More very simple
Bent Tools
© Frank Ford, 4/25/98; Photos by FF, 1997

Another amazingly useful tool is this little butane torch. This little guy has a spark lighter and fires up instantly with one hand. Because it's so easy to light the gas consumption is very low. I'm still surprised how many things I get done before time to recharge.

Here's how I use the little torch to mess up some standard tools:

These are regular palette knives I've torched and bent to suit a particular job. I broke the blade off one palette knife and simply soldered it onto a piece of 1/8" diameter steel rod. This is the most handy one, because I can bend it to fit into the craziest places.

Check out these bent items:

#1 and #2 are old files I've bent and sharpened to be bridge plate removal chisels.

#3 is a file I bent and made into a chisel to remove a piece of top reinforcement near the soundhole of a guitar.

#4 is the only one that started out life as a chisel. It's bent at 90 degrees for working inside a guitar to chop out a piece of lining.

#5, #6 and #7 are a good illustration of what you can do with old cheap screwdrivers. I've modified these to be bent chisels. Without even hardening the blades, they're good for doing a critical job before they get dull. I simply sharpen them with a file, and I'm off and running again. I made #5 and #6 so that they cut both on the ends and the edges of the blades and they're different lengths so I could reach inside the F-holes of a severely overbuilt early 70s Gibson F-5 mandolin to reduce the thickness of the tone bars without disassembly.

The others are more modified palette knives. I'm ruthless with palette knives.

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