Hot Tool Holder

Introduction: Hot Tool Holder

This is a holder designed to help prolong the life of frequently used metal working chisels and punches.

  • Cold-Work: Even when your are working cold metal, your chisels and hand tools will heat up from the friction. If you have ever noticed them turning colors while working with them, this is why.
  • 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.

Both kinds of work pose a danger to your tools as it will ruin any temper the tools have, and will cause / increase damage and deformation of their working ends (such as mushrooming 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 holder is a simple idea i came up with to store tools in a small amount of oil in between uses, This way they cool off properly in between uses.

Note: i still recommend periodically dipping your tools in oil to cool them during each use.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

  • Materials
    • 2" Pipe Flange
    • 2" Pipe Nipple 4" long (sorted if you use shorter tools)
    • 2" Pipe Cap
    • Wire (heavier gauge is better)
    • 1/4" Wood Screws (optional)
    • 1/4" Washers
    • Quenching / Cooling / Tool Oil (whatever prefer)
  • Tools
    • Pipe Wrench
    • Clamp / Vise (optional)
    • Drill
    • 1/4" Metal Drill bit (really any size bigger than your wire)
    • Ball-Peen Hammer

Step 2: Assemble

  • Using the Pipe-Wrench and a Vise, get screw the parts together as shown / listed:
    1. Flange to Nipple
    2. Nipple to cap
  • 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.

Step 3: Drill

  1. Using a drill bit larger than the wire you have make four extra holes in the flange.
  2. Place these loosely between the existing manufacturer's holes.

Step 4: Thread

  1. Slowly and carefully work your wire in a cross pattern between the four holes you drilled
    • It works best to pull the wire tight with gripping / large toothed pliers,
    • Then hammer the wire through from behind, with half of the flange face-down on a hard surface.
  2. Once your wire is secured lace the two ends together.
    • Use a pair of pliers to twist the wires together as tightly as you can.
    • IMPORTANT: make sure that the end of the wires is UNDERNEATH the flange as shown. this will prevent scrapes and sticks during use.
  3. Hammer down the grid.
    • Use a large Ball-Peen Hammer to push the top cross-shaped grid down into the tube.
    • Don't hammer it down far, just to bow it down slightly, and finish tightening the wires.

Step 5: Mount

If you intend to use this for random work around the shop, you may want to construct a base , rather than mounting it like i have.

  1. Placement
    • Blacksmithing / Anvil: You'll want to place this on the side of you non-dominant hand (your tooling/tong hand) for easy reach. I find it best to keep on the side or back of my anvil.
    • Welding / Metal Table: I recommend keeping it with any other hand tools / marking tools you keep on the table/cart, but it is best to mount it away from where you keep any hammers to avoid chipping their faces.
  2. Mount
    • Once you figured out where you want to place it, use the screws to mount it into place using the manufacturer's holes in the flange.
    • I recommend putting washers over your screws to to help absorb vibrations.
    • DO NOT screw / mount it too tightly! Steel/iron pipes tend to be a bit more brittle than expected and you want some free movement to avoid vibration ringing through them. This will help your thread stay tight as well.

Step 6: 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.
    • Some of my personal recommendations:
      • Cold Work: Thread cutting oil
      • Hot work: used motor oil
      • There are also lots of good quench / tool cooling solutions on the market if you want to invest in them.
  2. Pad (optional)
    • If you won't be using the tools regularly, or aren't going to use them for hot-work, or will be leaving them set in weather cold enough to freeze your oil, It's a good idea to pad the bottom of the container before you fill it.
    • This will also help with not blunting the ends of your tools.
    • ONLY use cloth/padding with natural plant fibers! Plastic fibers can melt releasing harmful gas, plus damaging your tool, and your oil consistency. (Cotton or linen works best)
  3. Fill
    • Poor in just enough liquid to cover the base and HALF the working tips of your tools.
    • For me this was less than 1" of oil (~1/3 cup).

Step 7: Usage

Simply place your most-used tools in the cup and pull them out as needed.

Storing them in this little bit of oil will help them to cool properly after any long uses.

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    Slime Eel
    Slime Eel

    3 years ago

    Ack! grind down those mushrooming punches! Otherwise, looks great. Surprisingly elegant result from simple materials.


    Reply 3 years ago

    New Instructable: How to Grow a Mushroom Plot.