Woodturners who create small, intricate turnings, such as Christmas ornaments, face an ongoing challenge. Small, fragile pieces require a great deal of care; and woodturning tools you use for larger pieces will not fit into a small turning's delicate spaces. A woodturner can buy manufactured tools, which can potentially be very expensive. He can also make his own tools, which means he will have the exact tool he needs to complete a specific turning. Allen wrenches provide a cheap, accessible steel source for making custom woodturning tools.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Allen wrench
- 5-inch length of 1-inch dowel
- Drill bit set
- Cyanoacrylate glue
- Cyanoacrylate accelerator
Obtain an L-shaped Allen wrench. Look for spare Allen wrenches in your toolbox. Either a 1/4-inch or 3/16-inch Allen wrench is an ideal size for turning a 3-inch Christmas ornament. Black Allen wrenches are made from sturdier steel than are silver-coloured wrenches.
Start with your piece of 1-inch dowel.
Drill a hole into one end of the dowel. Make the hole the same diameter as the selected Allen wrench. For example, drill a ¼-inch hole if you use a ¼-inch Allen wrench.
Insert the Allen wrench's long end into the handle's hole. Tap the wrench in with a hammer.
Remove the Allen wrench from the hole. Put a few drops of cyanoacrylate glue into the handle's hole. Spray some cyanoacrylate accelerator on the Allen wrench shaft. Tap the wrench into the hole with a hammer. Allow the glue to dry completely.
Grind flat the top surface of the Allen wrench's short end. Use a grinder. Stop grinding when the flat surface is even with the wrench's top corners.
Grind the very end of the Allen wrench. Grind the wrench so you have at least a 10-degree rake angle. Measure the angle with a protractor.
Grind the Allen wrench's tip to a rounded profile. Create the profile you need for your application.
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