Hey all. Since there seemed to be some interest at RobustFest '07 in the hook tools and skew I made, I thought I'd share techniques and pictures.
First I started the forge fire. It's really smoky at first, but once the coal really gets crankin' the smoke disappears and you get a nice wispy - read:hot! - flame.
Next I have to mark the O1 tool steel rod where I want to cut it. I marked it every 9" with a cold chisel, using a holdfast in my pritchel hole for a third hand.
I used a cutoff hardie in my hardie hole to drive the hot steel down and cut it off. Demo piece here since I didn't have a helper to take pictures.
Next I flattened the end and tapered it to make for less grinding at the belt grinder. Next time I don't think I'm going to bother with this step.
I went to the belt grinder with 40 grit and shaped the edge close to the finished taper. Another "for next time": finish the inside of the hook to a much higher grit so I don't have to do so much work with the hone later. Note that I don't grind the finished edge at this point - if the steel gets too thin there's a good chance I'll burn it in the forge. Yes, steel burns and it's not a pretty sight when you're trying to make an edged tool.
Then it was time to turn the hook. I got it red hot and turned it around a piece of 1/4" rod. Next time I'll try a larger hook diameter.
More to come...