My lathe journeys. #33: ... Making new lathe tool handles.

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Blog entry by JoeinGa posted 08-06-2015 05:51 PM 2144 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 32: Just a funky little bowl Part 33 of My lathe journeys. series Part 34: ... One log, three bowls »

Back when I first started turning, I bought a set of Freud turning tools from Ebay. They were cheap enough ($75) that I thought in case I decided I didn’t like wood turning, I wasn’t into the tools too deep. They’re not anything to write home about, but at least they got me started. That said, now that I’ve been using them a while, they’re just TOO DANG SHORT, and way too thin in my hand. They’re only 16” overall.

Since I started making my own carbide tools, I’m finding that I like the feel of about 24” for comfortable turning. So a couple days ago I knocked the blade out of one of them and set out to make a better handle. The new handle was a limb from a black gum tree, and that’s a copper plumbing fitting at the top.
Rather than use JB Weld, I decide to try something I’ve been seeing on that TV show “Forged in Fire”. I drilled the hole a bit small and then heated the tang to nice and red, and burned the tang into the wood. Seems to be holding pretty dang tight. Time will tell if I need to drill and pin the handle on.
This is the Freud set I bought. (found a generic picture on the internet)

And here’s a couple side-by-side comparison pix. The two “indents” in the handle are strictly cosmetic to break up the lines of the tool.



Unless Bonnie wins the lottery, these will be the tools I’ll be using for a while, so I’ll make a few more handles for the pieces that I do use from that set. Thanks for looking.

And as always, Comments, complaints, critiques welcomed :-)

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

9 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2737 days

#1 posted 08-06-2015 06:11 PM

Really, really nice work, and I’m quite sure you’ll find them extremely useful.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View Dutchy's profile


3508 posts in 2774 days

#2 posted 08-06-2015 06:35 PM

Looks good. I hope you will have a lot of pleasure with the new handels. I myself wasn,t satisfied with Forged in Fire with some tools. Maybe the problem was that I used ash. Hopefully yours will hold.


View Woodknack's profile


13011 posts in 2985 days

#3 posted 08-06-2015 06:37 PM

Those are beefy handles, plenty to hold on to.

-- Rick M,

View Jerry's profile


3312 posts in 2253 days

#4 posted 08-06-2015 06:58 PM

Nice work, I love the huge handles.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View lew's profile


12933 posts in 4361 days

#5 posted 08-06-2015 07:25 PM

They look really comfortable to use. I’ll bet the longer handles really offer a lot of control. Nice adaptation on the copper “ferrule”.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2255 days

#6 posted 08-06-2015 08:08 PM

nice handles…
Now no one will be able to flush out the workshop

-- bambi

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3409 days

#7 posted 08-06-2015 10:24 PM

Very nice Joe. You’ll definitely get more control w/that longer tool

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View doubleDD's profile


8966 posts in 2648 days

#8 posted 08-07-2015 12:33 AM

Way to go. Get those handles to where they feel comfortable. Hope the forged in fire works for you. I would think over time and wood movement, it will become loose, but then there is always epoxy.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2612 days

#9 posted 08-07-2015 02:30 PM

Thanks all for the nice comments. Yesterday afternoon I sprayed a 3rd (and final) coat of lacquer on it, so I haven’t even used it yet. But I have no doubt that the longer and beefier handle will make a huge difference.

And yeah, I’m hoping that just burning the handle on will be enough to make it stay. If not I can always JB Weld it in.

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

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