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Making and Using Tools - Chisels, Gouges, and Carving Tools


Mini Scorp from a Wrench by James D. Thompson




I have long wanted a small scorp-like tool to assist me in my carving. 


I often find that I have small places with tear out in inside radii, and I have no good way to get in there and deal with it.

It recently occurred to me that I ought to be able to convert small wrenches into just such a tool.  Here is how I did it. I started by finding a selection of otherwise worthless wrenches. I cut these near the middle, and then welded a tang onto the wrench.

Next is a picture of the set waiting for handles.

In order to get the box end half of the wrench sharpened, I had to first anneal the wrenches. Then I used a tapered reamer in my brace to cut the inside bevels. Then I used a mounted stone in my die grinder to grind out the inside and smooth the bevels.

Next picture is a mounted stone. The stone is man made and mounted on a 1/4 shaft. You can shape the stone most any way you like by spinning it in a drill motor or die grinder against a spinning bench grinder wheel.

This is how I removed the remainder of the teeth inside the wrench.

I ground the outside of the box until it was flat on the outside and a sharp edge was formed. I found that this makes it a lot easier to sharpen. Then I went to a sharpening stone to create, and to finish the outside bevel.

The inside bevel was sharpened with a small round stone, about 5/16 diameter. Finally I buffed the outside with my hard felt wheel.

Both sides of the boxes are sharpened. Here is a picture of my set of mini scorps complete with handles made of honey locust.

I could have cut off the handles very close to the box to make these more attractive, but I wanted people who see these tools to know immediately that they are made from wrenches.

The smallest size is 6mm, and the largest is 9/16. I did not do anything to heat treat these tools after they were annealed. I found that the steel holds an edge and is relatively easy to sharpen as is.

I have about 8 hours of labor invested in this set. The wrenches were bound for the recycle bin, so they cost nothing. Compare that to the cost of buying new tools. New ones would cost more than $200, and I doubt that they would work any better. Besides, I like making tools whenever I can.

Jim Thompson
the Old Millrat in Riverside, CA
October, 2008

Tips from Old Millrat - James D. Thompson

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