American Woodw

Supplies and Equipment

The raw material of these carving tools is drill rod, a tool steel available in various diameters. You can buy it from local machine shops or industrial suppliers for about $2.50 for an 18-in. length.

You'll also need a metalworking vise, but it doesn't have to be fancy. Be sure it has a flat "anvil" area for flattening the rod. My vise cost Si 5.

For heating the rod, use a MAPP gas torch (S35 at home centers). This is just like a propane torch except it's designed for MAPP gas, which burns hotter than propane. You can't use MAPP gas in a common propane torch.

A sclcction of files, small grinding stones and a small diamond hone will be needed for shaping the tools.

Working Safely

The flame from a MAPP torch is even more dangerous than the flame from a propane fen, so follow these safe work habits.

■ Prepare a safe work area. Remove sawdust, rags, finishes, wood scraps and any other flammables from your work area.

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