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  1. #1
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    Default Steve Adams' sculpting tools

    Here are a couple of photos of Steve Adams' sculpting tools which he uses on hobo nickels and in his die work. Maybe Steve can elaborate on which ones he uses for different applications.

    Thanks for the larger photos, Steve! / ~Sam
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  2. #2
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    YOU ARE ON TOP OF THINGS SAM. I am fortunate to know you and would be happy to elaborate.
    Small tips of converted burs stating at the 12:00 position and going clockwise.
    Rounded chisel, flat round, small square chisel, round chisel, small square, small flat square, rounded V, angular, beveled point, medium square flat, small semi flat, large round, small needle, four sided point, small engraver, verysmall flat chisel. Chisel tools have a slightly sharpened edge compared to flats so they can be pushed as well as pulled. Just think of the shape you want to cut or sculpt then grind the tip of the bur to suit your purpose, but don't ruin the temper of high speed steel by grinding too fast. The possibilities are endless. The tools look small, that is until you get under the microscope, then you end up making even smaller ones. So far I have made about 75 of these tools and each one fulfills a different need.
    The examples for handles start left to right. Two oak pegs drilled and sanded down at tip. Three Starrett pinvises that hold anything from 1/8 to something the size of a sewing needle. One walnut peg with a mushroom end, it makes a great little graver handle. Five 1/4 aluminum lathe turned handles that have brushed centers for a better grip. Because of their light weight, aluminum tools allow you to really feel what the tip of the tool is doing. One 1/4 walnut dowel and one 3/8 walnut dowel handles. The last is a Starrett scribe holder which holds 1/8 tools.

  3. #3
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    Okay: I have a bunch of these things laying all over my bench most are used in quick change ends. How can I organize them. I'd love to get some ideas on that. Half the time I will make a new tool because I can't find them. I guess I'm a messy slob. I tried little plastic drawers and they work fine when I clean off my bench (once a year). Then when I use them I don't put them back. Organization tips or pictures of holders or whatever would be nice also.
    Mike

  4. #4
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    Mike, I like using magnets to hold burs...both the foot long thin "tool rack" kind and those little mighty magnets (or whatever they call them -- the little pea sized round ones that are super strong that they use on bulletin boards. I got them at a Storables store.)

    I bolted the long toolbar magnet to a block of wood, and put it on the benchtop. I have also heard of people bolting the magnet to the face of a drawer. Just pull the burs out of the drawer that you think you will be using per job, and stick em on the long bar magnet..put them all back in a drawer after the whole job is done. You only clean up once in a while that way. You can also put them in some kind of logical order so you know about where they are on the bar. The long bar magnet keeps them sort of in the same place and you can be kind of sloppy about tossing them at it and they stick there.

    I put the little mighty magnets on the front face of my benchmate engraving block shelf. While you are using the burs and switching back and forth between them in your tools, stick the burs you are using most to the mighty magnets on the block shelf. Just be sure to point them such that they dont poke you when you rotate your block.

    I think I got the idea from one of those 101 bench tip books or something.

  5. #5
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    The magnet organization for tools sounds good, but it should come with a warning for anyone engraving steel. You don't want magnets touching your tools, otherwise little steel chips from engraving ,and steel residue from grinding will forever become a pain sticking to your tools. If you create this problem, you will be sorry. A demag may or may not work as a fix for this, the cheap ones for sure don't work well. For those not engraving steel, nevermind. Anyone else ever run into this problem?

  6. #6
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    Allan I use magnet strips for my pliers and such that I use for gold work. Like Steve says for gravers used for steel it can drive you nuts when they get magnetized. I use a big electro demagnetizer it takes it right out. Wouldn't want to do it every time all the time though. Thats a good idea to clean off my bench Allan, one big magnet pick up all the steel and send the rest to the refinery
    Mike

  7. #7
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    Mike, Steve
    AHHH, point taken. And true, I have only worked in non-ferrus metals, and although I love the work you guys do on guns and knives and the like, I dont have the itch to take my work in that direction. At least not yet.

    You make a good point though...having all your little chips stuck to your graver points would be one of those things that would make your day horrible...not quite as bad as being burned alive, but right up in there.

    There have been days when I wished magnets did work on non-ferrous metals for various reasons, but magnetic graver points would just be "bad".

    (shrugging) I have also used wooden bur blocks that I made myself with a drill press. I used 2x2 oak, and made a U shaped trim around the sides and back of my bench...three rows of holes about a half inch apart with holes big enough for standard bur shank sizes, and lately QC holders. I also found myself getting a bit compulsive and made a few "tool racks" for specific tasks. I made one rack that holds all the specific stuff for soldering, another for enamelling, another for engraving, a few for wax carving, etc. I load the tools for the task at hand into them and put the rack within easy reach. I kind of got the idea from the computer programs I work on at my job....like a text tool palette, color tool palette, measurements tool palette, etc...only made out of wood for "real" tools. The magnets were just another way to do that, but if magnets are "bad" then...oak is pretty cool, and even smells nice.

  8. #8
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    To hold all my burs, gravers, etc., I just use pieces of wood. I drill holes in the appropriate diameter in what ever pattern suits how I want to stand the tools. I find cutting boards and trivets work very well and they are plentiful at my local transfer station.

    Peter

  9. #9
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    I'd like to see Steve in action with these tools, and see how he uses them for different applications.

  10. #10
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    Ya Sam I agree we should all meet at Steve's place next Saturday and stay for a few days
    Mike

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