Sunday, December 27, 2009
Making Handles for New Tools
Wow, the holidays sure are crazy! I've been so busy that I haven't done a post in almost two weeks. Ironically, I've actually been in the shop quite a bit working on several projects. In the beginning I was taking pictures to use for a couple of posts, but by the end, I was so crazed trying to finish up two Christmas presents that I didn't slow down enough to even think about taking pictures. Maybe I'll do a short "final product" post on those gifts...
But today I could relax in the shop, and I used my time to make handles for three new tools my wonderful wife gave me for Christmas: two Japanese milled-tooth files and a Nicholson #49 pattern maker's rasp. Yes!
I dug up some birch for the handles...
...and split it into rough blanks with a hatched and maul.
I cleaned up the blanks with a scrub plane and spokeshave. Then I found some copper fittings to use for the ferrules, and transferred the diameter to the handle stock using pencil graphite.
I carefully (sort of) sawed around the shoulder and then pared the tenon with a chisel. I did the final rounding with the rasp itself - it would have been much easier to use (safer too) if it had only had a handle - hmm...
I don't really have a "design" for my handles. I just make them feel comfortable in my hand. I tend to end up with some variation on a general theme of tapered octagonal prisms.
Here's a shot of the finished handle, with ferrule and final shaping complete. The chamfering of the end was done with a chisel, while the tiny chamfers on the shoulder (not visible in this shot) I did with a knife.
After making the first handle (for the #49 rasp) with the copper left bright, I decided to experiment with giving the next ferrule some patina. My attempt at using heated mineral oil created a mottled look that I actually like very much. It's different than the uniform black I created on the bolts for the turning saw project. I'm not sure if it's a result of using mineral oil instead of linseed oil, or if it has something to do with the copper.
Here are two final group shots:
Oh, and how do they work? Fantastic! Especially the rasp - what a revelation! Thank you for the wonderful gifts Sweetie!