Tool Beta Test

Tachigi

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Hi all,
I was hoping for a little input from this group on a tool I'm manufacturing. Presently I am manufacturing a small line of bonsai carving tools, draw gouges, palm chisels, etc. The one I would like input from you on is this draw gouge.

To set this up, I had purchased a while a go, some Chinese draw gouges for carving jin and shari. I found the Chinese version expensive and not quite up to snuff due to size, weight, construction, and its ability to hold an edge. Being unsatisfied I even added knurling to the shaft of the Chinese version to aid in the grip, as the shaft was smooth and slick as goose S*#%.

So I thought I'd take the plunge and reinvent the wheel. :D

Pictured below is the modified Chinese (black) version its weight is 4.0 ounces and length is 8 inches. What I found wrong using these in application was its rounded head, flexible shaft at the point of weld when pressure was applied. It didn't feel substantial in my hand when using it. The carving result was less than desirable.

The one I am manufacturing is the silver one. For this test we left it unpainted. It's weight is 7.5 ounces and length is 9.75 inches. This one has a knurled handle (not really visible due to the un painted surface and the flash). It also has a removable T handle (not pictured) so that you can, when needed, bring pressure to bear. It has a chisel style head, which is easier to sharpen. No welds, its all made from one piece of stock. The finish will be an epoxy base paint most likely Imron, which will make it hold its finish for almost ever. It feels substantial in your hand, like a tool should. The head on both tools pictured is 1/4 inch.

So if you had your druthers what would you change or add? We are also making a 1/8 inch draw gouge with more of a V head. Your suggestions will be applied to both. I appreciate any input to help making a better bonsai tool. To answer a question I know that will be asked. The retail price on this will be 22 to 24 bucks verses about 29 for the Chinese version
 

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Graydon

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Now we're talking! Way to go.

I like it so far. What grade bar stock are you using? What's the temper on a Rockwell scalewhen complete? Once the bend is made are you re-tempering after refining the shape but prior to final edge honing?

I suppose the knurling is good, I'm a fan of even more substantial grip aids such as leather wrapping or deeper ridges around the shank of the tool. Knurling, if not deep enough just seems to irritate me as if a suggestion of gripping but not a commitment.

I would look at powder-coating after shape refinement but prior to edge honing. Cheaper than catalyzed enamels, better on the environment and the applicator. Longer lasting as they sand blast prior to application. Post catalyzed auto enamels would really need a good etch type primer followed by a sealer and then the catalyzed enamel top coat. Too many steps even for small quantity. That's my experience with coatings that have to be guaranteed for a long time speaking. Did I mention that powder-coating is cheaper?
 

Tachigi

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I like it so far. What grade bar stock are you using? What's the temper on a Rockwell scale when complete? Once the bend is made are you re-tempering after refining the shape but prior to final edge honing?
Graydon,
Your such a techie :) . Barstock is grade 1114 stress proof a varient of 1018, Its Rockwell is B85 goes higher when its tempered. We haven't tested it after the temper yet, the OSI Lab is 50 mile up the road. Yes, we are re-tempering after refining the shape but prior to final edge honing. The knurl is deep and substantial I don't want to weave or wrap a leather handle for it, labor alone would drive up cost. However after this project is over and they lock me in the booby hatch, I'll be great at weaving baskets, so who knows. Powder coating would be great. However not cost effective in my situation. The set up for me would not be worth it, ovens and guns for powder coating. My boat business that I'm phasing out of has little need for powder coating except bezels and some engine parts. We usually contract that stuff out. The Imron is a pretty cool two part. To start its really not an auto type paint per say, however I do know a guy who sprayed his car with it 10 years ago and still shines like a new penny. Its used in industrial and marine applications due to its elasticity. It only requires an etch bath to be applied. You could use a special high build primer if you wanted, but not necessary. Best example I can give is, I fabricated a aluminum gauge box for my boat. Its been baked in the sun, and soaked by salt water for the last six years and it looks like it did when I painted it, except for the teeth marks when I popped a 5 foot wave at 65 mph, talk about air. I will keep the powder coating in the back of my head though. Who knows maybe after I burn up the 150 gallons of black Imron I'll go for it ;)
 
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John Hill

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Hi Tom,
This may sound funny but what is the stuff they use for rhino liners? Could this be used on the handle part?

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

Tachigi

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Hi John, Yeah I'm sure it could. We played around with semi similar coating. Sort of a rubberized paint. While it did the job, you lost the knurling. If memory serves me though isn't the stuff for Rhino liners textured? I can't remember.
 

Graydon

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I use a product called Grizzly-Giip. Essentially the same thing as Rhino-Liner. Both are a moisture cure urethane (aromatic or aliphatic). Aromatic is less expensive and only has one drawback - the sun will fade light colors and cause them to yellow a bit. Aliphatic does not need UV stabilizers but is a bit less flexible.

What I use has a small grade rubber chunks in it. May or may not feel good to some people's hands (think 20 grit rubber sandpaper).
 

Tachigi

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Knurling, if not deep enough just seems to irritate me as if a suggestion of gripping but not a commitment.
(think 20 grit rubber sandpaper).
The Grizzly-Giip/ rhino liner interests me. Would this sooth the irritation of no commitment? I defy anything to slip on 20grit sand paper.
 

Graydon

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I can't send a wet sample to you as it's flammable but I can send you a cured sample. I get it from www.grizzlygrip.com, they are something like Midwest Chemical but they mix and distribute from Orlando - hence my adaption of their product.

I'll shoot some on a section of EMT and send it your way next time I spray some.
 

Tachigi

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Cool, So I'm assuming that you'd prefer something like that verses a knurled handle?
 

Graydon

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Perhaps. But I am a bad one to ask as I will modify something I don't like without batting an eye. I'll do a sample to send to you and let you know what I think of it. I am still swinging an old Estwing 20-oz. rip claw hammer and a 16-oz. wood handled trim hammer. These new fangled anti shock rubber handles drive me nuts.

Back to the cutting edge - how easily can it be honed once dull? Do you need a special slip stone with a shape or can you do it on a flat stone?
 

Tachigi

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Flat stone
 
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Tom,

I use a similar tool that comes from Taiwan and costs around $50. I not only use it for carving but I also use it primarily for approach grafting on junipers. I would buy the tool if it had the following:

1) Sharp not only at the tip but down the sides about an inch or less
2) An easy way shapen the blade (i.e. not only w/ stone but also with leather)
3) Price under $50 (so far so good)
4) A carrying case with a silk liner and my name... never mind that one.
5) Small & medium sizes (because you can't have just one)
6) Won't rust when I leave it outside.

All in all I could see myself buying something like this.

JC
 

Tachigi

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Made it, use it, and sell it Irene ..... There made in a limited quantity over the winter based on projected sales and so every year when there gone, there gone till the following year.


JC,
I think the one you use is probably the same as the one I used when I decided to tinker. If its the one that is welded between the shaft and head it is one in the same. The weld and shaft size is what I was most displeased with and what made me rethink the design.

Its original intention was for Si Diao, but as you suggested with sharp sides it became a tool that could do more than just peel back fibrous material.

So I think I can satisfy 5 of your 6 criteria...You'll have to wait on the embroidered silk liner...my sewing skills need improvement ;)
 
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Tom,

You're right, the tool I have is the Si Diao carving hook. I'm curious to know are you going to provide an easy way to sharpen the tool? Right now to sharpen grafting knives, I use stones from 500 grit all the way to I think 5,000 grit (maybe finer), however I definitely strop the blade to get that real sharp edge. On my hooked carving tool, I'm still trying to figure out how to get that fine edge back.

JC
 

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