit “drinking”) and a coat of paste wax. The BC awl is obviously not finished as well as the other two because, like I said, as soon as I find a suitable Cocobolo blank, I’m going to replace it.

Thanks for looking. As always, comments, questions and criticisms are welcome!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!





8 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17118 posts in 2566 days


#1 posted 10-13-2016 12:07 PM

Very nice set of tools!!

Jim

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

View terryR's profile

terryR

6314 posts in 1769 days


#2 posted 10-13-2016 02:18 PM

Beautiful! Yes, that extra girth is nice on the birdcage awl.

It’s been used so frequently the past week, it never even makes it into my tool tray! LOL,

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1735 posts in 599 days


#3 posted 10-13-2016 04:44 PM

Glad to hear it Terry! I absolutely love the utility of BC awls but have never been able to get the handle “just right”... until yours. At least it was “just right” for me :-) Now I’m having to scour eBay in hopes of finding a 2” blank at a reasonable price.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View terryR's profile

terryR

6314 posts in 1769 days


#4 posted 10-13-2016 04:53 PM

these guys have a lot of pretty wood,

http://www.bellforestproducts.com/

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1735 posts in 599 days


#5 posted 10-13-2016 05:13 PM

Yeah, just a little too rich for my blood by the time you add shipping.

West Penn Hardwoods is right outside Charlotte, NC and they always have some gorgeous turning stock in their “damaged” pile that you can get for next to nothing (they sell it by the # rather than the size) so I may just end up waiting until I’m back down that way. That’s where I got the blanks I used for these tools.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7907 posts in 1840 days


#6 posted 10-13-2016 06:43 PM

Excellent work Kenny, stunning.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

1319 posts in 1437 days


#7 posted 10-13-2016 11:29 PM

Looks good Ken. I too wish to make a trip to west Penn hardwoods.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1735 posts in 599 days


#8 posted 10-14-2016 12:22 PM

I’ve been once Jeff and it is absolutely worth the trip. It is HUGE and stocked full of wonderful woods in all shapes and sizes at reasonable prices. For turners, the “cast-off” bins are like a treasure chest. When I was there, there were 10-12 large boxes just full of stuff that was less than A-grade due to any minor defect. Each box was a different price per pound. And it was cheap. IIRC, I paid less than $5 for the blanks I used to make these tools. I’m not exaggerating when I say I could have spent 4 hours digging through those boxes and I could have spent all day in that warehouse and not looked at everything.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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