Lathe Tool Handles For Carbide Inserts

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Project by OSU55 posted 04-03-2015 08:25 PM 5648 views 8 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These handles were made for inserts from Cap’n Eddie Castelin, reviewed here, the 18mm round and 15mm radius square. I used 1/2” square mild steel barstock ~11” long. 2-1/2” was inserted and epoxied into a 9/16” hole in the handle, after rounding the corners, leaving ~8-1/2” of steel exposed. I used 3/4” copper pipe couplers cut in half for the ferrules. The top handle is figured maple sandwiching walnut, and the lower handle is cherry sandwiching walnut. The wooden handles are ~15”, with a total tool length of ~24”. The wooden handles are ~1-5/8” dia at the front, tapering to ~1” in the center, and back out to ~1-1/4” at the rear. I like the long wooden handles, but the steel tool holders might be an inch or 2 long. A little wire burning, glue size sealer, coat of dye, and a very light coat of varnish finished off the wooden handles.

For the round insert tool end, the stock was cut down 0.200” and back 0.800”. A 10×24 hole was dilled and tapped 0.325” from the end. The end of the tool was then relieved and curved to match the insert. A #10 washer was put under the round cutter for two reasons – the round cutter is 0.020” thinner than the square cutter, and I wanted to register at the same height on the tool rest, and because the round cutter is thinner, the countersink bolt head extended further below the cutter. I don’t have the correct angle countersink tool for steel (only std drill bits) so instead of reducing the insert seat area, the washer raised the insert up and killed two birds with one stone.

For the square cutter, I wanted the insert held in place at each rear corner so that when tightening, or in use, it would not rotate. Each step in the holder is 0.100” down, with the bottom step 0.480” back from the tip, and the upper step another 0.150” back. A 10×24 hole was drilled and tapped 0.240” from the tip. A 1/2” mill cutter was used to make the relief in the lower shoulder at the back, and the remaining shoulders filed at an angle to match the insert. The tip was then ground for relief and to match the insert profile.

Not sure the Phillips screws provided by Cap’n Eddie would hold up, I put a flat top countersunk hex head screw in the round insert. So far both screw types have worked.

4 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3468 days

#1 posted 04-03-2015 09:20 PM

Looks good! I ordered Capt Eddies square cutters last month and just last week I ordered the round ones. (Retired, gotta watch those budget dollars ya know).
I’m in the process of making handles for them using 5/8” aluminum square stock. I’ll post ‘em when they’re done.

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View Woodknack's profile


13593 posts in 3841 days

#2 posted 04-06-2015 05:41 AM

Great looking handles, like the shape.

-- Rick M,

View DanRos's profile


7 posts in 3815 days

#3 posted 10-20-2015 01:27 AM

Nice work. I bought some round cutters from Captain Eddie and am going to make a swan neck tool for hollowing hollow forms. I am thinking of angling the cutter (I am using square stock for the bar so it won’t twist, so I can’t just rotate the bar a little).

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 4496 days

#4 posted 11-06-2015 04:50 PM

These are some of the nicest looking DIY carbide tools I’ve seen.

-- Barry,

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