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Carving bar update

August 10 2017 at 11:42 AM
Brian Harnett  (Login Brianharnett)

Two years or so ago I posted how I made a carving bar similar to the Sioux Carving bar that is no longer available, I made two and both are working great one is on my gas saw and one for my indoor setup on the electric. They have gotten a lot of hours.

I am reposting the information for anyone interested in making their own bar.

My material for the bar was 2 Inch Wide x 3/16 Inch Thick, Tool Steel Air Hardening Flat Stock I bought a 36” piece at MSC direct.


The blank was cut with a cutoff wheel in a die grinder then smoothed to shape with a belt sander I have a 6 x 48 floor model but a smaller sander should work fine.

The mounting slot was done on the milling machine a careful job with the die grinder could get the job done too. I used carbide end mills for the tensioner hole and oiler ports carbide tipped masonry bits will also drill this material.

The chain guide slot was ground with a thin cutoff wheel in a router table multiple light passes were needed.

Now the important part the tool steel needs to be heat treated I heated mine to 1800 degrees for 35 minutes in the improvised woodstove insulator pipe forge, it worked really well I am going to fix it up to be a more permanent tool.

It will have black scale on it from being in the forge you can get stainless steel foil to wrap it with to prevent the oxidation, it will polish off I cleaned mine off on a 6x48 belt sander

Pull it out and let air cool when its cooled it needs to be heated for a hour at 400 degrees for temper.










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(Login Issias)

nice work

August 10 2017, 2:42 PM 

Hey, nice work!
I have some questions. First, how were you able to cut chain guide slot? I mean the depth of a slot. The cutoff wheel is wearing off when cutting so how do you control how deep it is cutting?
Second, why is curvy blade worth making. I have never used one myself so i am wondering is it easier to work with it, or is it more durable..?

After a long time very interesting post, thank you. I envy your skills.

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Brian Harnett
(Login Brianharnett)

Re: nice work

August 10 2017, 3:29 PM 

As the abrasive wheel wears I move the guide fence back I use a piece of sheet metal with a mark at 5mm as a depth gauge once its at that point its deep enough.

Concerning the shape, I like it having a straight top it seems to not have as much chain slap at the bottom behind the tip though that just may be the durability of the steel.

If you like the more traditional carving bar shape no reason not to make it that way.

I have also re tipped worn out stellite bars with this hardfacing rod. https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Demon-hardfacing-maintenance-electrode/dp/B00I4BXK4K

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Carver Jake
(Login Carver01)

Re: nice work

August 10 2017, 9:13 PM 

Very interesting, as all your articles. Thanks

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