Friday, February 21, 2014

Curved Chisels/Gouges

When preparing to make the stamping dies for the limb cross section with tree rings I sorted through the chisel collection.  I don’t have the occasion to use curved chisels often.  However, I have made a dozen over the years and they are collected in one box.  All are handled.

I realized that while I had quite a collection I did not have what I really needed.  That reminded me of a halftime talk by my high school football coach after our team had just retreated from a very poor first half performance.  Coach clenched his hat in his hand and paced the locker room with a look of exasperation and finally stopped and said, “God love you boys.  You’re a fine bunch of boys, but, there is not a football player among you.”  I’ll never forget that performance.

After a test run I could see that what I really needed for the project was about four chisels with radiuses of 1/4”, 1/2’, 3/4” and 1” without handles.   That would allow turning the chisel to create a 360º circle without awkward ergonomics.  I decided they needed to be made from H13 with a rather thick draft, if that is the right term. Since H13 is expensive I’d make them about 2” in length and hold them with tongs.

The 1.25” H13 round stock was forged down to the appropriate diameter for each and a porter bar was attached.  The curved blade was formed by laying the workpiece in a swage gutter and driving down a ball shaped top tool.  This illustration shows how it would be done in a traditional swage block but I actually used similar dies in the hydraulic forging press.  The finish work was done with an angle grinder and belt sander and polishing wheels on a bench grinder.

They fit the three pairs of holding tongs nicely and the chisels worked well when making the branch collar limb cut die.  One of the holding tongs in shown on the 2/18/14 post.   I’ll show the new die when it is completely finished and tested.

Previously made curved chisel/veining tools with handles.

This link shows some nice chisel, gouge and punch tools.

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