Hook Tool


Alan Lacer

Hook Tool Side View
Hook Tool Top View


  • Drill rod of "O l "tool steel, 3/8" diameter, 9" length
  • Quart of olive oil
  • Heat source: forge, MAPP Gas, acetylene, propane with oxygen, etc.
  • Tempilstik (optional) in 1450 and 450 or 488 degrees
  • Mill file
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Grinder, Norzon disc mounted on lathe in 60 grit, slip stone


in a softened state
Steel that has been heated to its critical temperature to bring to a very hard and brittle state
the process of bringing hardened steel to a softer, working hardness for a particular use.
Oxidation color spectrum:
the color spectrum that results from the oxidation of cold steel as it slowly gets hot. First appearing is light yellow moving to darker yellows, bronze, purple, then blues (dark to light), then back to silver.


  1. Grind steel to profile in diagrams above (don't get the edge sharp at this time).
  2. Heat last 1" or so to bright red and bend with needle nose pliers to create the hook-bending to left as viewed from above (cutting edge down). A "flute" that is about 1/4" to 3/8" across is about right--just be sure you can gain access to the inside flute with the hone!!!
  3. Reheat hook area to bright cherry red (around 1450 degrees) and quench in oil, stirring rapidly for about 1 minute. Take your time in heating get a very uniform bright red consistently through the hook area.
  4. Test for hardness by trying to file top of hook--should skate off, as it is now harder than the file.
  5. Clean the hook and about 3 inches behind the hook--goal is to get as clean and polished as possible (use soap and water, wet/dry paper, sometimes even a polishing wheel).
  6. Temper: heat about 3" behind hook very gradually--avoid bringing to any red--and let the oxidation colors develop. When the hook looks to be a dark yellow color, quickly quench in water. Tempilstik is an option.
  7. Sharpen the outside bevel to achieve a cutting edge--cool in water regularly to avoid bluing the edge. Hone the freshly ground edge with a slip stone, followed by honing the inside flute of the hook.

©Copyright 2011 Alan Lacer