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Corkscrew handle puzzle

1323 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Wildwood
I found a corkscrew handle I like but would appreciate your ideas on how to turn the ball-shaped ends. I've thought of making a jam chuck to hold one end while working on the other, but as far as I can see a hollowed out jam chuck would only hold a straight tenon securely, so once I've turned one end I can't figure out how to reverse chuck it. How would you go about it?

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I think you'd have to do it using a very light touch. Turn the spindle to shape minus the ball ends then use a parting tool to thin out the spindle on both sides to the diameter of the balls. You should be able to start shaping the balls and leave perhaps an 1/8" diameter of wood on either end holding the spindle in place.

Slowly nibble away at the bits of wood holding the piece on both ends until it drops off. Any remaining flat should be easy to knock off with sandpaper or a chisel once the piece is separated.

That's the approach I'd try.
Thanks, JAAune, I'll give it a try. Would you use a 3/8" detail gouge?
No, I don't have a decent detail gouge so I'd use a skew.

I'm also a terrible woodturner so after getting the ends of the spindle to the right diameter, I'd probably nibble the ball shape with the pointy tip of the skew and clean up with an angled scraper and sandpaper.

I can handle the skew on larger details but on finer ones like that I tend to lose control if I try a proper cutting action. If I can't afford a mistake due to my schedule I use the point like a fine parting tool instead. It's rough and not kosher but it gets the job done though it may be a tad slow.
I would not use a chuck, instead turn between center using my drive and live center. Would start out with a blank larger than needed so when part or saw off waste minimum sanding required.
I'm glad we had this little discussion here. I went with the between centers method, using a cone on the tailstock and a homemade thin parting tool, which allowed me to create the slightly concave section on the end and even shape the ball more or less. I finished the balls with a carving knife and sandpaper.

I think it turned out pretty well.
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