but i used awl for the cover


i really wanted a small abacus to play with, so i made one out of a matchbox.

materials used:
beads, toothpicks (or cord/string), matchbox (or any small box, such as boxes for earrings), scissors, an awl/ needle/ tack, glue and tape (optional)

first i used an awl to pierce holes on the sides of the matchbox and stuck the toothpicks with beads on them into the holes. then i cut the tips of the toothpicks off with scissors so they won’t poke out through the sides.

string or cord can be used in place of toothpicks, as long as they are drawn tight and secured in place with knots. in my opinion, the toothpicks have a nicer feel though.

i put clear super glue where the toothpicks meet the box and used tape to secure the box’s edges down and cover the box cover’s striking strip (though that is all optional).


A short update :)

I decided to let ポテト (the plush cat (^-^;) hold the awl to make @todayintokyo and potentially some other people as well happy :D

I made a sheaths for it to protect its tip and to prevent it from rusting :)
I used one of the Kogatana I made earlier to carve out the shape and a Mame Kanna (a very small plane :) to smooth it out :)

I use the same kind of cover on my Kiri (gimlets :) 
They work the best if you put a drop of oil into them this way each time you insert the tool into them you apply a light coat of oil on them :)
I like to use pine of fir for these since these are readily available but Kiri works very well too :D
Kiri is kind of hard to get a hold of in Hamburg though and I need to keep track of my money and I don’t have much Kiri left (^-^;)

Anyway I made some handles for the Kogatana as well :)
I used Kogatana without a handle for a long time until I saw a video of Kiyoto Tanaka carving the neck of a guitar using a Kogatana with this style of hand and ever since I tried it out myself I don’t want to use them without a handle anymore :D
The exception being my marking knife which I prefer to use without a handle or any wrapping :)

I finished the Osaebiki Nokogiri :)
The shape is not 100% correct and closer to a Katabe for details but this is because I’ve have had some situations where the saw blade was too tall to cut inside of a Dai and I had to resolve to using a jewelers saw which was tricky and annoying so I anticipated those situations and chose an old rusty run down saw that had a small saw blade :)
This will make some things on big Kanna less easy but I’m just happy I have a saw that works for both applications right now :D
The saw I used was a very rusty and bent one…
It came with a handle but it was falling apart. I tried removing it in a nondestructive traditional way but this didn’t work so I used a chisel to split it open and it seems like someone used epoxy to fix the handle to the blade :(
Please don’t do that Epoxy is just not good for that application. Yes you can heat it up to remove the blade but heating it up puts it at risk of loosing the temper since you cannot heat the tang directly and if you loose the temper retempering it is basically impossible for someone who’s not doing this on a regular basis (I have experience with metalworking and heat treating so I kind of know what I’m talking about and even I would not attempt doing this).
So please please please don’t use epoxy to fix a handle to your chisels, saws or awls m(_ _)m
All it does is marry a consumable (the handle) to the part that is supposed to last (the blade) so that it is a lot more work than it should be to separate both when one of them is used up.

For reference here are some articles I wrote about how to make traditional Japanese saw handles :)

and :)

I recommend wrapping the front part of saw handles with copper wire or steel wire to prevent it from splitting :)
There are many ways to go about this but I found that the way I like the most is to carve a shallow groove not deeper than the thickness of the wire into the wood of the handle and to fix the beginning of the wire in place using a small wooden pin/nails then wrap the wire tightly around the handle and fix the end of the wire in a similar fashion :)
This way you can easily salvage the wire when the handle wears out and reuse it on the replacement handle :)

Also I have 3 plush things :D
I’m too old for that (^-^;)

My next project is making a proper way to store my drills :D
My sharpening tray has fallen out of use because i sharpen at my kitchen sink and it is too big for my tiny kitchen…
I thought about salvaging the wood but I decided to put some partitions in it and to use it to store my drills which I usually store by wrapping them in newspapers (^-^;)

I need to make some kind of tool wrapper for my carving knifes as well (^-^;)
I have some old pieces of a jeans that I damaged so maybe I can use those to sew some kind of carving knife protection thingy :D

This article got longer than I expected (^-^;)
Sorry for my rant about epoxy but I’ve restored several tools where this was the case and it is one of the worst things I had to deal with (>_<;)

I wish everyone a great weekend with sweet dreams (^-^)/


Finishing various things I forged :)

The first, biggest and only completely finished thing is the awl :D
I only had a 2 mm thick piece of steel so I had to draw it out and squish it to make a 4 mm thick square piece of steel from it :)
It was a lot of fun and work to make it but I’m very happy with how it turned out and how it works :3
The handle is made from beech and the copper ferule from a old piece of copper that I shrunk onto the handle (by heating it up and putting it on the wooden handle :)

Up until now I have been using the awl from my set of screwdrivers that I’ve been using for 13 years now (^-^;)
Also that is the name of my former employer not of the manufacturer on the cover of the screwdrivers :) <=My classmates and I got these from our boss for Christmas, he was convinced that engineers need a good set of screwdrivers :)
I have been using them a lot over the years :D
I found the awl to be a little too big for marking things accurately so I adjusted the size of the new one to suit my needs :)

The half round carving gauges turned out nicer than I thought they would :o
The one on the right might look rough but the edge is great and clean :3
I left the surfaces that are not critical to its use raw and unfinished because those are covered by a layer of iron oxide which will prevent them from rusting (there are different kinds of iron oxide one is rust which will destroy your blade and the other doesn’t and keeps the rust away ;)

I screwed up making one of the gauge at first… I dropped a roughly shaped hardened gauge and it shattered into a thousand pieces (; _ ;) the tang was not hardened so I decided to make a tiny carving knife from it :D
I made a double bevel kogatana and a tiny plane blade too :)

I still need to put a clean bevel and cutting edge on the tiny plane blade though…
I want to make a tiny coffin smoother using this blade :)

The carving gauges as well as the kogatana and mini carving knife will receive traditional Japanese carving knife handles :)

Making these was a lot of fun and I want to make 2 chip carving knifes next :D

I wish everyone a great weekend, long lasting tools and sweet dreams (^-^)/