How to Make Almost Any Small Tool in 5 Minutes

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Introduction: How to Make Almost Any Small Tool in 5 Minutes

This instructable will show you how to make small tools like custom screwdrivers, awls, chisels and more. The materials you'll need are a knife, a large framing nail, a hammer and some wood. You'll also need a bench grinder and a metalworking vice or anvil.

Step 1: Prepare the Wood

Use the knife to whittle the wood to a sort of round shape that is comfortable to hold. Use sandpaper to smooth it if it's very rough. Try to avoid knotty wood. Then go to the band saw and cut the wood to length. It should stick out about a half inch when you hold it in your hand.

Step 2: Add the Nail

take the nail and hammer it in about an inch into the end of the wooden handle.

Step 3: Cut the Nail

Go to the grinder and use the corner of the wheel to grind into the nail about an inch and 1/2 from the handle. Then use the hammer and the vice/anvil to snap the nail.

Step 4: Grind and Shape the Point

then hammer and grind the point of the nail into the shape you want. you can hammer the point to make it thin and flat. once you have the shape you want, sharpen tho point.

Step 5: Possobilities

the following photos are some tools i made.

 they are, in order of the photos:

1.triangle screwdriver
2.pry bar
3.awl
4.flathead screwdriver
5. round end scraper

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23 Comments

GREAT to see a young man wanting to work with his hands instead of sitting in front of a game console al day long! Keep up the great work. Nice 'ible!

Absolutely! Made me sad to think there aren't too many parents that would actually spend the time to teach their kid to safely use these tools (present company excepted;). Every one of these steps presents a risk of loss of an eye or digits. I've always said, fun is directly proportional to risk. Perhaps part of the kids not going outside problem is the parental "Don't touch that!" reflex. Not many kids would turn down a chance to use a blowtorch :).

I did actually *almost* lose a finger once. It was pretty scary, but the workshop is still a great hobby. It is sad that more children don't know how to work in wood or metal anymore.

Thankfully it was "almost." But happenings such as this give you a proper respect for the power of the tools you are dealing with. NEVER use a tool without respecting the damage it can do FIRST. Short cuts with tools are not worth "shortening cuts" on you ;^)

you should try making a variety of chisels

Yes, but out of the masonry nails mentioned by cvbritton.

According to my experience, this may not hard enough to deal some jobs.

fine job young man, take a few of these suggestions and you will have some great hand tools.

Nails are mild steel, not tool steel, so they cannot be hardened enough to be very useful. If you use old hex keys or allen wrenches instead, or even drill bits, they can be hardened and tempered properly to last a long time. Heat the steel to cherry red, then quench it in oil or water. Then polish the steel, so you can see color on it when it's heated ...heat the steel gradually until you see it turn a straw or light brown color. Ready to use, and can even be sharpened.

Masonry Nails (square) are hard steel and can be used here -