Sunday, April 25, 2010
Getting a Handle On It Part 2
There are many different shapes of handles on drawknives and personal preference and comfort will dictate the shape for you. In remaking this tool, I decided to use the previous handles as a guide. If I'd chosen to make a different shape, there are only a few dimensions that I'd need to keep, the diameters at both ends and the length.
Above is the pattern I used. I wasn't fetishistic about getting it perfect, close works fine for me. One tricky part of the turning is the cap end. Below, you can see how the original was turned. Not only does the round cap "flow" with the rest of the handle, but it sits flush to the wood on a small shoulder.
I cut the blank to final length before starting, which allows me to check that the ferrule and cap fit correctly. Most important is that the ferrule is tight, otherwise as I drive the handle into position, it can split and send me back to the lathe!
If I didn't have a small drive center, I'd flip the piece in the lathe so that I could work the cap end safely.
Here's the finished handle. I oiled it on the lathe. My choice of the curly maple was based in it sitting next to the lathe, any hardwood will most likely do.
Drilling out the core might prove to be the greatest challenge, not because it's so tough to achieve (the lathe makes it easy and accurate) but because of you have to transform the shanks size and taper into a stepped hole. This part sent me back to the lathe a few times before I got it right. I suppose that having the hole too small is preferred. For one, it will be super tight and two, if it splits during assembly at least it's easy to remove to start over!
I use a Jacobs Chuck to drill the core. I found it easiest to start with the large end.
Once the large end is drilled, I flip the handle in the lathe and replace my normal cup center on the tail stock with this handle hollow center that Nick Cook made for me (perhaps another post coming soon). It can still be done with the regular center, but the large hole makes it a tad bit awkward.
Next I'll show how I knock the handle on the drawknife.