Making a Handle For a Turning Tool

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Mike Turner posted 09-04-2016 04:42 PM 478 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mike Turner's profile

Mike Turner

7 posts in 1575 days

09-04-2016 04:42 PM

I have a tool someone made for me…( a turning tool)The tang from the handle end to the beginning of the cutting tool is 6” long.The width of this piece is 7/8”. It is 3/8” thick. (The handle part is thick and wide) I thought about grinding an equal amount off of each side but dont want want to do this.I thought about taking 2 pieces of wood and routing a groove in each piece so that the tool would fit snugly in it but I think this would end up being a bigger handle than I want.Im scratching my head on this and dont have a whole lot of time to put in to this as my schedule is jam packed to say the least…Rather be using the tool…Thanks for any help !!!.

I have a picture but will have to learn the process to load one on here and cant right now.

-- Mike,North Carolina

11 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7361 posts in 1426 days

#1 posted 09-04-2016 05:20 PM

A picture of the tool might help folks give you ideas

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7696 posts in 1799 days

#2 posted 09-04-2016 06:43 PM

It sounds like a knife-like tool without a handle. Without knowing more all I could do is direct you to google knife making videos. Probably what will need to happen is make the handle in 2 pieces and then sand/grind it to finished size, a belt sander would be very useful.


View Wildwood's profile


1850 posts in 1553 days

#3 posted 09-04-2016 07:44 PM

I too am confused with your discription of the tool. If the overall lenght is 6”’s how much of a tang do you want going into the handle? A lot of skew chisels come with a tang between 2 1/4” and or 2 1/2” long today. If grind the handle end to a tapor can make a three piece tool handle. If good with a torch could also cut a tang!

Can saw the center piece of wood same shape as tang but slightly smaller; then glue on top & bottom to center piece of wood. I would use something like JB Weld to glue handle together.

-- Bill

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1770 days

#4 posted 09-04-2016 08:22 PM

One way to do it is to drill a hole that is undersized for the fat end of the tang. Then put the tool in a vise and heat the tang with a torch, you don’t want a tremendous amount of heat, you’re not trying to change the temper, but just enough to burn wood. Then beat the handle on with a mallet until it is fully seated. You will be surprised how easily hot steel cuts through wood. Pull the handle back off and let everything cool down then epoxy the handle in place.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Mike Turner's profile

Mike Turner

7 posts in 1575 days

#5 posted 09-04-2016 09:25 PM

It is one of these in this video.Reed is a great guy to work with….ships things really fast too. I cant wait to use this tool. I am just trying to figure the best way ..quickest way to make a handle..I aint real fast lol esp when short on He has a video on how he makes his handles but I am still thinking.

The measurement (6”) is going up to the back of the cutter which is maybe couple of inches long.

-- Mike,North Carolina

View MrUnix's profile


4028 posts in 1618 days

#6 posted 09-04-2016 09:46 PM

Do like Reed did… cut down the end to fit in a handle…7/8” is too wide IMO.

Also, I love the video – kind of reinforces my lack of desire to get a chuck – particularly for turning bowls :)


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Mike Turner's profile

Mike Turner

7 posts in 1575 days

#7 posted 09-04-2016 10:30 PM

Yep 7/8” is too big. Thats a lot of grinding..Thats what I was wanting to avoid but I guess I can’t.Its the only way I could cut it I could use my 4” grinder.If I did that I would just use 2 pieces with a groove 1/2” the thickness routed in each one, glue them together, turn it put and put a ferrule on it

-- Mike,North Carolina

View HapHazzard's profile


92 posts in 287 days

#8 posted 09-05-2016 12:31 AM

Grind the tang square, round the end, drill the handle about 1/2” deeper than you want the tang to go, stick the tool into the handle, hold it with the tool down, hit the end of the handle with a rawhide mallet until it stops moving. If it doesn’t go far enough, pull it out, enlarge the hole and try again. Don’t try to drive it all the way in now or it will get lose in the winter. Don’t put the ferrule on until winter either unless you have a tighter one to put on it when the humidity drops.

-- Unix programmers never die; they just > /dev/null

View Bill7255's profile


344 posts in 1704 days

#9 posted 09-05-2016 01:41 PM

7/8 is way too wide. All of the tools I have rehandled the tangs are 5/16 to 3/8 wide and the thickness of the tool. There is also a slight taper like a file. The tang varies in length to about 2 1/2”. You can do handles several ways. One is to split the handle and using a router put the groove in, then glue halves back together and turn. I don’t particularly like splitting the handle. I make a insert with the groove. Take a 1/2” thick by 1” wide piece of wood about 12” long. Put the groove in using a router. Cut in half and glue together. Glue 1” X 1” square on each end ( for lathe centers). Turn to 5/8” diameter and cut the squares off each end. Cut the insert about 1/4” longer than tang. Turn the handle and drill a 5/8” hole about 1/8” shorter than the insert (a little to sand when insert is glued in ). This is definitely more trouble, but the end result is a better fit of the tang without splitting the handle.

-- Bill R

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

65 posts in 497 days

#10 posted 09-10-2016 02:03 PM

Here’s a tip I have found useful. Each home made tool handle is shaped a little different so identifying which one from the rack is easier. OKAY I didn’t do it that way on purpose, it was just the way they turned out!

-- "Now we are getting no where, thanks to me"

View Wildwood's profile


1850 posts in 1553 days

#11 posted 09-11-2016 03:58 PM

After reading your post here & wood-net guess should of posted link to Reed Gray’s method of making a handle.

-- Bill

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics