$2 Birdcage Awl

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Project by Sergio posted 602 days ago 2637 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After read the “Hand Tools Essentials” book from Popular Woodworking Magazine, I was convinced that I should have one of this tool. Czeck Edge sells it for $50 and a kit without handle for $20… Way too much for this tool.
I then bought a second hand mini file for $2 and ground it to the shape. You can see the file in the second picture.
Handle is from cherry scraps and shaped with a rasp, not perfectly round but enough. It should have a larger back, I may do a new one someday.
I liked very much how it works cutting a perfect round hole instead of just make a punch like normal round awls.
Thanks for reading :)

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

9 comments so far

View ksSlim's profile


977 posts in 1524 days

#1 posted 602 days ago

A custom made tool will give a lifetime of joy.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View GerardoArg1's profile


648 posts in 627 days

#2 posted 602 days ago

Espectacular Sergio. Me gusto. Yo voy a tener que intentar hacer una asi porque no terminan de convencerme las que son redondas ya que en maderas fibrosas cuando la usas cerca de los bordes se parten.
Yo tambien sufro para hacer que queden centrados en el mango.

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View Oldtool's profile


1783 posts in 824 days

#3 posted 602 days ago

Slick! I like.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Jim Rowe's profile (online now)

Jim Rowe

552 posts in 946 days

#4 posted 602 days ago

Very nice! Did you need to heat treat the file or was grinding to shape all that was needed?

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Sergio's profile


402 posts in 1326 days

#5 posted 602 days ago

KsSlim: Indeed I still have a couple of tools made by Granpa 40-50 years ago!
Gerardo: Yes, it is better than the normal cylindrical awl, you don´t have to force it down much, just twist.
OldTool: make one for yourself and show it :)
JR45: I just ground it. If you do it in low speed and cooling in water, the steel does not lose the temper.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Zinderin's profile


94 posts in 766 days

#6 posted 602 days ago

Swap meets are great sources of home-made tools and jig parts. I’ve even bought crap furniture made of expensive wood, and re-purposed the wood! I -LOVE- swap meets. Good place to get a good solid walk too, if its large enough.

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#7 posted 602 days ago

Great job and savings. Leaves more to get something you really need. Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


4510 posts in 926 days

#8 posted 602 days ago

Very nicely done. Have to admire your self sufficiency in making what you want instead of depending on some manufacturer or other seller. Good job.

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

View Bricofleur's profile


1131 posts in 1827 days

#9 posted 601 days ago

Great job. Homemade tools have precious value in each woodworker’s heart. You just inspired me to make one. Thanks for posting and for the details. While reading, I thought I would made a tiny modification, which is a flat spot so it won’t roll over.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

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