BBQ tool handles

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Project by JWF posted 10-17-2012 06:34 AM 1717 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My Dad is 82 and has managed to collect most everything he could ever want over the course of his life. This makes gift giving a little tricky. For his birthday I came up with this idea. I bought a $10 BBQ tool set (spatula, fork, and tongs) at Home Depot and made new handles from curly maple. The kerf from my bandsaw blade was a great fit for the “tangs”on the metal pieces. Only minor persuasion of the hammer type was necessary to get the pieces fit together. The connections are secured using brass Loveless bolts I got from NorthCoast Knives (; quick shipping and good pricing). The bolts were pretty straightforward to install and they came out OK. The slight curve on the outside of the tong handles was an afterthought to accommodate the thickness of the material. I didn’t want to reduce the material thickness for fear of weakening the handles too much but they were way too bulky to fit comfortably in your hand. Cutting away the curve made them fit my hand much better without removing any material where the wood and metal are joined.

Finishing was a lot of fun. This was my first time working with curly maple and I read everything I could find about popping the grain. I got some dye stain and tried it but the color wasn’t quite what I wanted and I didn’t feel like spending the money on multiple dyes to start blending colors. Tried a few more things from the finishing cabinet but wasn’t happy with any of them. Finally I wound up using tea (yes, the stuff you drink). Three applications of strongly brewed Lipton gave me exactly the color I was looking for. The complete finishing schedule goes; tea, sand the raised grain, tea, tea, BLO, BLO, SealCoat, General Finishes High Performance Semi Gloss (3 coats).

Thanks for looking.

5 comments so far

View TomTinkerSum's profile


226 posts in 5115 days

#1 posted 10-17-2012 06:58 AM

I hope Dad was happy with the BBQ set. I was happy looking at them. Nice job and thanks for posting “How you did it.”


-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3335 days

#2 posted 10-17-2012 12:19 PM

just beatiful

-- Joel

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5260 days

#3 posted 10-17-2012 07:53 PM

great job


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4969 days

#4 posted 10-18-2012 02:49 AM

Love the Maple …nicely finished : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4382 days

#5 posted 10-18-2012 05:14 AM

Man I wish summer was still here. Nice project….................

-- mike...............

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