Hand Tools Archive

Re: A follow up on file steel...(squash knives)

david weaver
Yes on the bolster, by the way. I intend to pretty much copy old chisels except that I can't forge the bolster integrally. I don't have enough heat, the tools, and most importantly I don't have the skills. What I'll do is make the bolster separately and file the hole tapered so it fits tight on the tang and all should be well.

There is a thread on the other side (now aged off of the front page) where I measured some of my better chisels at the tang, and I have a nice old used flat file that's worn out that I'm going to turn into a 1" chisel (it's about a quarter inch thick - unusually thick which will allow for proper thickness and taper). I started it last night, annealing it and cutting it and then hammering the end flatter and thinner. Now the harder work begins (cutting everything to shape). It'll be interesting to see how it turns out - I could be wrong, and it may be crumbly when done or just break easily, but I hope not. I broke the tang of the file off to look at the steel and it looks very cast - brittle (but to be fair, I'm sure it's very hard) and I can see the grain, but it's not too coarse. Someone referred to a Chinese site last week where they mentioned that the grain is sometimes left coarse with large carbides in files to promote wear resistance - not really what we're looking for in chisels.

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