Toolmaking
September 1, 2007
Entry Details
 

# 559
Mark Nadeau
Portsmouth, RI
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   1.75
  Height:   1.75
  Depth:   15
Materials:   Curly Maple, Crotch Walnut, Brass Ferrule, Oil Hardened Drill Rod, SS Headless Hex Screw, High Speed Steel

This is a Chatter Tool / Multi-Purpose Turning Tool

I have been woodturning for a little over a year now, and I have wanted to make a Chatter Tool for some time.  I could not bring myself to pay $50 - $65 for a commercially made Chatter Tool.  I knew that I could make one the exact size that I wanted and adapt it for other uses.  I use P&N tools, so I have gotten quite good at making handles.  One decorative thing that I have done to all my handles is include the use of traditional dovetail joinery at the butt end of the handles.  Occasionally, some of us from our local woodturner’s club get together and turn.  Tools sometimes get passed around so that we all get a chance to use different tools and grinds.  Most people write their name on their tools or give them some sort of identification mark.  I chose to make my handles distinct by use of the dovetailed end.  As far as shape goes, I find that a bat or club shaped handle is most comfortable in my hands.  The handle is 9 inches long including the ferrule and it is 1.75 inches in diameter at the widest point of the walnut end.  The widest point of the top of the handle just below the ferrule is 1.625 inches in diameter.  The 1/2 inch drill rod protrudes 6 inches from the handle for an overall length of 15 inches.  I have found that I do not like short tools with tiny handles.
 

The 1/2 inch Drill Rod was cut to 8 inches in length using a cut-off wheel in my angle grinder.  The rod was placed in the chuck of my lathe so that it only protruded about 1/2 inch.  A 5/16 inch drill bit in a Jacobs chuck at the tailstock end was used to bore a 1.75 inch deep hole.  The edge of the Drill Rod was then chamfered using files as the lathe rotated.  The last 1.875 inches of the rod was roughed up with the angle grinder to provide a mechanical tooth that the epoxy could lock into.  The Drill Rod was then oriented on the lathe as shown in the picture in order to hand drill and tap the hole for the retaining screw.  It was tapped with a 1/4 inch 20 tpi tap.  The 1/4 inch 20 tpi retaining screw is stainless steel and 1/4 inch in length.  The Drill Rod was then sanded from 220 grit up to 1500 grit for a nice polish.
 

Obviously, the dovetailing in the handle was accomplished while it was still square. It was done at the router table.  The pieces were glued together with West System epoxy using the 206 slow hardener.  Once dry, the handle stock was placed in the jaws of my lathe chuck and a 1/2 inch hole was bored to a depth of 2 inches using the drill bit in the tailstock.  The live center was then put in place to support the stock as it was turned to its final shape.  The handle was sanded from 220 grit up to 600 grit.  One coat of Salad Bowl Finish was applied then wiped off while still on the lathe.  The adjacent picture illustrates the handle at this stage.  Less than an 1/8 inch nub was left holding the butt end of the handle, and this was easily pared off and sanded.  Once the Salad Bowl Finish had dried, the final finishing consisted of three coats of Waterlox Sealer/Finish.  Before applying Waterlox, I applied the Salad Bowl Finish because I have found that it prevents the Waterlox from darkening down the wood too much.  This is especially apparent when using Walnut.  Once finishing was complete, the snug fitting Brass Ferrule was tacked in place with a medium viscosity CA Glue.  The Drill Rod was then glued into the handle using the same epoxy as before.
 

This photograph (in addition to the first photograph) shows the different tool tips that I fabricated from High Speed Steel.  The two narrow Chatter Blades are made from used HSS Jig Saw blades.  The teeth were ground off using a sanding disk on my angle grinder.  The blades were then lightly heated with a propane torch, bent in a vise, and quenched in water.  The burrs were ground on the stationary grinder.  One is ground to a point and the other to a radius.  Each will yield a different chatter design.  These blades are quite stiff, and work well on exotic and American hardwoods.  Using a HSS Hacksaw blade, I used the same methods to make a wider blade ground to a point to give even more chatter design options.  This blade flexes more easily and can be used on softer woods that the stiffer blades would rip out.  In order to give these chatter blades a solid flat backing, a piece of 1/4 inch Drill Rod was used.  It was cut to 1.75 inches long and then cut lengthwise to yield a half cylinder.  It can be seen in the adjacent photograph just underneath the Chatter Blade inserted in the tool.
I purchased two 3/16 inch square by 2.5 inch long HSS tool blanks.  These blanks contain 10% Cobalt for extra hardness.  Both were ground as radius scrapers on the stationary grinder.  One has a negative rake for use on very hard wood.  These tips will come in handy for small detail work or they could allow the tool to be used as a small boring bar for light hollowing.  Many tips could be made for use in this tool such as hook cutters, ring cutters, etc.
 

This final shot is a detail of the Crotch Walnut end dovetailed into the Curly Maple body.
 

Judges Comments
Brian : very cool, use of different wood/finish is spot on
CS : I’m not a turner, so I can’t comment on the functionality, but the handle is drop-dead gorgeous. Excellent finish as well.
Clarence : Just to pretty to use. Well done and the handle dovetail is a nice touch.

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