Making Your Own Thin Parting Tool

Submit your tips for this column and win a $10 gift certificate from Craft Supplies, USA if it is published here in the newsletter. You may submit your tip to Mel Bryan at mrwudb@gmail.com or indepwoodturners@gmail.com

Now for this month’s tip:

Making Your Own Thin Parting Tool

A thin parting tool comes in very handy when you want to work in a tight space, conserve wood, or to minimize the wood removed to keep the grain matching. You can make your own in just a few minutes.

Take that old sturdy butcher’s knife that isn’t being used because it’s rusty or to clumsy to use as a knife and modify it. First of all, and most importantly, remove the sharp edge by grinding it down on the grinding wheel. Then take a cut off tool, if you have one, and cut the tip end off at about a 45 degree angle from what was the top of the blade down to what was the cutting edge. Or, you can grind it away on the grinder or use a hand held offset grinder. That’s about it, but sharpening that new edge flat on the grinder with the grinder table 90 degrees to the wheel will give a nice cutting edge. It can be improved by grinding a small bevel (about 1/8 to 3/16 inch) at the bottom of the tip. (The bottom will now be what was the top of the blade.)

Now, to use it, present the tool to the work with the, what was the knife’s top, upside down on the tool rest and ride the new bevel on the wood and part away. Even though most knives are tapered that gives the new parting tool a natural clearance which helps prevent binding, take small successive alternating cuts to widen the kerf slightly. Don’t get overly aggressive because you do have a short handle on the tool.

Be safe and enjoy your savings and new tool.

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