Olive Awl - How to Make One

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Introduction: Olive Awl - How to Make One

Awls are useful in many crafts. Here's how I made one called Olive

You'll need:



• Tool steel (an old screwdriver blade would do) for the blade
• Some hardwood for a handle
• Little length of copper pipe for a ferrule
• CA glue


And access to:



• Electric drill
• Grinding wheel (or similar)
• Belt sander (or similar - just sand paper would do)
• Lathe - if you want a round handle
• Saw, and preferably a plane too


By the way, there's a video of the build too

Step 1: Make the Blade

Chuck some round tool steel in a drill

Touch the spinning steel to a coarse grindstone at a low angle to develop a point

Avoid generating too much heat, as this will draw the temper and soften the steel

Move to a belt sander, still with the awl blade spinning in the drill, to develop a super sharp point

Cut off to the desired length

Step 2: Prepare Wood for Handle

For the handle, rip some olivewood to width and cross cut to length
If you're going to turn the handle, mark a centre on each end
(If you're not turning it, then use rasps, spokeshaves, knives, etc. to shape into something comfortable)

Step 3: Turn the Handle

Use a roughing gouge and skew chisel to convert the square blank into a cylinder
I'm making two handles from this blank, so I next define where I'll part the two
Shape the main part of the first handle
Part off the first handle and re-chuck
Bore a centre hole to take the blade

Step 4: Fit a Ferrule

Turn a tenon, around the centre hole, that is a snug fit for a piece of copper pipe (or similar)
Polish up the end of the pipe, and ensure it's square
Saw off a suitable length to fit the tenon

(If you're not turning your handle, then you can still produce the tenon by careful use of a rasp and file)

Step 5: Assembly

Run a couple of drops of low viscosity CA glue into the centre hole
Insert the blade and push down against the hydraulic pressure caused by the glue and the tight fit. Be careful of the sharp end! The air will gradually escape and the blade will bottom out in the hole, with glue surrounding it
Now glue the ferrule in place too
Apply a protective finish to the wood, such as boiled linseed oil

Your Olive awl is now ready to use!

Thanks for reading my instructable. Please post photos of any you make in the comments.

Cheers,
Mitch

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    So more important is how to use it? Why do olives in the jar have crosses on them?