Making A Small Woodworking Chisel Homemade Woodworking Tools
This is a project that I started and finished nearly two years ago, but for a few reasons didn’t publish at that time. First, a few of the clips for the video were unusable – too badly out of focus. Back then, I was using the cameras auto focus and occasionally it would mess up a shot. This one must have been cursed, since it had more than its fair share.
Second, I forgot to press the record button on a few of the key scenes of the build.
Normally, I would review the video immediately after and find these problems, then go back out to the shop and try to reshoot the parts that were bad. This time, however, I was not overly thrilled with how the project turned out, so I decided to not finish the video.
My lack of enthusiasm stemmed from the way I reinforced the end of the handle using string. Even though it did turn out reasonably good looking, it was a lot more difficult than it could have been. To do it again, I would use a short piece of copper tubing as a ferrule, or even wrap thin copper wire around it in place of the string.
Lastly, while I did keep the video clips from the original, I deleted the pictures that I took while making the chisel. As a result, I had to take stills from the video for this article and that explains the fairly low quality of the pictures.
After cutting out the stock for the handle, I marked the centres and drilled a 3/16″ hole in one end for the blade of the chisel:
The handle stock is maple and I started with a piece that’s 1″ square and 6″ long.
At the lathe, I turned it to shape:
Then cut in some decorative beads and sanded it smooth. At the blade end, I turned it down thinner for the string that I will wind around to reinforce it:
Not my best idea. In hindsight, I think it would have looked a lot better if I had made the string wrapped band wider and cut in a little deeper.
I drilled a 1/16″ hole for the end of the string to thread into:
I used a dab of super glue to keep the string from coming out:
Then smeared on some 5 minute epoxy and wrapped the string around, pulling it tight. I left it for an hour or so until the glue set:
I drilled another hole beside where the blade would be for the other end of the string, then cut a shallow notch out to the edge from it with my carving knife:
I could then cut the string, spread on some more epoxy and tuck the string into the hole. The Allen key blade was put in next with more epoxy:
I gave it overnight for the epoxy to fully set, then ground the blade to shape on the belt sander:
Then honed it on the oil stone and stropped it on the edge of a piece of MDF that was loaded with rubbing compound. The chisel can be made incredibly sharp and hold that edge quite well.
I used a 1/8″ Allen key for this, but it would work with any size.
The finished chisel:
Like I said in the opening, my decision to use the more complicated string method played a big part in not being completely happy with how this turned out. With that said, the chisel does work exactly like it should and that is the main thing. Looking at it today, the string winding does add some character to the tool and I’ve found that it helps to keep my fingers from slipping forward while using the chisel.
Here’s the (fixed) video of the build: