Making Tools

Hello Orchidians (sounds like Sci-Fi!)

As a direct result of winning the Orchid raffle I spent a wonderful
evening hardening and tempering chasing tools. I had O1 steel so
needed olive oil to quench them. Found a round metal round tin with a
plastic cover in the workshop that Quench (a Tang drink) came in. How
appropriate. Evicted the nails that were living in it!

For final shaping of the tool heads I used the new Benchmate to hold
them steady under a magnifying lamp. Thank you, Thank you, Karen
for donating it to the raffle - I think it is my new
favourite tool - except for the beautiful chasing tools I made. For
years I have read about making tools from mild steel but never had
the nerve or inspiration to try. Valentin Yotkov’s talk on tool
making provided the confidence and inspiration to try it - and do I
ever like making chasing tools.

Now my mind is wandering to stamps I could make… Still waiting for
my W1 square steel.


Three *lucky people will win the summer raffle. One of them could be

Only $39 buys you oceans of dreams and the possibility of winning a
lot of cool stuff. Orchid costs money to run and your contribution
helps to keep it going. So please buy a ticket - You can’t win if you
don’t have one. And I guarantee that if you win you will have a
supercalifragilistic experience! I know this has been a wonderful
experience for me - and there is still more to come.


Hi Orchidians,

It has been brought to my attention that the term “mild” steel
refers to steel with a low carbon content that cannot be hardened
or tempered. Tool steel has about 1% carbon and these nifty little
carbon atoms are what makes it possible to harden the steel by
heating and quenching and then tempering it. Sorry for the confusion,

(summer raffle dreaming for 20 more days)