Crucible News

  • Soon: Lots and Lots of Dividers

    Posted on March 19 2017

    Soon: Lots and Lots of Dividers
    On Saturday, Raney Nelson packed the results of the last 18 months of his hard labor on Crucible dividers into his SUV: tooling, multiple mounting plates for the dividers’ components,...
  • Update on the Improved Pattern Dividers

    Posted on March 07 2017

    6 Comments

    Update on the Improved Pattern Dividers
    Next Saturday we’re taking a big step forward to meet demand for our Improved Pattern Dividers. We know that many of you have been waiting (mostly) patiently. And I’m happy...
  • More Holdfasts Today

    Posted on February 20 2017

    4 Comments

    I picked up some more holdfasts at Erhart Foundry today, so we now have plenty on hand in the store. The Erhart foundry has been slammed with work the last...
  • Crucible Tool: Why So Quiet?

    Posted on February 05 2017

    4 Comments

    Crucible Tool: Why So Quiet?
    While we haven’t posted anything here for the last six weeks, all three of us at Crucible Tool have been swamped with work for our toolmaking company. But the work...
  • Things That are Made of Ductile Iron

    Posted on December 13 2016

    4 Comments

    Things That are Made of Ductile Iron
    According to the Cast Metals Institute of the American Foundrymen’s Society: Pipe (about 44 percent of all ductile is used in pipes)Valves and pipe fittingsCrankshaftsAutomotive front wheel spindle supportsSteering knucklesDisc...
  • Why Our Holdfasts are Different

    Posted on December 10 2016

    3 Comments

    Why Our Holdfasts are Different
    I like to think of our holdfasts as a “course correction” for this form of tool. During the last 25 years, holdfasts (when you could find them) became lighter, shorter...
  • How to Clock the Eyeballs

    Posted on December 08 2016

    2 Comments

    How to Clock the Eyeballs
    Clock Your Dividers from Christopher Schwarz on Vimeo. When you received your dividers, were the eyeballs cockeyed? I thought so. We don’t clock the center pivot screw (despite our rampaging...
  • A Trick to Open the Dividers

    Posted on November 28 2016

    7 Comments

    A Trick to Open the Dividers
    Open Your Dividers from Christopher Schwarz on Vimeo. The Crucible Improved Pattern Dividers are supposed to be set tightly so they will hold their setting in any workshop situation. The...
  • How to Sharpen Crucible Dividers

    Posted on November 27 2016

    3 Comments

    How to Sharpen Crucible Dividers
    Sharpen Crucible Dividers from Christopher Schwarz on Vimeo. A few customers have commented that their dividers have slightly irregular tips or have difficulty making clean holes in hardwoods. After some...
  • Next Batch of Dividers: Wednesday

    Posted on November 21 2016

    11 Comments

    Next Batch of Dividers: Wednesday
    No matter when I talk to Raney at the Crucible lab – Friday night, Sunday morning, whenever – there’s always the sound of the CNC mill going on in the...
  • Questions About Dividers & Ordering

    Posted on November 11 2016

    8 Comments

    Questions About Dividers & Ordering
    During the last month we’ve received a lot of questions about the availability of our dividers. Why can’t I order them? Why don’t you have a waiting list? Is this...
  • More Crucible Dividers Coming on Nov.18

    Posted on November 10 2016

    1 Comments

    More Crucible Dividers Coming on Nov.18
    We’ll have a large batch of improved pattern dividers ready to ship out to customers that will go up for sale at noon EST on Friday, Nov. 18. We apologize...
  • A Delay in the Next Batch of Dividers

    Posted on October 18 2016

    7 Comments

    A Delay in the Next Batch of Dividers
    We’ve decided to hold off on offering another batch of dividers until we can get some additional tooling in house this week and build up a bigger inventory so they...
  • More Dividers on the Way Next Week

    Posted on October 14 2016

    3 Comments

    More Dividers on the Way Next Week
    We sold out of our first batch of Improved Pattern Dividers today in 38 minutes (we were hoping this first load would last a week). So thanks to everyone who...
  • Making the Crucible Improved Pattern Dividers

    Posted on October 13 2016

    25 Comments

    Making the Crucible Improved Pattern Dividers
      When Raney Nelson explains to me how he makes dividers on the CNC mill, he makes it sound like he’s just doing some laundry: loading items into a machine,...
  • This Friday: Crucible Dividers

    Posted on October 10 2016

    2 Comments

    This Friday: Crucible Dividers
    At noon EST on Friday, Oct. 14, we will put the first batch of dividers up for sale here on the Crucible Tool website. We are now in continuous production...
  • Enlarge 3/4" Holdfast Holes to 1"

    Posted on September 30 2016

    4 Comments

    Enlarge 3/4
    There are a variety of inexpensive and quick ways to enlarge 3/4” holes on your benchtop to 1” (or any other dimension). One of the simplest is to use a...
  • Make Your Own 1"-diameter Bench Dogs

    Posted on September 27 2016

    2 Comments

    Make Your Own 1
    Before the 3/4” brass dogs made by Lee Valley Tools became the de facto standard size (and that 3/4” size seeped into other bits of bench hardware), most workbenches had...
  • At the Erhart Foundry

    Posted on September 24 2016

    4 Comments

    At the Erhart Foundry
    Our holdfasts are produced two at a time at the Erhart Foundry, which is in the old industrial quarter of Cincinnati – less than two miles from my workshop. It’s...
  • Why a 1” Holdfast Hole?

    Posted on September 21 2016

    3 Comments

    Why a 1” Holdfast Hole?
    The No. 1 question we hear about our holdfasts is this: Why did you choose to make a holdfast that needs a 1” hole? Why not 3/4”, which is the...
  • How to Drill & Ream a Holdfast Hole

    Posted on September 21 2016

    10 Comments

    How to Drill & Ream a Holdfast Hole
      One of the reasons the Crucible Iron Holdfast works so well is there is a close fit between its untapered shaft and its hole in the workbench top. To...
  • Where to Locate Your Holdfast Holes

    Posted on September 21 2016

    6 Comments

    Where to Locate Your Holdfast Holes
    No matter where you place your holdfast holes on your benchtop, we recommend you have a reason for each one – not just a vague feeling about its location. The...
  • Holdfasts: As High as You Like

    Posted on September 20 2016

    1 Comments

    Holdfasts: As High as You Like
    Most holdfasts do a fine job of clamping the work when it’s 2” or less off the benchtop. But when the work is higher than that, the tool might balk...
  • Holdfasts Hold – Thanks to Iron & Grime

    Posted on September 20 2016

    Holdfasts Hold – Thanks to Iron & Grime
    I’ve often wondered why electric miter saws have tables and fences that are a slick as owl s&*t. I’ve asked the saws’ manufacturers this question many times. Here’s their answer:...
  • Why We Prefer a Tight Fit & an Untapered Shaft

    Posted on September 20 2016

    5 Comments

    Why We Prefer a Tight Fit & an Untapered Shaft
    The Crucible Iron Holdfast is patterned after a French holdfast that a friend of ours, Brian Anderson, discovered on a dung heap in a barn. Like many French holdfasts from...
  • Early Dividers from Pompeii

    Posted on May 13 2016

    2 Comments

    Early Dividers from Pompeii
    Here are the earliest dividers I’ve seen in person. These bronze dividers (or “compass” if your name is Peter or Jennie) were found in the ruins of Pompeii, which was...

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