Sunday, June 28, 2009

Making 1mm Sculpting Tool Tips - Part 3

The next tool tip I call the mini knife tool tip because that’s just what it is.
If you already made a straight edge spatula tool tip, this tool tip will be quite easy for you to build. You have to forge the spring steel rod as if you would build a straight edge spatula tool tip. Then you have to cut off a bit of the flat end of the flattened steel like you can see on pic. 17). You can just grind away the steel with the rotary tool and the cutting wheel or you can cut it off with nipper pliers or pincers and then refine the edge on the cutting wheel (which might be easier).

After that just make sure, to get a smooth surface on your tool tip without scratches by using the abrasive paper like I’ve explained before. If you are pleased with the surface, all that’s left to do is to sharpen the edge of this mini knife. To do this, press the knife tip along its edge on abrasive paper with a fine grind in a 45-degree angle. Then drag it in a direction of 90-degrees to the direction of the edge, like you can see on pic. 18).

This might sound a bit complicated because it’s not easy to explain it exactly but simple at the same time and because of the lack of my English (sorry for that). But it’s exactly the same thing as if you would sharpen a (real) knife on a sharpening stone.

Again you just have to polish the mini knife tool tip and your new tool is done.
This tool is much better than using a hobby knife (like x-acto) in some cases because you can work more precisely in very small areas without blocking the view on the details with a large knife blade.

The next tool is also a kind of spatula, but because it’s a little different to build, I give it a separate description. His kind of tool you can find quite often among the dentist tools, but not in this small size as we'll do it.

To build it, just prepare your spring steel and give it a rounded tip, like I explained for the rounded spatula tool tip. Then you have to bend the end of the tool two times, like you can see on pic. 19).

This time you can use pliers to bend the steel. Because it’ not flattened and wasn’t heated by now it should stand the bending. Because spring steel wire is quite strong, it took some strength to do the bending, but take your time and be careful not to hurt yourself. I found out, that the steel from the safety pin could be bent much easier this way than the conventional spring steel.

If you bent the steel rod the right way, you have to flatten the bended parts like you see on pic. 20). Again make sure to work equally on both sides of the tool tip to keep it symmetrical.

Again remove all scratches from the tool tips surface with the abrasive paper and you’re done.

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