Wire-wrapping Ferrule's onto Tool Handles?

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Forum topic by BigFoot Products Canada posted 10-28-2010 06:11 PM 3671 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BigFoot Products Canada

631 posts in 2136 days

10-28-2010 06:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Over the years I have picked up a few small hand tools that have been wire wrapped for the “Ferrule”.
Does anyone know how this is done? and what tools I may need to have.

10 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


112804 posts in 2320 days

#1 posted 10-28-2010 06:25 PM

Good Idea David

-- Custom furniture

View Toolz's profile


1003 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 10-28-2010 06:33 PM

I would drill a very small hole (appropriate to the wire size) near the tools end of the handle. Epoxy the end of the wire into the hole. Carefully wrap the wire around the handle keeping it under tension. Drill a second small hoe to insert the bitter end of the wire and again epoxy it into place. I don’t think you need any special tools but you must ensure that you keep tension on the wire while wrapping it. The only spevial tool I could forsee is a tiny drill bit. Looking forward to seeing how others would do this.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View swirt's profile


1952 posts in 1715 days

#3 posted 10-28-2010 07:52 PM

This is an interesting series of photos showing wrapping a knife handle.
I imagine a similar technique could be used for tool handles.

I think Toolz suggestion of the drilled hole for the wire would be fine for the start, but I don’t think you’d be able to get the end into another hole and maintain any kind of tension on it (unless maybe you could pull it all the way through). I think the wedge approach in the knife handle method would work well and if the wedge was matched from the same source of wood it would be almost invisible. The wedge has the added benefit of expanding the handle slightly and tightening up the wire as it does so.

I do wonder if this kind of old tool ferule was done by putting the wood into a state of compression in a tapered vise to crush the fibers, then wrapped, then exposed to some water or high humidity to get it to swell and tighten up.

I hope someone has a more definite answer than my ruminations, because I’d like to know how it is really done.

Does your sample tool offer any clues? How are the ends terminated?

-- Galootish log blog,

View racerglen's profile


2384 posts in 1524 days

#4 posted 10-29-2010 01:37 PM

My mother in law showed me how some years ago. Her technique is actualy a sailor’s method for keeping the ends of ropes from fraying after being cut to length but works with wire as well. Startuing at the blade end, lay a loop of wire up the handle, to just above where you want the wrap to end. Then leaving enough of the end of the wire out by the blade, start your wrapping, working your way up toward the top of the loop. When your have the area wrapped, cut the wire with a fai amount left. Then tuck the new end into the loop, and grab the orriginal end with pliars and pull. Now the ‘new’ end is under the wrap and you’ll have tension on the wrap.
Then trim the orriginal end so it’s not going to bite.

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View MrWoody's profile


305 posts in 2518 days

#5 posted 10-29-2010 04:27 PM

It took me a while to find it, but here is something that might do.,43456,59452&p=59452

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


1817 posts in 1852 days

#6 posted 10-29-2010 04:36 PM

As it says in the Lee Valley ad, this is called “whipping”. racerglen and Lee Valley use two different methods for the same result. I’ve done it both ways but prefer racerglen’s method. And you can do it with pliers (I do), which you probably already have…though this might be more predictable.

View stefang's profile


13623 posts in 2077 days

#7 posted 10-29-2010 08:30 PM

I just use brass tubing for ferrules. I would think the wire would take more time, but if it’s the style you like then go for it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View swirt's profile


1952 posts in 1715 days

#8 posted 10-29-2010 08:44 PM

racerglen, thanks that is pretty cool. I think I follow what you are saying. I’ll have to give this a try to make sure.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

631 posts in 2136 days

#9 posted 10-30-2010 12:16 AM

Hi Everyone.. thanks for the input. I am looking for that particular look. I also use brass tubing for Ferrules .. another good one to use are brass 30-30 or large caliber rifle catridges, just cut them to length they work great.
I’ve seen the tool MrWoody suggested at Lee Valley but it’s not the result I wanted.
It looks like they did drill a small hole to start as Toolz suggested but the other end almost looks like it’s soldered. The only problem I have with that is it would burn the wood because I don’t think regular solder would hold it and with Silver Solder (which is very strong) you have to use a torch.
I was just hoping that someone had done this before or knew how it was done.
The idea racerglen suggested about pulling it through the loop works great if you are using string but not for wire. I am familiar with that method.
Any other input would be appreciated.
Thanks to EVERYONE!

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

631 posts in 2136 days

#10 posted 10-30-2010 12:20 AM

SWIRT.. I just had a look at the link you gave me and that’s almost what it looks like has been done but not the finish end of the wire (the way he finished it is not the same)??

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