Step 2: Finishing to Shape and Adding Some Nice Details

So once my ferrule is on I use the calipers to mark the depths at certain areas of the handle.  Now this is a personal item but for starting out this is what I use for sizing:

The maximum diameter of 1.5" will be up at the shoulder near the ferrule, say about 3/4" back.
The narrow diameter of 1" will be up from the end about 1/3 of the total length.  So on a 12" long handle the 1" mark would be 4" from the end.
The butt of the tool should be somewhere between 1 and 1.5" in this case I made it about 1 - 3/8"

So you can definitely toy around with these sizes to tune it to your hands or style.  As you can see the final shape resembles a tiny little baseball bat.

So we have a nice shape but let's add some nice decorative touches to, at this point you can do anything, maybe add some finger grooves or some texture.  I decided to make some burned grooves cause they look nice and improve the grip of the tool.  I start out with a skew or a chisel point and make some light grooves on the shoulder of the tool.  Once your grooves are cut take a coat hanger and gently push it into the groove while the lathe is spinning.  Push the hanger till you get a good puff of smoke and check it.  Make the burns as dark and deep as you like.  I placed grooves at the front and back of the tool.
<p>Nice, I always turn my own handles, Ash is my favorit. </p>
<p>oooooo its a bit like inception--using lathe tools to make lathe tools!!</p>
Did you use epoxy to glue it in
Very nicely done I enjoyed reading it, never tried a lathe, looks quite useful.<br><br>Can you use other materials in a wood lathe, like plastic or metal?
You can turn very soft metals and definitely palstics. They do make metal lathes that are way more accurate for engineering type turnings in harder metals like steel.
if you get the right lathe and you know how to use it you can turn anything. On a wood lathe though I would only recommend brass, aluminum, and copper, some plastics will turn like a boss, but other ones will melt easily or may be impregnated with things that will ruin your day like glass. Other things that can be turned on a wood lathe are some nuts and seed pods, bone, and antler or horn (be ready for a smell though). also you can do metal spinning on a wood lathe, I won't go into that too much, but check it out on youtube, really cool.
Nice one. I particularly enjoyed the coat hanger trick for burning. One alternative for tool handles I would suggest would be a Tung oil finish rather than poly. No particular practical reason, I just love the look and feel of Tung oil on lathe turned projects.
Yeah, I use a tung oil finish for a lot of my decorative turnings but I wanted something tough for the handles since I have been known to use the as mallets too. I have never tried pure tung oil so I might have to give it a try someday. Thanks for the comment.
I usually just coat my tool handles with paste wax. It wears off eventually, but you get a patina on the tool from use anyway.<br><br>I also use my tools as mallets sometimes, so I find no need to sand to ultra-high gloss and use a special finish. To me, putting a nice finish on a tool like that is akin to getting a monster truck detailed. You can do it, but why waste the effort?
I'm missing a step - how do you mount the tang (?) inside the handle?
The traditional method is to pre-drill an under-sized hole, heat up the tang with a fire (or propane torch), and melt it in. <br><br>I've also cut the business end of the handle into a slight conical shape and cross-cut it so that when I add the metal band (final step), it's making a really firm grip on the tool.
Wow, that will certainly hold things in place. I do drill the hole under-sized and use my 3lb rawhide faced sledge to motivate it together. I have done the cross cut method on some tools also but I put the tang on before putting the tool in and then the expansion of the slit tenon really tightens things together good. Also I have heard of some people just drilling the hole to full size and using epoxy to hold it all together, which would work great too. I think I am going to avoid the fire, I am usually so covered in sawdust at the point of putting the tool together I would probably burst into flames!
<br>The fire is a little excessive, probably, but it's something they did back in the day when there wasn't as many options. Anyway, most of these tools are loaded in compression, so less is probably fine. Oh---and I read about the fire method mainly in the context of making handles for files. For that, it's a great trick because the tang is relatively short and the life of the tool is not very great.<br><br>I am philosophically opposed to adhesives, in general. In certain situations, an adhesive can be the best choice, but I see a lot of DIY-willy-nilly use of glue and tape. Often, adhesives lead to a very short-term solution followed by failure and a sticky residue. In this case, I think a mechanical connection will be best. You may eventually wear out the chisel or damage the handle. If it's glued on, it may be an enormous amount of effort to fix it.<br><br>Anyway, nice documentation. Nice to see a project that stands on its own. Lately I've been seeing more stupid-trick type projects and projects half documented with a single video, or with just a few pictures. Thanks for putting in the work and making a complete instructable.
Thanks for the kind words. Regarding adhesives, I am 39 years old and am simply amazed at how they have developed in my lifetime, the epoxies and poly's are simply amazing these days but you really have to know what adhesive to use for which situation and they can be very expensive.
Criggie,<br><br>I added the lost step, thanks for the heads up on that, I just glossed right over it.
Criggle,<br><br>It does seem that I missed a step there. When I get home this evening I will take a picture and write up some narrative on it. Basically I clamp the tool into my bench vice tang up and then use a soft faced mallet to &quot;tap&quot; the tool onto the tang.
Hello,<br> Really very nice instructable, I also use this method to the rings at the ends the sleeves of my turning tools, the advantage is that it be copper or in brass and that this does not rust. Question: Sometimes I machine of old files, to make my wood turning tools, (and sometimes for my metal lathe with old limes quality), not the stuff Chinese, dozen sold to on Ebay !<br> What have you to make your big ream &quot;Gouge&quot; because it is very thicker, anyway a Congratulations, and good continuation!<br> greetings.<br> Luky.
Luky,<br><br>I am not making the tool itself, for those large gouges though they are forged from a piece of steel into that shape. Other gouges are milled from a round bar. Not a metal worker myself so I will leave that up to the experts.
Hi,<br> Ha, Ok, I thought it was you who made it is anyway a good job, it makes you a beautiful set, I made ​​them myself, I May Machinist's my work, I am Artisan, and I turn the wood for my pleasure, I also made a special system for sharpening gouges in the grinder, you must know, and it makes you a nice clean round in the end tool because it is very hard to sharpen Gouge a regular basis;<br> Regards,<br> Luky.
I have been told that the Angels gave man the first tongs for using a forge, after that we had to make our own.<br>I make a skew chisel from an old file, For the handle I used the leg from a fancy table. I turned off some of the larger parts, it is a bit bumpy to hold, but I like it. I call it Excalibur.<br>
Great Instructible. It wasn't until I started wood turning that I realized how important it is to have big handles on your tools.
Do you have magnets on your tools, they seem to be sticking to the front of a file cabinet?
Nice catch Fox, I keep a bunch of rare earth magnets on the front of my metal cabinet and use them for drying things. In the picture the finish is still a little wet on the tool but I wanted the picture to finish the intructable.
Great idea! I don't have any spare magnets so I have a piece of conduit on rope and pulleys that I can lower to tie things on while they dry. I pull it back up during the drying process so they are out of the way.
Sir, you have inspired me: my next Instructable is going to be called &quot;Building a Welder So You Can Weld Your Own Welding Accessories That Will Assist You in Welding&quot;.
Yeah, the whole chicken and egg paradox, make sure and require a welder to build the welder :)

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Bio: Just a normal guy who enjoys the water and outdoors. Grew up on the water in the Panhandle of Florida fishing and boating, still live ... More »
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