In gardening grafting is most challenging job to learn, anyone can learn is very easily but for mastering it we need to practice regularly. In market anyone can buy commercial grafting plier but making anything new is really fun.
From last 8 years I am learning grafting and my success rate is around 60%, as graft is affect by so many things, but most important things are season and cutting skill. Experts says if you can match 40% area between scion and root stock then success rate can be high i.e success rate is directly proportional to matching area. I mostly choose winter season for grafting of flower trees(rose & hibiscus) and some fruit trees(mango, guava). As per my experience hibiscus is quite easy to graft and give high success rate.
I made this plier with very basic raw material and some hand tools. As grafting require a straight cut so initially I thought to use segmented blades available for knife but alignment is quite difficult with it .while searching for cutting blade I come across paper clip and due to its readymade unique shape I decided to use it, paper clips are quite strong as are made up of spring steel. Its preformed shape made them very useful for grafting as this gives ready made blades.
Please check video to see step by step instructions.
Step 1: Tools & Material Required
Hand tools and drill machine with grinding bits
2 small wooden planks
Step 2: Making Cutting Blade
If you see cross section of paper of paper clip, it is a triangle where 2 angles have chamfered edge and remaining edge is open edge. We will use this open edge as our main cutting edge.
First remove steel legs from paper clip, then decide cutting edge and cut that side loop edge with help of plier. Be careful while doing this as paper clip is made from spring steel, it can easily give cut.
With help of grinding bits, sharpen all edges and also remove excess material.
I did initial sharpening of cutting edge in this step and final sharpening later.
Step 3: Cutting Groove to Accommodate Scion/stock
We can not cut scion/stock directly with sharpen paper clip, we must prove a small groove or hole from where scion will pass. (out of three cutting edges, we are using only 2 edges) To make graft only 02 edges are required.
If you have shim cutter then it is good but if you don't have it then grind back of paper clip and after clip's thickness reduction- just cut it with plier or even with scissor.
Again smoothen all edges with grinding bit.
Step 4: Making Plier & Fixing Blade
I used here 02 small planks to make plier.
With help of small 1" angle fix both planks perpendicular to each other.
Fix blade to top plank with help of super glue. I fixed blade in tilted position as it will give smaller cutting area with feed.
After gluing mark cutting blade on bottom plank and cut edges which will give perfect fit
Step 5: Trial
Making this plier was easiest part in this project but cutting is quite challenging.
some problems I come across are. so be sure that
1. Edge should be sharpen properly.
2. Plier bolts should not loosen or misaligned.
3. Scion or stock should not very hard.
I succeed in fourth trial as starting problems arise due to my carelessness.
when you cut scion/root stock, at that time you have to press it hard and pull apart with jerk. or it will not give required quality cut.
thanks for reading.