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Thread: Making A Socket Firmer Chisel

  1. #1
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    Making A Socket Firmer Chisel

    Some folks were interested in seeing the details of how I made my mortise chisels. I made a 3/8" firmer chisel yesterday and took some photos along the way to show the process.

    The round blank is chucked in the lathe and the socket is turned to a taper using the compound slide set to 5 deg.
    This lathe is not really well suited to turn tool steel. It lacks the rigidity to make all but light cuts. I'm eventually going to install a compound slide on my Hardinge Mill so it will be able to quickly do this task instead.


    Here the shoulder being roughed out:


    Here is the completed socket after polishing:



    The part is now being supported by a steady rest, and the socket hole is being drilled out to the root size using the tailstock:



    After drilling, I switch to a boring tool mounted on the compound slide which is set to 5 deg. This pic was taken after taking the final finishing cut:



    Here is the part with all the lathe work done. The small round shoulder was turned to the proper diameter to give me a reference check point during the milling process.


    Since messages are limited to 15 images, I'll add rest in a separate post.
    Last edited by Preston Baxter; 01-17-2010 at 4:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    Making A Socket Firmer Chisel continued

    The part is now clamped in a vice in the mill. There is a spacer under the part to give support.


    The first side has been milled with a couple of roughing passes and a final finishing pass. This nearly 60 year old machine can really hog off metal.


    The second side is complete.


    The third side is done, it's starting to look like a chisel.


    Next, I layout the taper for the face side of the chisel:


    Milling the final, face side.


    The part straight off the mill:




    The tip is then hardened with a MAPP torch and peanut oil. The dark color on the first third of the blade shows the extent of hardening. From here, the chisel will be tempered in the kitchen oven for thirty minutes at 350 deg.


    After tempering, the chisel is flattened on a cast iron lapping plate. Here I am charging the plate with 120 grit compound. It just takes a little. Too much, and the part just slides around without the grit embedding in the plate once lapping commences.


    The plate will start to get sticky as the steel residue mixes with the grease. Just wipe the plate off with a little Kerosene or Mineral Spirits and continue lapping until the grit breaks down, then recharge. I keep meaning to try just some plain dry grit and Mineral spirits since the compound has a bad sulfur smell. After lapping all faces, I finish up on oilstones.


    I turn and fit the handles pin to the socket first, then complete the handle:



    Here is the finished chisel. It works beautifully.




    Here it is beside its big brothers:

  3. #3
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    That's a lot of work! I'm surprised that that 6" lathe will cut the steel. I started out with a 12" Atlas,and it was a pain to get anywhere with. I couldn't take off more than 1/32" at a pass!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for showing this.

    I wish I had taken metal shop when I was in school. This makes it look easy enough that maybe I could book learn if I had the machines.

    Sure is an interesting subject for the neanderthal galoot.

    jim
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
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    I took metal shop while going to school even tho the school didn't have a metal shop, I was still an apprentice blacksmith under my father and uncle. LOL
    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!
    By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand

  6. #6
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    I would like to learn some basic blacksmithing skills someday. It would come in handy for projects like this. In this case, I could start out with a much smaller bar and upset the socket end to the larger diameter and have a less machining and metal waste.

  7. #7
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    the old method was to upset a bit, then flare out the end and form it into a socket then forge weld the seam, lots of old chisels you can see the seam inside the socket. Also the socket and chisel were made as seperate pieces and then forge welded together. Tang are much easier to make so there were a lot of them in the real early days.

    I have used ordinary black pipe to replace broken off or really mutilated sockets by first swaging out one end, then fullering down the other end and welding to the old blade socket stub.
    Last edited by harry strasil; 01-17-2010 at 6:20 PM.
    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!
    By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand

  8. #8
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    FWIW, Preston Upsetting is one of the harder things for most Smiths to do, as they tend to get too much of the end hot and then all the hot end wants to do is bend over when they hit it. I have made what I call an Upset Helper that makes the task much easier. Its just a 2 inch square piece of hot rolled with gradually larger holes drilled in it and a square shank that fits into the Hardy Hole of the anvil. To use you install the upset helper and then heat only about 1 inch of the end of the piece you want to upset and drop it into the hole as quick as you can and start striking the top end while holding with a pair of tongs, it will want to bend over but the hole restricts it to only so much bending, you then take it out straighten up the end and then you reheat and drop in a larger hole, they progress by 1/8 inch larger and do it again. It works rather well, just remember to only heat the very end of the piece.

    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!
    By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand

  9. #9
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    SIGN ME UP FOR A SET ! Thanks for the play by play. I loved it. It is funny with the flash and all they almost look like copper.


    Keith
    "The element of competition has never worried me, because from the start, I suppose I realized wood contains so much inspiration and beauty and rhythm that if used properly it would result in an individual and unique object." - James Krenov


    What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say. -R. W. Emerson

  10. #10
    Fantastic work. Two questions: what kind of tool steel are you using? And how were you able to get the taper on the lathe? Did you just set the compound on an angle and advance the compound instead of the carriage?

  11. #11
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    He said 01 somewhere else.

  12. #12
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    Angled Compound = Independently Poor Machinists Taper Attachment.
    Jr.
    Hand tools are very modern- they are all cordless
    NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine.
    Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!
    By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand

  13. #13
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    That was really cool.

  14. #14
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    Preston --

    Sensational Thread......Awesome work.

    Those are beautiful chisels - thanks for sharing your talent!

  15. #15
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    Harry,

    With your upset helper, could you then have a similar helper only with a cone inside to start the formation of the socket?

    jim
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 01-18-2010 at 2:49 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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