My First Shop Made Tool

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Blog entry by GodofBiscuits posted 10-07-2011 01:20 AM 8167 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I purchased my lathe it was a floor display and had been used a couple times for Demos at the local Woodcraft. I got a great deal on it because I had called the Woodcraft in Seattle up and inquired about on hand stock and was told they had three so I took the journey across Puget Sound to pick one up. Upon arrival I was informed the associate had made a mistake and they only had the floor model on display. Well, long story short, I bought the display for a great deal but with one catch. The knock out bar was MIA and the live center had been used in other machines during other demos so was a little worse for wear. Since I already had a very nice MT2 live center at home I didn’t fret much. The knock out bar was a different story. I began thinking about how I could fabricate one and decided to make it my first project on the lathe. In the end, it actually turned out to be my second project with the first being a bottle stopper for a great friend.

The bar portion of the knock out bar is nothing more than a 3/8 – 16 by 10 inch bolt fromt he local Arrow hardware. I cut off the hex head portion after threading it into the handle. The handle is made from a piece of Rhododendron that Jim aka WoodartbyJR gave me last year. I cut the crotch portion off the limb he gave me and trimmed it up till it would fit in the jaws of my chuck. Once it was in, I turned it down, drilled the center to receive the bolt, sanded it up and parted it off. Once I had it off I needed a way to reverse it and hold it in place to finish and sand the parted off end. I used my drill chuck mounted to an MT2 taper and after cutting off the hex head from the bolt, I could mount it in and finish it off. I sanded it down to 600 grit and then applied a friction polish finish. I like the inclusions in the piece as it adds character to the tool and says…. this was hand made.

I’m super excited about my new tool and can’t wait to make many more useful projects.

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?

3 comments so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 3368 days

#1 posted 10-07-2011 01:44 AM

very nice bar I like the wood.


View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3971 days

#2 posted 10-07-2011 09:15 AM

Great tool! I should replace the plastic handle on mine with one like this.

Thanks for the idea.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 3215 days

#3 posted 10-08-2011 03:57 AM

Same, I should replace mine. I did this to the plastic handles on my drill press but never thought about the knock out bar for my lathe. I used a triangular file to cut grooves in the threads of the bolt so it acted as a “tap” and helped the wood handles turn on easier.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

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