Making a Tool Handle – Part One

If you are interested in buying one of these tools they can be purchased at Woodchuck Lathe Tools

I am waiting on arrival of two tools a friend is making up for me. They are for lathe work and accept radius carbide cutter inserts. The tools are made from some 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 18″ square steel bar that I sent him. He is milling a slot in one end of the bar for the cutter to seat, as well as tapping a hole to secure the cutter. I told him not to worry about turning the other end of the tool round to insert in the handle.

I’m excited to try out the tool and so have started preparing the stock I will be using for the tool handles. My first step was to take four pieces of 4 pieces of cherry and 4 pieces of maple, each piece was 3/4″ x 3″ x 15″. I milled and cut each piece down to 5/8″ x 2 1/2″ x 15″ and glued them together.

Making a Tool Handle

You can click on any of the images to see a larger version.

I then mounted a 1/2″ straight bit in my router table and raised it 1/4″ above the router table. I set the fence 1″ from the edge of the bit and also set up a stop block 4″ from the near side of the bit. Using this set up I routed a 1/4″ x 1/2″ x 4″ stopped groove in each of the four pieces.

Making a Tool Handle

Finally, I squared the end of each groove using hand chisels. I was tempted to glue the pieces together but decided to wait until the tools arrived so I could do a test fit of the bars in the grooves.

Making a Tool Handle

Making a Tool Handle – Part Two

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