Fret Saw Handle Upgrade

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Project by rkober posted 11-02-2013 09:25 PM 2706 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Fret Saw Handle Upgrade
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I have to give credit to Elkhead Tools for the inspiration on this one. After looking at their top end screw drivers and fret saw handles I decided to try my hand on the lathe. I wanted a dark wood so I went with walnut. However in hindsight I’m not sure walnut is really tough enough for handles in general. Here’s a run down of how I did it for anyone that’s interested:

Fret saw with handle removed. It simply pulls off.

I used a method that I’ve used for other handles like lathe tools, screwdrivers, etc. I use brass flare nuts and turn them down after installation. I’ve made a special tool with a high speed steel bit silver soldered on to turn the brass. I’ve heard you can also use your hss wood lathe tools but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I ran into some trouble mounting the brass flare nut and twisted the tenon off on my first try. After redoing it the handle was going to be to short to leave mounted in the chuck like I’ve historically done. So I drilled the 5/16 hole for the saw and made a pin vise to mount the handle so I wouldn’t have to waste as much of the blank.

I brought the live center up for support until I finally had to finish the end. As it turns out I really like this approach as it doesn’t waste as much wood and gives you complete access to finish the entire handle.

Lastly I made a spacer to fill the gap and center the handle with the blade (the tang is actually offset on these fret saws). Then I epoxied the flare nut on (is was just threaded finger tight) and finally the saw.

I really enjoy making handles for my tools. For me it makes the tool my own and just feels good in the hand.

-- Ray - Spokane, WA - “Most people don’t recognize opportunity because it’s usually disguised as hard work.” - Unknown

3 comments so far

View mariva57's profile


666 posts in 2175 days

#1 posted 11-05-2013 05:56 AM

Seems like a job well done, compliments

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2346 days

#2 posted 11-06-2013 03:45 PM

Pretty handle! Great shape, looks comfy to hold and the wood is beautiful. Well done!

View GaryB's profile


29 posts in 3849 days

#3 posted 01-09-2014 09:34 PM

Nice job, that is exactly the method we used for our first prototypes. You will enjoy the upgrade.
Gary Benson
Elkhead Tools

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