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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 11-18-2021 03:24 AM 985 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A while ago I tried turning with a bedan and I have really liked the tool. So after making a quick bedan with a piece of 6×6x150mm M2 HSS and a scrap of pine, I decided to make some nicer ones to use (I have a 3/8” Sorby bedan).

Construction is pretty simple. Glue up some cherry and beech to make a blank. Turn a handle with a 3/16 starter hole in the end (it’s a lot easier to drill an existing hole larger and deeper than it is to start a new one). Put on a piece of 1” brass tubing for a ferrule, and finish the handle with BLO and shellac, which is my homemade friction finish. Then drill out the hole to either 1/4 inch for the 6mm HSS, or 1/2 inch for the 12mm stock, and about an inch and a half (40mm) deep. Round the corners of one end of the steel – just knock the corners off with the grinder, and then pound the handle onto the steel using a mallet. Mix up some epoxy with turquoise dye and some powdered turquoise to fill in the end of the ferrule (it’ll take two applications). Then finally grind the end of the steel to a 45 degree angle.

Done! I thought they looked good on our lawn.

As you can see in picture 2, I overheated the quarter inch bedan a little when grinding it. I’ll take it back a bit when I get some spare time, but it still stays sharp relatively well. The half inch took a couple-three hours, but I was a lot better at quenching it in the water every time it started feeling the least bit warm.

In picture 3, you can see the rays in the beech. I think they’re pretty. The cherry has some cool grain too.

Picture 4 is looking at the epoxy fill. Not necessary for a working tool, but I like the way it looks.

Picture 5 is one of the blanks. I knocked the corners off with my octagonalizing jig and jack plane.

I put another coat of BLO on the handles after shooting these pictures, too. I’ll probably wipe on a coat or two of shellac over the next few days.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

23 comments so far

View pottz's profile


22288 posts in 2317 days

#1 posted 11-18-2021 03:31 AM

damn nice tool making my far ive loved the bedan for hogging out bowls.gotta explore more uses as you have i guess.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View oldrivers's profile


2919 posts in 2900 days

#2 posted 11-18-2021 03:51 AM

Those look really good Dave.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Andre's profile (online now)


4998 posts in 3139 days

#3 posted 11-18-2021 05:14 AM

Mighty good looking turning Tools:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10632 posts in 3742 days

#4 posted 11-18-2021 06:14 AM

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

View jeff's profile


1422 posts in 4798 days

#5 posted 11-18-2021 06:22 AM

Nice looking tools there Dave.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Oldtool's profile


3401 posts in 3524 days

#6 posted 11-18-2021 11:36 AM

Very nice work here, great looking tools. Congrats on the DT3, well deserved.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9317 posts in 1915 days

#7 posted 11-18-2021 12:36 PM

Thanks, Pottz. I use the end similar to a skew a lot for both peeling and planing cuts. Weird thing is that my skew use got better after practicing with the bedan.

Thanks, Oldrivers!

Thanks, Andre!

Thanks, Butcher!

Thanks, Jeff!

Thanks, Tom! And a fair whack cheaper than the commercial ones. I find that the quarter is a lot more useful for detail work, and the half is great for hogging off a ton of material in a hurry, because it Just Doesn’t Heat Up.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

27240 posts in 4439 days

#8 posted 11-18-2021 01:53 PM

Real nice tools, Dave. they will sure come in handy for all kinds of things!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9317 posts in 1915 days

#9 posted 11-18-2021 02:19 PM

Thanks, Jim! It’s nice having tools I made that I use frequently.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9310 posts in 2046 days

#10 posted 11-18-2021 02:54 PM

these tools like so very nice but more important they work GR8 your new name is sorby Dave lol

GREAT JOB :<)))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9317 posts in 1915 days

#11 posted 11-18-2021 04:01 PM

Thanks, Tony! I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I’m happy I made them!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


20649 posts in 2472 days

#12 posted 11-18-2021 04:59 PM

Nice work on the handles Dave :-) For future reference, you can’t ruin the temper on HSS like you can with high carbon tool steels. The tempering temperature for HSS is around the same as the hardening temperature for carbon steels (1000-1200 deg F). So you can grind it until it’s red hot and let it cool without affecting the structure. The discoloring is not anything to be concerned with.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View doubleDD's profile


10915 posts in 3376 days

#13 posted 11-18-2021 06:36 PM

Dang! I’ll Be-Dan Dave. Those look professionally made. Nice work. I like the 2-tone handles too. I also use different colored epoxy each time I make one. No special reason just for goofing around and practice. That beech looks exactly like some sycamore I have.
PM coming soon.

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9317 posts in 1915 days

#14 posted 11-18-2021 06:45 PM

Thanks, Kenny! Cool. I thought the tempering temperature on HSS was higher, but didn’t remember how high it was, so when it discolored, I may have said a bad word. Grinding half-inch HSS down to a 45 took long enough that even if I wasn’t worried about temperature, I probably would’ve needed to take breaks.

Thanks, Dave! I was playing with the epoxy, too. I need more turquoise powder in there to get the color I want, but I’ve been working up to it. And the “beech” was labeled “Beech?” in the shorts bin at my lumberyard in MN, but I didn’t think it was sycamore, because I asked them about getting some sycamore multiple times and they told me “we can’t get that.” Shrug. Whatever it was, it looked good with the curly cherry.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Eric's profile


2830 posts in 1206 days

#15 posted 11-18-2021 11:11 PM

Nicely done Dave, the handles look wonderful and I bet are very comfortable in the hand Using the brass tubing is a great idea for the furrele, sealed in with epoxy.

Tool making does have its own rewards, I am finding that out each time I make one. There is a certain comfort and the accomplishment of I did that. It’s the same when making jigs to use for certain projects. I have been making a few for the table saw, had to start over after the used purchase.

Thanks Ken for the additional comments about steel temps, I will keep that in mind for future projects.

-- Eric, building the dream

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