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Testing For Lead

In my pursuit of toolmaking, I don’t want others to come to harm.  I use a lot of odd bits and bobs to make things with.  Brass and bronze have a special appeal.   The problem is that these items can be full of lead.  Leaded brass is easy to work and polishes up with ease.

As long as no one looks over your shoulder or cares about the dangers, there are a lot of good reasons for a business to use leaded materials.    Since compassion is only allowed in publicly traded companies when it is dictated by law, or demonstrably more profitable, it is just not safe to assume the products we buy are safe.

 10$ and free shipping for 8 test swabs is a bargain  considering that what you don’t know can make you and your children stupid and irrational. (Free shipping on $25+ orders, so you will have to get a few other items.   Getting this marshmallow gun with it will still leave you 2 cents short.)

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Making Tools with HSS Blanks

 
 
For under $5 you can obtain a set of HSS blanks from Harbor Freight.  Do this at a store, I have been so amazingly and expensively burned by online shopping with HF that I will never ever do that again.  The stores however are great as long as your are careful what you get.
 

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How to Make an Octagonal Handle, Shell Auger and Straight Drilling Guide

I will warn you, this walk-through is a big one!  The results, however, will let a woodworker without a lathe or mad shaping skills to have a reasonably high chance of turning a small chunk of wood into a lovely handle that can be held with comfort and pride!

I have been researching and experimenting with tool grips for quite some time. Recently I have begun to solidify my research and decided it was time to figure out how to make the perfect tool handle, make it well and make it consistently. Part of my goal here is to provide a handle form that does not need a lathe to turn. I wanted to make this something that would inspire and allow budding craftsmen to use, make and repair hand tools.

Lots of handle blanks

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Do You have Enough Tools?

I love posts about workshops in other countries.   They show other methods of work holding, and working with tools.  Often times you see amazing work being done with a few simple tools.   What I really like is the simple tools.

But in every conversation about these tools, someone has to make the cheap shot [...]

Multi-Functional Divider

I love multifunctional tools. Sadly, most of them don’t really work very well. Here is one that is a real gem.

Divider, holster and Modified Divider

The bottom divider is unmodified.  Works great, and it can hold a pencil.  The top one is modified by having one point ground down.   It will not measure quite as small a gap.   It is however a much more useful tool.  The leather sheath above it holds extra bits and protects the divider.

The bit pocket has a snap at the top to put bits in and a snap at the bottom to pour them out.  It is a bit flawed as the sharp bits fall right into your hand, so you need to be careful.

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