Hot Tool Dipper

Introduction: Hot Tool Dipper

This is a holder designed to help prolong the life of metal working chisels and punches during HOT WORK. Whenever you hammer a tool into a hot piece of metal the heat from the worked metal radiates into, and heats the tool being used. This poses a danger to your tools as it will ruin any temper the tools have, and will cause / increase damage/deformation of their working ends (such as swelling on punches, and flattening on chisels). No amount of tool care can truly stop this ware, but proper tool care can slow it and cause a longer life and less maintenance for your tools.

It is important to Quench / Cool your tools as you work with them. This cup is a simple dipper i came up with quickly and easily dip and cool my tools when work over my anvil.

Update: I remade my original plug with a much nicer and easier-to-use version. The details for this are listed in each step under the header "Optional Plug"

Step 1: Materials & Tools


  • 1 1/2" Pipe Coupling
  • 1 1/2" Pipe Plug [2] (the second is optional, it's just gonna be a lid.
  • 1/4" Wood Screw (optional)
  • 1/4" Washer (optional)
  • Cotter/Split Pin / Eye Bolt / Mounting Ring or similar (optional)
  • Small Chain (optional)
  • Tool Oil (whatever you prefer)


  • Pipe Wrench
  • Vise / Clamp (optional)
  • Pliers
  • Grinder / Grinding-or-Sanding Discs
  • Drill
  • 1/4" Drill bit (whatever size screw you want to use)
  • Drill

Step 2: Grind (optional)

I did this for 2 reasons:

  1. Grinding down the side gave me a better fit to the side of my anvil stand with the extra benefit of having a lip on top to prevent the cup from pushing down on the screw.
  2. Since i decided to drill a hole for my screw to go through the inside of the cup, it provided a much better surface for the drill bit to start on.


  • Grind one portion of the coupling flat.
  • I recommend just grind off the of of the flares on the side so it's less work and ware, but the down side is this will make getting a grip on it to tighten harder.

Optional Plug:

  1. Grind down all the treads leaving a flare on top as shown
  2. Cut / Grind down a 1/2" segment of wall as shown (this will leave room for the mounting screw and washer).

Step 3: Dril

  1. Mark
    • You'll want to hole to be as near to on end of the coupling as you can get while still leaving a stable amount of material.
  2. Prep
    • Stamp your mark with a Center Punch / Hole Starter / the corner of a chisel.
  3. Drill
    • Drill a 1/4" (or whatever size fit's your screw/mounting) all the way through the Wall of the pipe.

Optional Plug:

  1. Drill a hole straight down through the top of the plug large enough for your Cotter Pin / Eye Bolt.
    • You will need 1 holes if you are using a Mounting Ring.

Step 4: Assemble

  • Screw ONE of the Pipe Plugs into the end of the coupling furthest from your hole.
  • Using the Pipe-Wrench and a Vise, screw ONE of the Pipe Plugs into the end of the coupling furthest from your hole.

  • The tighter you can get the better.

DO NOT use vinyl plumbers tape for this. This holder may be exposed to high heat and any sealing tape may melt, or expand cause bubbles of hot oil. If you notice a leak, or are worried about leaks, seal the inside with high heat silicone coated with refractory cement.

Optional Plug:

  1. Push your Cotter Pin / Eye Bolt through the hole you made at the top of the plug, and secure it inside.
    • Try to keep the back end / Nut from going to far down past the metal of the plug (just to keep it from dipping in the oil).
  2. Attach your chain to your Cotter Pin / Eye Bolt / Mounting Ring.

Step 5: Mount & Fill

  1. Mount
    • Mount your dipping cut to the side of your working space by putting the screw through the hole you dripped in the side earlier. Be sure to keep the washer inside. NOTE: do not use a rubber washer for the same reason as not using Plumbers tape in the last step.
    • Alternately you can use a banding strap around the outside of the pipe, placing it just under the lip so added stability.
  2. Fill
    1. Choose a liquid.

      • There are lots of different oils you can use to help keep your tools in good shape so i advise doing some research if you aren't sure.

      • My personal recommendations for hot work are either Used Motor Oil, or Thread Cutting Oil.

      • There are also lots of good quench / tool cooling solutions on the market if you want to invest in them.

    2. Carefully pour in your liquid.
      • Be sure not to overfill, this causes to dangers:
        1. Loss of the liquid dripping out your screw hole (not a dig deal).
        2. If you fill the dipper too deep, there is a higher risk of fire (big deal). Fire is not only a risk to you, but also your tools, as it will continue to heat them rather than cooling them.
  3. Cap
    • Screw your plug on finger tight so it is easy to remove, but covered from ash/scale/dust/filings/etc. getting mixed into your cooling oil when not in use.

Optional Plug:

  • Place one link of the chain in between the dipping cup and your mounting surface, with the screw going trough it.
    • This way your cap is easy to remove, but will just hang down so it doesn't get lost.

Step 6: Usage

Now that you have a mounted cup you can cool your tools off by just reaching over. I have found that this saves a lot of time and helps me use the heat while i have it.

As you hot-cut/slit,drift,punch,mark,etc. Just reach over and dip the working end of your tool in the cup, and return to work.

When you return the tool to hot metal it may smoke, or even catch fire. Smoke is normal (don't breath it in), but if it catches fire, you have too much excess oil and need to wipe it off. In general when cooling off hot metal working tools, REMEMBER: Smoke is normal, fire is bad.

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    Tip 2 years ago

    Really good article and very clear process. Well done.
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