30 March 2009

HSS and the Final Slot

Following a conversation on UKWorkshop last week, one of the forum members was having a lot of trouble with a Veritas marking knife and it seems that other people were having the same sort of woes...the tip kept breaking off. This seems to be a bit of a strange thing to happen, particlularly as Veritas equipment is so highly regarded. In a round about sort of way, things progressed as they do, and he eventually decided to try out one of the by now infamous 'Blokeblade's but instead of sending me some cash, he's swopping it for a set of three DVD's on rather excellent workshop practices and jig ideas, which ought to be very useful.
As usual, I make the kinves in pairs as it's as easy to make two together, so I started on them and all went fairly smoothly as I've done so many of these things now that I can knock them out reasonably quickly.
A couple of weeks ago, I made a new rack for my chisels and fitted them all out, but I've got a spare slot at the end that needed one more tool and I've been scratching around trying to fit something into it...a 60mm gap definitly looks untidy.
Then I had one of my all too rare flashes of inspiration. Last summer, Pete Newton make a very tidy small chisel with a blade made from a HSS metalwork hacksaw blade, the idea being that it was just narrower than the scratch stock blade that he'd made so that the end of a stopped inlay line could be easily cleaned out. So that's what I decided to do, a small chisel the same as Pete's, as it's something I'll need shortly anyway for the table. I already had a decent octagonal handle in ebony made some time ago. I thought I'd use an oddment HSS machine hackswaw steel as well for the blade, which is first for me... but have you evermade anything from HSS? If you have, you'll know all about it, but if like me, you've never used it except as a drill, it's probably one of the toughest and most difficult metals to work with...even a standard HSS hacksaw blade won't touch it! Fortunatly, I had a Proxxon mini drill with a set of thin grinding wheels which proved ideal to slice off a piece and then I used the side of my big wheels to carefully shape it...not ideal I know, but a file won't touch it either. Anyway, the little chisel is going to look quite good when it's done.
I also had a chance to play around with a set of new tools, of which a lot more later, as I've yet to contact the company and submitt my findings...suffice to say that they were very good indeed!

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