Making your own Lathe tools, etc.

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Forum topic by Dadoo posted 11-19-2007 08:02 PM 1890 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1789 posts in 4226 days

11-19-2007 08:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe tools homemade

In reference to this post: I remember recently watching a woodworking show called The Woodwrights Shop, on PBS. In this particular show this host uses only non-electric tools…everything’s antique and done the way our forefathers did it. It’s really cool and worth watching.

So on this particular show, he was creating a thread cutter and he used an old discarded file for the blade. The only problem with files is that they are extremely hard and impossible to cut or “file” an edge to. (Except for Chinese files) (lol!) So what he did was to put the tip into a makeshift brick oven that was heated with a torch. You bring the file tip to a “redhot” state and then let it cool…slowly. This changes the molecular pattern in the metal making it maleable. Now you can easily “file” or grind out the edge shape of the particular tool you want.

Next, you reheat the tool edge to a redhot state again and this time, quench it quickly in ice cold water. This returns the steel to it’s original hardness. Now all that’s left is to sharpen the edge.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

5 replies so far

View jpw1995's profile


376 posts in 4534 days

#1 posted 11-19-2007 08:34 PM

In regard to The Woodwrights Shop… I think I remember Marc S. (a.k.a. The Woodwhisperer) mentioning that the old episodes of The Woodwrights Shop are available for viewing on the internet now.

-- JP, Louisville, KY

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4215 days

#2 posted 11-20-2007 01:52 AM

Good info, well written.



-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4636 days

#3 posted 11-20-2007 02:00 AM

I picked up some fire brick a few years ago. It was a brick MFG plant and I went in to purchase some new fire brick. Instead he took some bricks out of the side of his brick kiln and gave them to me. He said they were going to reline it. I don’t know what they are made out of but they are very light and you can put a torch on them and they turn glowing red but the brick beside it is still cool. I use them when I need to clamp something when I need to weld. But I could probably make a small pocket of 3-4 of them and make a mini – forge to try what you are stating.


-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4535 days

#4 posted 11-20-2007 06:39 AM

If we keep at this long enough, we’ll calling ourselves Smithyjocks. ;)

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Joshua Howe's profile

Joshua Howe

71 posts in 3710 days

#5 posted 11-21-2008 02:08 AM

I am new to this site and I am not sure how old this post is but if anyone looks back on it her is some information.
I am going to provide you with a youtube video to watch it is actually on knife making, but isn’t that kind of what we are making a tool with a cutting edge. My most recent tool was a spoon gouge. I have purchased some steel from Lowes round stock to make three sided tool I have seen online also. I consider myself an artist since I have BFA from a University, but I get really exited about woodwork and creating my own tools.
Green Peter very informative video

-- Wood,clay,metal, and stone are all just materials, until an artist's hand touches them.--TreeFormDesign

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