Misc Handles

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Project by Wav posted 03-20-2016 02:42 AM 1358 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While working some other projects and restoring a few old tools, rather than throwing the scrap pieces in the fire, I decided to try to learn how to use a lathe. Using a lathe isn’t as easy as it seems.
Anyway, I decided to start out simple. So I trimmed the scrap pieces into square stock and turned a few handles. The darker colored handle is made from Narra wood from the Philippines.
The smaller and lighter of the two is made from a piece of Dogwood which has been seasoned very well, 15 years or so, he dogwood is a difficult wood to work with as it among some of the hardest, harder than oak, i would put it right up there with apple. Sharp chisels are a must when you’re working with this stuff.
While making the file handles, I also made some replacement handles for an old Hand Brace I decided to restore. Both handles are made from Dogwood. The darker of the two is from the heart wood the lighter is of course from sap wood. I am pleased with the results.
I coated them with clear lacquer, I prefer the natural color of the woods i use to let their unique features shine through.

-- Maddog Creations

5 comments so far

View EEngineer's profile


1139 posts in 4823 days

#1 posted 03-20-2016 02:51 AM

I must do this! I have an entire drawer full of files without handles and some nice socket chisels that need them also. I have everything but time!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View John's profile


2101 posts in 2480 days

#2 posted 03-20-2016 03:06 AM

Nice handles. Are you going to add ferrules next time?

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View dbockel2's profile


108 posts in 2160 days

#3 posted 03-20-2016 11:16 AM

Very nice! I should do this with my files as it can be trying on the fingers to hold those things whilst working. How did you size the holes and go about fitting the files into them (and what did you glue them in with?)

Nice work.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10245 posts in 3619 days

#4 posted 03-20-2016 02:17 PM

Nice work.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Wav's profile


45 posts in 2467 days

#5 posted 03-20-2016 02:26 PM

i may put ferrules on future handles, with these, I think the wood is stable enough and hard enough to stand up to use, both pieces have been lying around the scrap box for years. The Dogwood was cut around 20 years ago and seems to have gotten harder over time so checking should no longer be a problem.
I have several sizes of files with several tang sizes. Since all the tangs are tapered, I measured the smallest point and the widest point at the desired depth. I suppose it would have been easier to use a step drill or tapered drill to make the holes, but I used several sizes reducing my depth as I progressed. Since files are frequently changed over the course of a project I did not glue them to the handles or try to fit the handles to individual files, Round files usually have a square tang and with a light tap on the butt of the handle they act much like broach and seat themselves nicely with little difficulty and can be easily removed when a change is needed. Bastard files and rasps have rectangular tangs and work pretty much the same way; but, you can make the hole more oblong by moving the drill side to side while drilling to get a tighter fit or use a broach or even a square mortising drill to drill a rectangular hole. Again, since files are frequently changed, I don’t see the need to glue them to the handles and proper use of the file does not require a permanently affixed handle, it more a comfort issue for the user. And if by chance you happen to wear the hole after constant use and changing of the file, a strip of paper works well as a shim to help tighten up a loose fit.

-- Maddog Creations

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