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Tommie's Woodturning Tips

On this page I am going to try to show how I make hook tools out of 16d hard cut masonry nails that can be found at Lowes.

I made two tool holders out of 1/2" diameter cold rolled steel. One is straight and the other has a 45 degree bend on the end and a stabilizer bar welded on as shown. They both have a 1/4" hole drilled in the end and drilled and tapped for a 10-32 set screw 1/4" in from the end. One of the masonry nails can be seen in the foreground leaning against the straight tool holder.

Click on the image for a larger view.

I use mapp gas in my propane torch to heat the masonry nail

After heating to a cherry red color begin flattening with a ball peen hammer.

Continue heating and drawing out the shape with the hammer

After the shape you want is achieved and it has cooled, grind your finished edge

I am making a hook tool, so put it in the vise and make a 90 degree twist in it and then bend the hook with needle nose pliers.

Now you are ready to harden the hook tool. Have a bucket of cold water handy and heat the hook tool until it is cherry red and then quench it in the cold water until it is cool

The heat treated hook tool is now really brittle, so you need to draw the temper. To do this you reheat it until it is a straw color as in the next picture after which you quench it in the cold water again.

Here are some of the different tools I have made for one reason or another and the new hook tool in operation.

And here is the finished potpourri bowl

If you have any questions you can email me

I have heard that shock absorber shafts make good lathe tools so I made these two tools below

Above is a closeup showing the grind I put on them. I tried them out on a hollow form and they worked real well holding their edge and not requiring much resharpening.


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