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Make Your Own Woodturning Tools

Make Your Own Woodturning Tools -

Hey there!  I made some woodturning tools and really loved the idea of making my own.  The metal collets/inserts allow you to adjust the steel in/out for the length you prefer but more importantly it allows you to have 2 tools in 1!

Make Your Own Woodturning Tools -

Make Your Own Woodturning Tools -

For the square bar there’s a box scraper and the other side a skew.  The round bar has a 3-point tool and other side a mini scraper (both great for small details).

A quick look online I found a website that sells the 3/8″ x 8″ square bar & 1/4″ x 8″ round bars but you may be able to find them cheaper somewhere else.  For the aluminum handle inserts you can buy both the 1/8″ & 1/2″ sizes from Cindy Drozdsa’s website or just the 1/2″ size from Craft Supplies.

Wood for the handles: any blank 8″ or longer that is big enough to allow you to drill a 1/2″ hole down the center for the square HSS blank.

You’ll need epoxy or CA Glue, drill press with necessary bit sizes, woodturning lathe and a bench grinder (Wolverine grinding jig is VERY helpful).

The handles are very easy to turn and grinding the metal is also very easy (but just takes time).

Let’s get started!

Start by finding the centers on your wood blanks.  Drill a hole to fit the adapter sleeve on one side.  Drill another hole big enough and long enough to fit your HSS blank inside.  Glue the metal adapter into the wood blank with CA Glue or epoxy.

 When your glue is dry add tape to protect adapter while turning/sanding.  Turn your handle between centers with the adapter on your tailstock side.  Check to make sure the handle fits in your hand nicely and be sure to not make it too small in the center where you hollowed it out.  Sand and part off.  TIP: Put a finish on your handle so you can use it when you grind your tools – if you don’t you’ll easily get dark residue on it.

When shaping tools, the steel gets hot so have a pot of water handy to cool off for easier handling.

Grind one side of your blank with a 5-degree bevel down to the halfway point.  You want to leave the top 1/8″ corner square (where the sharpie line is).

Create an 80-degree bevel on the top end that arcs on the right side – you want to leave the left side with a 1/8″ flat for scraping.

Make a 5 to 10-degree negative rake bevel on the top side.  Remove the bottom corner of the scraper as a relief – bevel isn’t critical.

Make Your Own Woodturning Tools -

SHAPING ROUND BAR POINT TOOLMake 3 flat surfaces on your round bar to create a point tool.  Start off buy flattening one side halfway through the bar…

… turn 1/3 and flatten to the same bevel length as the 1st and finish off by centering the 2 bevels facing.

Make Your Own Woodturning Tools -


For both round and square bars you can make skews.  Place each side on a 45-degree angle from your wheel and grind until both sides meet the center.  The length of the angle on your skew should be 1-1/2 x’s the width of the bar.

I hope this helps!  Happy Woodturning friends!

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