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Recently, there has been a real focus on the importance of tools, especially for those in the trade. With tool thefts at epidemic proportion, the true value of a worker’s tools has been plunged into the limelight.
But, how much do we actually know about our tools? What process do they go through before they end up in our toolboxes? Well, we decided to have a look and go behind the scenes to check out the making of a Bolster Chisel.
First up, bars of carbon steel are heated up in a gas fire furnace. Incredibly hot, the furnace heats the metal to a whopping 1,220°c. This process takes around eight minutes to complete when heating the steel from cold.
Next, when the steel is removed from the furnace, it is placed over a set of dies with the impression of the Brick Bolster in them. The items are then forged using a Drop Forging Hammer which weighs a massive 50 tonnes. This repeatedly strikes the steel in order to be spread it into the brick bolster shape.
After that, the clipping stage then begins. Whilst still hot, the chisel is ‘clipped’ in order to remove any excess steel that is created via the forging process. The excess steel that is collected is then sold on and recycled.
Once clipped, the chisel is then placed into a Shotblast machine. Here, it is cleaned via thousands of steel balls firing at it. This removes any carbon scale that has been created during the forging process.
The rough chisels are then ground down by hand too. This allows for any excess steel to be removed and for the tool to be tidied up and the cutting edge applied.
The chisels are then places into a slot furnace. There, they are left to soak for thirty minutes at a temperature of 850°c. Only the blade of the tool reaches this temperature though, which means the shaft is softer and it is safe to hit the head with a hammer.
The chisels are then removed from the fire and placed quickly in oil. This quenching bath allows for the blade to be hardened and the oil residue is removed in a degreasing bath.
Following the quenching process, the chisels are left quite brittle though. Therefore, they are then placed in a tempering bath for 90 minutes. Heated to 240°c, this helps remove the brittleness of the tool.
Nearing the end of the process, the Bolster Chisels are dipped into a paint tank. They are then sent around a heated track in order to stove the paint onto the tool before being sharpened and shipped across the UK and the rest of the world.
Take a look at the full video on how Bolster Chisels are here:
Take a look at how tape measures are made here.
So what do you think of this? Let us know in the comments below.