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Why is the guy in the picture fencing with his lathe? Is he some sort of modern-day Don Quixote with delusions of slaying a swarf-breathing dragon? Okay, so he’s just cleaning the chips from his machine using a chip hook. The guard on the chip hook is there to keep his unprotected hand from getting cut by the sharp shavings.

There are a number of chip hook manufacturers. The best-looking products are from NOGA; they include the NogoGrip handle, are black finished, and can be sold with a detachable “shovel” blade.

Since I can’t find NOGA chip hooks for sale anywhere, I’ll highlight another manufacturer: H & R Mfg & Supply. They make another chip hook unfortunately named the “Chip Hook-R” in 18″, 24″, and 30″ lengths, all of which you can purchase for around $20 to $25 from the Tool Guys.

Chip Hooks [NOGA]
Chip Hook-R [H & R Mfg & Supply]
Chip Hooks [Tool Guys]

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9 Responses to Bent Foil Or Chip Hook?

  1. Kurt says:

    Seems like something that could be made with a coat hanger and a bit of dowel (don’t through away broken broom handles!) if you needed it. I use a bit screwdriver when I need to clear the swarf, but usually shut off the lathe first.

  2. squidlow says:

    Nice idea.

    I’ve been using a long cotter pin puller, but I like this tool…

  3. Cameron Watt says:

    If you like this I have a bridge to sell you…

  4. Joe C. says:

    Isn’t a machinist someone who makes things from scratch? If so, why would they buy something like this?

  5. Dave P says:

    @ Joe C. : You’d be surprised at the number of guys who forget they can make stuff that isn’t sent to them by an engineer. In my shop there’s folks who will tag-out a machine for a week waiting on the manufacturer to ship a replacement part they could make out of scrap in 15 minutes.

  6. NickC says:

    Seems like this for $13 would work better:
    http://www.amazon.com/Bully-Tools-92151-L-Steel-Separator/dp/B000RT7IUE Or for that matter just any non fan hand rake.
    While the bellguard on the hook-r looks cute, it seems like it would get in the way while storing.

  7. jonnyp says:

    DoD work requires that the tool be manufactured by a qualified tool supplier and that tool has to listed on the job sheet ( procedure) for the part you are making,which is approved by DoD, a part which is made of some exotic metal and ten times more complicated than a sword with a hook, but your facility is not a qualified to make hooked swords so you buy them from an approved source of supply for ten times what they are worth , but they adhere to mil specs.You won’t believe the myriad of tools that fall into this classification

  8. fred says:

    Homemade tools are fine at home – but consider the liability in a commercial shop.

    BTW the folks (H&R) who make this tool also make the spring-loaded chuck keys that we use. Sure OSHA doesn’t absolutely require their use – and well taught practice is to never leave a chuck key in place on a lathe – drill press etc. but it happens with bad results – so there are publications on lathe safety that suggest it:


  9. The chip hook is an essential safety tool for all shops. The original manufacturer of THE professional chip hook is a French company KOPAL. In USA, you can purchase this hook from the excellent http://www.miteebite.com page 30 of their catalog (Part numbers 12060 – 12070 – 12080 – 12090 – 12100).
    SAFETY ! A work related accident can happen very easily. Always use a chip hook to clear away annoying chips and empty the chip trays on your machines.

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