Saturday, July 30, 2016

Spring steel make the best chisels!

When working with stringing for accenting or accentuating a piece cutting the groove and cleaning out the groove can be difficult.  One of favorite methods for cleaning out the grooves is to make a makeshift chisel from old bandsaw blades, or  badly damage hand saws, or even card scrapers. Having a selection of spring steel in varying thickness is useful to have in the studio. Before starting the chisel be certain that the steel will fit in the groove. The chisel doesn't have to be exactly the same width of the groove but the last thing you want is the need to remove thickness. Trust me!

If using a bandsaw blade like I have shown in the photo, I first grind all the teeth off while being cautious not to over heat the metal. Keep some water near by to help keep the steel cool. Than I hollow grind what will be the chisel end. Grind the side where the teeth once wete. We want to keep the flat square edge or what was the back of the bandsaw blade as the bottom reference of the chisel. The radius of the chisel's tip  doesn't matter. I also don't grind all the to the very edge. The process is no different than grinding a plane iron or chisel.

After grinding I hone the tip like any chisel. The edge doesn't have to be wicked sharp, just sharp enough.  Now you have a chisel ready for all sorts of delicate cuts.

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