Tool Handles

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Project by whiskeyturner posted 04-15-2010 03:20 PM 2159 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

G’Day All, I’ve had some new P&N gouges in my hands for almost 12 months and now it’s time to make handles and put them to work…....  
The blanks I chose are 50mm by 50 mm by 900mm garden stakes in a pack of 6 for $17.00 all of them seem to be part of the Casuarina family.

My method of turning tool handles is as follows;
I cut my blank with an extra inch to spare. After centering as usual, I drill the tool end slightly undersize with the Jacobs chuck & drill bit in the tailstock. I use a cone shaped live center that fits in the hole, this ensures the handle is truly centered. I rough down to the basic shape and reduce the end to fit the brass ferrule, then remove the handle to put the ferrule on. I then remount it and polish the ferrule and then give it a coat of Carnauba wax. I use a parting tool & calipers to set the minimum & maximum thicknesses. Finally I finish turning with the skew chisel and use wire to burn in decorative black lines, then sand and finish with Carnauba wax. I part off at the spur drive end with the skew, then use a mallet to drive the handle home over the tool.   
The ferrule is polished before turning to reduce the risk of discolouring the wood. I also like to put masking tape over the polished ferrule to protect it when sanding the handle.
All the left over stakes will now be used for small boxes, goblets and egg cups and maybe even a laminated bowl or two…... All that and 4 good looking tool handles, not bad for $17.00. 

Of course all comments are welcome and if you know another way of turning handles or have anything to add please share it.
Thanks for looking.

-- There is always an opportunity to learn. . . .Steve Mcgrady. . Sydney, Australia.

11 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3068 days

#1 posted 04-15-2010 03:44 PM

Nice Handles !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4327 days

#2 posted 04-15-2010 04:08 PM

A nice job On the beautiful handles. Nice looking wood, what is it?

I made some handles for some of my Record chisels, because they were kind of small for my


-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3117 days

#3 posted 04-15-2010 04:30 PM

Ohhh Lord woun’t you buy me a lathe…
It’s really fine work, I have to get me a wood lathe.
Thank you for sharing the beautiful handles.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 3966 days

#4 posted 04-15-2010 06:52 PM

I follow the same procedure as you in making handles and I think it’s the best way of doing it. For tools that do not have a round shank (scrapers, bedans, skews), I burn them in with a propane torch. Simpily drill a hole that is smaller, but close in size to the thickness of the tang. Then heat the tang with a propane torch until a dull red shows. From there, I hold the steel in a vise and drive the handle on with a mallet slowly until it is seated. Long, wide tangs may take a couple of heatings, but it creates a custom fit.

In addition, I try to make my handles “different” so I can find them in the racks. Color, shapes, lines, etc… just something to keep me from touching every tool when I need to find something.

-- Steven

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3603 days

#5 posted 04-15-2010 09:41 PM

Smart idea.
Great use for those stakes.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3316 days

#6 posted 04-15-2010 10:33 PM

cool very good idea!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 3115 days

#7 posted 04-16-2010 12:38 AM

It’s good to see your projects starting coming, Steve. I’m looking forward to see more soon.
I know Steve as a good and keen woodturner, trainer and friend of mine. We are members of the same woodturnig club. Dont miss to view his projects when they arrive.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View mancave's profile


114 posts in 3092 days

#8 posted 04-16-2010 01:58 AM

I see 5 handles, do you have trouble with math? LOL

View whiskeyturner's profile


95 posts in 3148 days

#9 posted 04-16-2010 05:07 AM

Your right there is 5, but one came with the tool, I thought I’d through it in as a comparison….

-- There is always an opportunity to learn. . . .Steve Mcgrady. . Sydney, Australia.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3064 days

#10 posted 04-16-2010 02:30 PM

Good work Steve. Thanks for sharing it.


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View whiskeyturner's profile


95 posts in 3148 days

#11 posted 04-17-2010 01:54 AM

G’day there Dick & Barb,The wood if think is part part of the Casuarina family. In Australia the common name is she-oak. I checked ouy your handles, great job! Custom fitting a tool to fit your hand is the greatest benefit of makeing your own, 90% 0f my tools were purchased un-handled.

Steven, Great name!....thanks for that i’ve never heard of that before, I normally round the edges with the grinder then use glue, i’ll try burning them in next time I have a squareish tang.

Thankyou Sam you put a tear in my eye lol..
also thanks to everyone who commented.

-- There is always an opportunity to learn. . . .Steve Mcgrady. . Sydney, Australia.

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