This year I decided to turn a miniature ornament for the challenge. Turning something this small is not as fast as I thought it would be. You have to slow down and make small cuts. It also gave me a chance to put some new tools to use. I made the miniature scraper and detail tool using some HSS I bought online: DIY Miniature Woodworking Tools Thanks to Carl Jacobson and Alan Stratton for hosting the Ornament Challenge. Playlist: Contest announcement: Challenges Music by Jason Shaw @ audionautix.com
I made a couple of small (~1/4″ diameter/ 6mm) tools using some M2 High Speed Steel that I bought online for a few dollars. I made some handles and ground them into 1) a skew chisel, and 2) a detail tool (flute-less gouge?). These tools are quite useful for working on smaller pieces. Making your own tools is a great way to make woodturning even more affordable!
I made this 1/8″ awl using some O1 steel that I purchased, a short piece of copper pipe, and a scrap piece of hickory. I turned a tapered handle, formed the tip, and heat treated the metal. This Awl can be use to scribe a line, mark a point, and even drill a 1/8″ hole through a board.