Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Pictured, pieces of water hardening steel, three inches in length, cut from twelve inch stock, using a 2/0 saw blade and plenty of lubricant. Doesn't look like much, but these are not finished products. The intent is to make them into metal stamps of various shapes and sizes.
In this photo, top left; Pana-vise with piece of steel clamped at an angle for filing. Top right; Opti-Visor fitted out with LED lights. Bottom from left, partially finished pieces (still a long way to go), flat hand files No. 2 and No. 4 cut; between the files, an old typewrite key cleaning brush and a piece of blackboard chalk, and a tray of unfinished steel pieces.
Why chalk? Rub chalk on your files and most of the filings won't stick between the teeth making much easier to keep the file clean. I still use the brush and renew the chalk.
The first step is to file one end to near approximate shape, then sand with 400 grit sanding paper or film, then polish with rouge, or similar. Then begins the two step tempering process, on both ends of the tool and a final polish. For other shapes, I will use burs and stones in the flex-shaft.