Have you ever thought of having wooden handlebar grips ?
I thought about it a lot; I didn't think that it would be possible but I tried and was amazed by the results.
So comfortable and tactile and very beautiful.
I used these grips on my 1930's path racer project; Please feel free to check it out.
Step 1: Step 1. the Tools and the Materials.
The wood that I used was an old curtain pole that had been in my neighbour's garden for about two years; it was rotten at the ends but that was no problem as I only needed about 8" of it. ( I chose it because it was just a little bit wider diameter than my handlebars; I also looked through my firewood but nothing was uniform enough.)
I used UHU contact glue. (Update: I used Two Part epoxy resin glue because I wanted to be sure of the grip).
The tools that you need are a drill and a 22mm spade bit.
(A drill press would be good and a lathe would be untold but I have neither of these.)
I also used a file, a rasp and some sandpaper.
Step 2: Step 2- Drilling and Filing.
I held the wood in a vice and drilled; It was too rotten but I sawed the end off and started again.
i tried to keep it straight but the first two attempts split because I drilled off-centre and came through the side . . . without a pillar drill it seemed impossible but third time lucky, it worked.
The fourth was off-centre but the fifth was another success.
I left about a 1/4" undrilled.
I think that it is a matter of luck but it worked.
They were too tight for my tester bars so I filed and rasped them out so that they could slide on and off the tester bars without too much fuss; I did not want to risk splitting them.; loose is OK because I want to use glue to secure them.
I gave them a quick sanding and slid them on my real handle bars..
Step 3: Step 3- Glueing Them On.
I simply used a contact adhesive.
This is an important step.( I made sure that these were really stuck fast before riding; I also check them periodically).
UPDATE- I decided to upgrade to two-part epoxy resin glue just to be on the safe side.
Step 4: The Finish.
At first I used some furniture polish but it seemed to be absorbed too much and they still felt very dry and I was still worried about them cracking or being affected by the weather; the walls are only about 2mm thick.
I used a clear stain ; I checked to see if it had any nasties in it because I would be gripping it a lot but it was mainly linseed oil and tung oil with some varnish
After much riding I can report that these might just be the most comfortable grips that I have ever used.
Second Prize in the
Cabot Woodcare Contest