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I Forge Iron

Drill rod timber framing chisel, new guy style

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Here's my first successful bladed tool from the backyard blacksmith shop.

Its a long timber framing chisel made from old drill steel which has a 1/4" through hole.

Blade width is about 1 3/16" x 7" length

Overall length is maybe 20"

The through hole in the steel I just cold shut, and there is a thin line visible on the bevel that doesn't interfere with the tool's utility.

The water quench didn't make it un-fileable, but it didn't file very easily. It holds an edge well enough, though a more experienced smith could certainly do better. I expect its a medium carbon steel because the water quench didn't make it fully hard.

It was a fun project with a very useful outcome. Next drill rod project I'm thinking about drifting a socket into the existing 1/4" through hole, for a wooden handle, then slitting the drill rod the long way, and unrolling it, into a timber framing slick!!! Can't hurt anything to try I suppose....


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I have. bed rails are great material. I tried it when I first got Weygers books. I never used it much. It ended up somewhere unknown to me. 

I found a beautiful hand forged one at a junk store in Fairplay, Co for $10 when I started my log house. 

I'm rounding up all my log tools now getting ready for next summer.

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I got a nice Ohio Tool one from a dumpster at a flea market.  Dealer wouldn't take my offer but would toss it at the end of the day.  It may have been prison made as at one time Ohio Tool contracted with the prison for workers.  I have ended up with a handful of old corner chisels and don't do Timber framing.

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This big chisel did make me wonder why old chisels and slicks have a socket and a wood handle rather than being forged from one piece of solid bar like this one.. Certainly when steel was scarce, that was the only real option. Also the wood handle is lighter, more vibration absorbing, and more comfortable in cold weather. But the chisel I made was so much easier than forge welding a socket, then turning a wood handle!

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3 hours ago, Cleave said:

This big chisel did make me wonder why old chisels and slicks have a socket and a wood handle rather than being forged from one piece

I split my professional life between timber framing and blacksmithing.  Once you hit a chisel with a mallet or hammer every day for 20 years you realize that the old timers knew what they were doing.  If an all metal woodworking chisel performed better they would have gone down that road.  

Wood handles, for timber framing, absorb impact that may be otherwise transferred to the holding hand, and are cheap and easy to replace.  I mush down the wood part of my framing chisels every 5 years or so, but the steel edge remains.  If I dressed an all steel woodworking chisel to remove dangerous mushrooming as often as I do my metalworking punches, slitters, and drifts the thing would be worn away within a year.  

Slicks are never struck, the wood is a cheap handle/lever.

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