Here are some more shop-made tools that will save time and money.
by Dick Maheu
Following my first article on shop-made smithin’ tools in the December 2016 issue, I’ll cover several more handy gunsmithing tools I have made over the years. Some of these are from existing commercial tools modified for my own use and others are from scrap tool steel and brass rod I had on hand. I hope to feature other shop made tools in future articles. I’m sure with the ingenuity, thriftiness, and craftiness of the smithin’ trade that many of you have already made some of these tools or facsimiles of them.
The tools covered here were made from relatively cheap, common, ordinary screw drivers kept on hand for just this type of project. Some of these tools I have had for well over 40 years and they have seen more use than I can remember! Not only have these tools been mighty handy for gunsmithing work, but for a myriad of problems around the house I have encountered over the years such as repairing, snowblowers, generators, small game traps, etc. Some of them were made for specific tasks and some for general workshop tasks.
I’ll let you be the judge as to how you want to use them in your work. You may find you want to modify my tools for more exacting use. There are several old, used tool places here in Maine where I find many specially-made tools by some other enterprising soul for a special purpose. Usually being able to procure these for less than a dollar, I scarf up most of them for future modification. I’m sure you have some of these places near you and it’s worth finding them. It’s also entertaining figuring out what the tool was made for. Some of them show definite signs of commercial industrial manufacture, but reasons not immediately obvious. Once in a while, I find one that I am relatively sure was made by a fellow gunsmith because it is usable as is in gunwork. Enjoy these tools as you ponder which one of them will help you in your shop.
Read more in the January 2017 issue.