Walnut Screwdriver handles with Lee Valley Shanks

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Project by Adam posted 09-22-2012 02:42 PM 9599 views 37 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got these Lee Valley shafts about 2 years ago as a gift but had been struggling with how to make the handles. Well I picked up an inexpensive lathe and this is the first project completed on it. The handles are based off Darnell’s handles. He has an excellent how to on how he made his “handles” :http:// on his blog. I however do not have a metal lathe and needed another way to make the brass ferrules. I ended up using brass plumbing fittings of various sizes depending on the shaft.

The following is how I ended up making the handles. firist I make the square blancs onthe table saw and then made the handles into an octagon with the router.

Then i mounted the blank on the lathe and truned the shaft down so I could thread and epoxy the fitting on.

Then I remounted on the lathe. The brass is soft enough to turn with regular turning tools but I found the round scraper to be the easiest and smoothest cutting on the brass. After I roughed it round I used a file to make them perfectly flat.

I sanded up to 600 and polished the brass

Then I turned the rest of the handle, drilled the hole for the shaft on the lathe with a drill bit chuck, inserted the shaft, sanded and finished with BLO and wax.

I am really happy with the way they turned out and the hardest part will be actually using them.

Thanks for looking.

-- Adam, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

13 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3894 days

#1 posted 09-22-2012 03:13 PM

Fantastic job all around : ) Great idea using those brass fittings !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View WilcoFlier's profile


58 posts in 3219 days

#2 posted 09-22-2012 03:58 PM

They are beautifull! Wel done!

-- Wilco Flier

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2407 days

#3 posted 09-22-2012 04:10 PM

They look great….. Ohhh so pretty also. I have a bunch of old screw drivers I picked up at garage sales that are in good shape except for the handles being messed up on some and plan on doing the same. I bet you won’t be smacking them with a hammer like some of these I picked up looked like.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4186 days

#4 posted 09-22-2012 10:01 PM

Excellent job!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1570 posts in 3771 days

#5 posted 09-22-2012 11:13 PM

Nice… Also like the brass reducing bushing. Thanks for showing the process.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2454 days

#6 posted 09-23-2012 01:37 AM

I really want these, but I heard lee valley stopped carrying them. Those came out awesome and you cleared up a lot of the mystery for me


View clieb91's profile


3521 posts in 4141 days

#7 posted 09-23-2012 01:39 AM

Thanks for showing the process you used. They turned out real nice, congrats on the new lathe. Look forward to seeing what else you “turn ” out.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View waho6o9's profile


8525 posts in 2783 days

#8 posted 09-23-2012 01:54 AM

Most excellent work Adam, and thanks for the tutorial.
I like the use of the brass as well.

View RTim's profile


60 posts in 2898 days

#9 posted 09-23-2012 11:34 AM

These came out really nice. I like the way your ferrules look much better than the ones Lee Valley sells. Theirs are kind of flimsy looking, yours looks like they add a lot of strength to the end of the handle.

The shanks are still for sale…$16.40 for the full set of 9.,43411,43417&ap=2

-- Tim from MA -- "Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franlin

View Schwieb's profile


1872 posts in 3667 days

#10 posted 09-23-2012 12:52 PM

Beautiful screwdrivers! I’m impressed with the way you did the ferrules. You one upped the Lee Valley idea.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4424 days

#11 posted 09-23-2012 01:26 PM

The screwdrivers came out fantastic, and I’m even more impressed with the creative thought process behind their design.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2999 days

#12 posted 09-23-2012 01:35 PM

Man those are nice. And great thinking on the brass.
Thanks for sharing them with us.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View bondogaposis's profile


5098 posts in 2557 days

#13 posted 09-23-2012 01:56 PM

Those look great! Really nice work.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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