New handles for my planes

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Project by kiwisharyn posted 07-01-2009 02:36 AM 2475 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I snapped the handle on my #4 – Andyboy kindly donated some 1” walnut and I made the rest up from there. It turned out so well I’m making one for my #5 as well – shown at the halfway stage, with holes bored and band-sawn to shape. Will rasp and file to a comfortable fit, then finish the same as the other – sand to 320, one coat oil and a light soft wax.

I guess there are some guidelines somewhere for making these handles – I tried to use the grain as best I could and beefed up the handle a little to increase wall thickness for the through-hole.

Now to replace those resin knobs…

-- ... must be time for a cup of tea and a sit-down

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113831 posts in 2667 days

#1 posted 07-01-2009 02:38 AM

Nice plane handles

-- Custom furniture

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 2773 days

#2 posted 07-01-2009 02:45 AM

well done! do you take orders? :-)

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 2813 days

#3 posted 07-01-2009 02:56 AM

That looks real nice. I was using my #5 tonight and thought “I need change the handle to fit my hand better.” No need to modify the handle that is there: just make a new one. Nice work.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Matt 's profile


208 posts in 2839 days

#4 posted 07-01-2009 03:29 AM

Looks great. I’m in the process of making new handles for my jointer plane. Any tips on drilling the holes?

-- Hold on! Let me get the board stretcher!

View kiwisharyn's profile


60 posts in 2368 days

#5 posted 07-01-2009 05:03 AM

Hey Matt – The main tip is to drill the holes as early as possible – that way you can cut the blank to give flat surfaces to locate off.
I used the drill press, sandwiched my handle blank between two (buzzed square) pieces of 4×2, with a couple of spacer blocks the same thickness as the blank. The whole sandwich was then clamped to the drill press bed. I drew the hole locations on the side of the blank and used a square to check for vertical. I figure the holes are within half a mm for line and position and they didn’t give me any trouble. Each handle took about 2-3 hours all up.
Good luck!

-- ... must be time for a cup of tea and a sit-down

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3004 days

#6 posted 07-01-2009 12:32 PM

Amazing what a wooden handle will do to beautify a handtool. It looks sooo much better. Nicely done!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View bern92's profile


71 posts in 2445 days

#7 posted 07-01-2009 03:54 PM

kiwisharyn, here is a link for printable handle templates and a router bit to shape it.,46168,46175&ap=1

View kiwisharyn's profile


60 posts in 2368 days

#8 posted 07-02-2009 02:23 AM

Thanks for the link – I knew the info would be around somewhere. Still happy to make them by hand :-)

-- ... must be time for a cup of tea and a sit-down

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 2802 days

#9 posted 07-06-2009 07:19 PM

Thanks for the project, I love handles. Also kiwi for the link.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2763 days

#10 posted 08-21-2009 12:14 PM

Nice plane handle.

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3025 days

#11 posted 01-01-2010 11:16 AM

I can’t get it Bern92. We love hand tools but why use a router to shape a plane handle. Just kidding :-)

Nice handles by the way.


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View bobkberg's profile


411 posts in 2163 days

#12 posted 12-02-2010 10:04 PM

Bautiful job! It’s always nice to see someone treat their tools as lovingly as their projects.

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View Dave's profile


11256 posts in 1930 days

#13 posted 02-09-2011 03:32 AM

Looks Great. Keep em working.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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