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Hello everyone, I hope this is not a "throwing myself to the wolves" kind of thing, but even if it is, I'm used to learning the hard way. Anyway I'll get straight to the point, all I have ever wanted is to have my own woodshop. Now don't get me wrong, I love and admire the blacksmith, the trade as well as the man, however, wood grows on trees, and metal lives in the earth. I do have one problem though, and it's got a lot to do with liking to make things. I've tried 'smithing, it is just a little too expensive and I have had trouble securing a decent anvil, and a forge, which is pretty much the whole thing in a nutshell. But before I go dig a hole in my backyard and fill it up with coal and rig up a shop - vacuum and drive the neighbors crazy, I wanted to ask if anyone would please share any experience they had making wood chisels. I know they can't be the most difficult item to forge, I just have found about zero videos of people doing it. I'm talking no bigger than 1"x6-8" most smaller than that. If I knew a smithy I would just ask him to show me or let me work in his shop. I'm just tired of buying cheap Chinese crap worthless chisels. I want my own, and I'll forge em if I have to. Any information you have on this subject would be gratefully appreciated. Ornate whittling is something my grandfather taught me but woodcarving is my next step and I've gone through some chisels in the process.  That is all.

JTD

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Hi Joe, Welcome, wood chisels can easily be made from old files, depends on what they are intended to do, and their profiles as to how you make them, for straight forward tanged style chisels, a heat source to anneal (soften the steel) and then you can use hand tools to shape and finish them, then back to the heat source to harden and temper them  for their intended use. 

For socketed chisels, then you will need 'smithing type resources, there should be someone near you who may be able to assist with loan of facilities or even doing the basic work for you.

You are in danger of getting into an addiction should you choose to start down the forging hot metal path.

Enjoy and have fun

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An anvil is just a largish hunk of steel, this can be a peice of train track, a drop of solid round, square or bar (dropes from places cutting large circles out of thick plate are good) it can be a discarded peice of heavy machenery, even an old granit toomstone in a pinch. A large slegehammer head will do fine, as will a solid 2" draw bar from a truck. 

As to a forge, look at Glenns sideblast 55 forge, a hair drier, air bed inflator, blower from a discarded clothes drier or a bathroom vent fan will work (i have a double acting bed inflator that works well for charcoal and small stock) 

look for a copy of "The compleat modern blacksmith" by Weygers and google basic, intermidiate and advanced blacksmithing, the 3 books are put out by the UN. 

It realy dosnt take much $ to get started.

Edited by Charles R. Stevens

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The first thing that sprung to my mind was the Weygers book...It had a large section about making wood chisels, and especially spoon gouges I think.

I think that was the best part of the book.

I just had a look for my copy in order to refresh my memory but can't find it. I seem to remember some of the grinding advice a bit hairy...

Alan

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Dont like the ruber grinding wheel?! Lol

i would imagine that the knife section and the spear section would also be helpfu, spears for making sockets, knives for heat treat and hiiden tangs. Plane irons, axes, ads, knives, cheisles, gouges etc are all veriations on a theim.

Edited by Charles R. Stevens

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Ah yes Charles, that was it!

I remember something looking lethal!

Must have been bad, it stuck with me for forty odd years!

Alan

Edited by Alan Evans

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I once built a complete beginners set up for under US$25 including forge, blower, anvil and basic tools;  Not a toy set up either the forge was my primary billet welding forge for several years.  I've described it on this and other smithing sites *many* times.  Shoot it's only a quarter the cost of my computer!

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Heck, I have enugh "junk" to build a 1/2 dozen basic sets. I have been keeping my eyes out for diferent options to show beginers. 

Edited by Charles R. Stevens

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