Fine Tool Building

Because sometimes when you need a good tool, ya just gotta make it yourself...

The following was submitted by Scott Grandstaff. He's obviously a master of the tool repair craft.

I sometimes buy broken tools to make over into something else I'd rather have. It's like buying a kit.

The #21 is the smallest Stanley transitional This one has been made into a gutter plane and the mouth was enormous. The cast iron frame was also broken and little or no jappaning was left. I made a new body of Brazillian rosewood, nice tight mouth. The frame I welded and then used oven baked jappan from Bill Gustafson. I reworked the frog to frame/body seat adding a brass block for true seating eliminating another of the classic transitional complaints.

The awl was a broken screwdriver, of course. Well, your little old broken tool vandal has once again stolen a few minutes from the world and made a new toy. Whatcha think? I like em square shanked for a little reaming/screw starter action. The wood is a Mexican super hardwood which I think is Goncalo alves.

I received some favorable comments on my perfect handle scratchawl and thought I'd share how the handle slab "inlays" were made . After all, it is not very hard to find good screwdrivers or wrenches with damaged handles. And they're great tools to use when in good shape. It's pretty easy to fit those oval, curving inlayed scales (knife maker's term), believe it or not.

This is my favorite chisel handle pattern. This particular one was once a filthy, greasy, busted sledge hammer handle and a wasted garden hose. I pilfered the style off of Duncan Pfyfe and I assume he copied it from somebody else.

This was a #130 double ended block plane with a broken off bullose portion. I made it over into a chisel plane with a new cap and blade.

These racks are simple and portable. Just right for window sill storage.

I get weary of replacing hammer handles especially hand sledges. I weld wings on all of them now, hand and full sized sledges as well as firewood splitting mauls. I have yet to break a handle after this treatment and yet the handles still have some flex (read shock absorber) in use.

I handle a lot of tools Galoot pals, Since the subject of hammer handles came up last week....... I thought I'd share a few of my handles for your viewing pleasure. These were all made with drawknife, shaves and scrapers. And pretty quickly too. I don't fuss with them too much after they're shaped. A couple of the heads were homemade too. (well, ok, three or so, you guess) Comments??

horse My shaving horse is a little different from many. I like the dumbhead as it allows wide stock to be worked. The "table" is hinged at the top and the wedges (which are joined together) give you instant thickness adjustment. Just don't make the wedges or the part of the horse they sit on too smooth

The lumber is mostly dimentional softwood, namely, straight red fir. The table is black oak. I made it three legged, for stability on uneven ground.

legdance All the dancing leg calipers I ever saw were in the 2 to 3 range. I decided it would be fun to make so woodworking sized. These are 10

Brazillain rosewood First thing, I hope you noticed the 'scutchen was on the -wrong- side. Yup, had to put it over there because Atkins put the etching on the wrong side too. At least to a southpaw's view of the world. I got the handle pattern from saving ebay saw handle pics and just averaging the patterns into something I thought I might like. Bit from this one and a bit from that. Plus some extra beef in the grip. It was almost 5/4 stock to start with. After sawing, sharp rasps and files mostly did the shaping (bless you Cheryl Boggs). The cut for letting in the blade was started with a dovetail saw and then finished with a piece of bandsaw blade I mounted in an old butcher's saw frame. Scrapers and sandpaper for the finish.

tote repair 101: I get asked many times a year about this. Here's what works for me. 5/16 threaded rod (allthread) fits the hole in the tote very snug somewhat forcing proper alignment. 2 nuts, 2 washers. A couple of scraps drilled 5/16 first, and then cut to fit the angles of the tote. I clean the glue area with solvent (acetone etc.) and don't forget to grease the allthread or it'll be trouble getting it out. The glue doesn't matter as much as the clamping pressure. It has to be lined directly up the center of the hole in the tote. So the blocks have to fit, but you don't have to make millions of them either. It's not always entirely perfect because the tote has likely warped a little. But it's the best I got. A light scraping will take almost all traces away. You have to wiggle the pieces a little when the nuts are drawing up. Sometimes you have to unclamp and wiggle a bit and then go again to get it just right. If you squint you can see the glue oozed out of the crack (this tote is being glued right now), in this case titebond because I couldn't find any epoxy I liked in a timely manner. Not that my shop is messy or anything. Oh, it's just propped up on a rule for the pic. It has nothing to do with the jig.

<=Back to main page