Octagon / square tapered tool handles - bandsaw jig

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Blog entry by mafe posted 04-28-2019 05:30 PM 927 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Octagon / square tapered tool handles
bandsaw jig

When I saw Pask Makes jig for tapered octagon tool handles and knew I needed one of those, first of all I like to use this type of handle on my carving tools, second I find them beautiful, third I am forging a lot of tools now, so it will save me time with the handles, fourth how could I resist making another jig?.

Here are the video from Pask Makers that got me making it:
(Jump to 7:20 for the jig).

On the site I saw a few pictures and from that I started out, trying to figure out how to make one and honestly, that is the part I find most fun, so I did not mind the extra work, here I’ll try to go through how I did and as you can see, the mistakes I made, with holes drilled in wrong places and so on. ;-)

So as many of my blogs, this is not a how to, more just pictures as I go, so read the whole blog before you get started on your own, like this you will understand what I’m rambling about.

The two tool handles at the top are made on this jig, so this is what we will be able to make.

Let’s walk the walk, not talk the talk…

Here is my jig in use, basically just a holder for a piece of wood, the jig has a base, that allows for different widths of the handles, but also for tapered or straight handles. Finally it can also be used for hex or what ever shape you want, then you just need to make another stop blog.
I’m thinking also to use it at the disc sander at times.

As I said, I only saw a few pictures on a web site and so I went by the princip of trial and error.
First I make the handle holder part, just a piece of plywood 24cm x 8cm, with two 6cm high vertical holders screwed on to it and 16cm between them, this will allow for some quite long handles, when I want that.
The rounded back of the holders are just to be nice to hold.
I had started out with just the top part, but then wanted the ability to adjust, so I added the base. Basically then you don’t need the holder to be curved, as the curve will be in the base.

I wanted an adjustable base, where I can adjust thickness and shape of the handles, simply by moving it in and out or flipping the base, between round and square.
To do this, I made this setup, for routing slids, where the holder and base can move forward and backwards.
If I then want different shapes, I can make different baseplates.

Now routed the slids.

The base plate app. 24cm x 10cm.
One side straight and one side curved at a nice curve.
As you can see on the holder part, I also added a handle in the center, it has a 45° cut front, so it goes under the handle. It will make sense later, just read on. ;-D
(Nice curve is what you like). :-)
I gave the bolts some epoxy, just to keep them in place.

Here the base from the underside.

Ok, let’s cut some wood, just square it up, a little bigger than you want the handles.

That should do for now!

Back to the jig.
Now put together and screws for holding the handle put in the holders.
Center of the handle wood pieces are marked.
(With my favorite awl, a gift from my dear LJ buddy Jim – thank you, I send you a thought each time I use it).

The wood for the handle is mounted in the jig.
In front you see the little hold-in-place thingy… Just a piece of ply, 90° at the one end and a 45° angle cut into the front at the height of the center of the mounting screw.

On the band saw, I made a fence, with a little section cut out for the blade, this fence will be used to ride the jig against.
(If you want a simple quick version, you can just make the top of the jig and then adjust the size of handle, by adjusting where the blade is in the fence).

Now the hold-in-place thingy is held against the back of the handle, to hold it in place and you can start sawing, just ride against the fence.

Here you can see the blade is inside the fence, in a small cut out.

First cut made.

Turned the handle 180° and next cut.

Turning the handle 90° and cut.

180° and we have a tapered square handle, this can be used as is, if you like.

For the next part, I flip the hold-in-place thingy, so it holds the handle 45° to the sides now.
At this stage you can move the jig out a little, if you want the new sides with asymmetri.

Wauuu, it’s happening. ;-)

After taking the four sides, this is what you end up with.

A handle is born.
Now you can cut to desired length and if you cut in one end only, make the front thicker or thinner than the back.
If you want the handle even more thick at one end, you can adjust the base of the jig, so that one side is wider than the other.

Pine handle, that is thicker at one end.

An example of a handle, where it’s thicker in one end, every second side wider and the end has been cut to shape, like this the variations are endless.

Here link for a early post of mine, with tapered octagon handles made on the band sander:

Hope this post can inspire others to make their own tools or at least a handle.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

10 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22510 posts in 3464 days

#1 posted 04-28-2019 06:52 PM

Very nice jig, Mads!!

Cheers, my friend!!................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Druid's profile


2055 posts in 3154 days

#2 posted 04-28-2019 07:43 PM

Great Jig, and well explained.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View NormG's profile


6435 posts in 3363 days

#3 posted 04-28-2019 10:19 PM

Wow, great jig, I can see many possibilities for it’s use, thank you for sharing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3663 posts in 941 days

#4 posted 04-28-2019 11:02 PM

Great explanation of the jig, Mads! I’ll probably continue to free-hand my handles, but if I decide the bandsaw is the right tool, I’ll have to make a jig like this. Thank you very much for the explanation!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View lew's profile


12733 posts in 4114 days

#5 posted 04-29-2019 12:22 AM

Super Jig, Mads! I love the simplicity of it.

Jim’s awls are fantastic!

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

View Brit's profile


7681 posts in 3201 days

#6 posted 04-29-2019 12:04 PM

Very clever Mads, but you’re missing out on some great drawknife and spokeshave action. LOL.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View mafe's profile


11946 posts in 3448 days

#7 posted 04-29-2019 11:05 PM

Hi guys,
I’m happy to be able to say where I saw the jig and made mine from watching the video!
Ty found the video with Pask Makes, where I saw it and made my version from watching it. I can see now watching the video again, that all I added was the base, so you can make custom shapes and make them asymetrical. ;-) So it makes totaly sense that it was not me, who should have credit, for the clever idea.

Here it is, jump to 7:20 if you only want the jig part.

View on YouTube

So a big thank you to Pask Makes and to Ty for finding it again.
(I have watched some of his blacksmithing videos, love his simple approach to things and his accent).

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile


11946 posts in 3448 days

#8 posted 04-29-2019 11:56 PM

Hi there,
Jim, thank you.
Druid, big smile, I thought my explanation was a mess, since I did trail and error as I tried to make my version from looking at the fotos on the video. :-D All I really did was to add a base so one can make different shapes and asymmetrical.
(Made all kinds of mistakes, put holes to close to the edge, screws where I should later saw and so on).
NormG, that’s how I felt and why I had to make it.
Dave Polaschek, Thanks. Read my commets for Druid.
Lew, yes Jim is the awl man! Thank you.
Brit, you got a point there! Laugh. One don’t rule the other out. ;-) Smiles thanks.
Thank you for the comments.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10580 posts in 4411 days

#9 posted 04-30-2019 12:11 AM

I like Pask Makes too… he comes up with some pretty good stuff!

I like his little small router device to make those mortises for those big biscuits… name escapes me…
That Festool expensive tool… got the plans from him… haven’t made it yet…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View PaBull's profile


967 posts in 4024 days

#10 posted 05-03-2019 04:42 AM

Hi there Mads, that is just a very clever jig. I might have to put that together for my next gauge. Thanks a lot my friend. You never stop to amaze me.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

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