Friday, August 21, 2009

HANDLES - alternative to the special adjusting ring


As I promised before, here’s a way to build the tool handle without these special adjusting ring with socket that was used for all handle versions so far. This alternative might be useful because maybe you’ll have problems to find these special adjusting rings with sockets. In fact, I found only one retailer who sells this kind of adjusting rings.

The idea behind this alternative is to combine an ordinary adjusting ring (without this special socket) and a small brass tube by gluing both into the wooden handle like you see on pic. 27).

For doing that you have to find ordinary adjusting rings with the right size. As I prefer sculpting handles with a diameter of 8 mm, the adjusting rings should also have an outer diameter of 8mm. The inner diameter depends on the size of the sculpting tool tips, you want to fix in the handle later.

Basically, there are two sizes for the inner diameter that make most sense: 4 mm and 3mm.

If you want to round (bevel) the adjusting rings, like I explained before, I recommend using adjusting rings made of brass or aluminium. Other materials especially steel might be too hard to grind it down. I use adjusting rings made of aluminium as you can see on the pictures.

An adjusting ring with an inner diameter of 4 mm can be combined with a little brass tube with an outer diameter of 4 mm and an inner diameter of 3 mm (material strength = 0.5 mm) to hold 3 mm tool tips.

An adjusting ring with an inner diameter of 3 mm can be combined with a little brass tube with an outer diameter of…

- 3mm and an inner diam. of 2mm (mat. strength = 0.5 mm) for 2 mm tool tips


- 3mm and an inner diam. of 1mm (mat. strength = 1.0mm) for 1mm tool tips.

Remember if you use this 1mm brass tube: It might be better to use this special pointed headless screw for the adjusting ring like I’ve explained for the “reducing pieces” before (see "the SCHELLERT handle").

You have to drill in a hole into the side of the little brass tubes where the headless screw of the adjusting ring can go through. That’s quite similar to what I’ve explained about the “reducing tubes” above.

To find the right position for the hole, just put the brass tube inside the adjusting ring and mark the right point with a marker, like I’ve explained before for the “reducing pieces”.

Then just drill the hole with the right diameter into the brass tube. The hole has to be as wide as needed to allow the headless screw to pass it.

You can round (bevel) the upper edge of the adjusting ring just like I've explained before for the "special adjusting rings with socket (on pic. 28) above, the ring has already been rounded).

For doing that, just screw the adjusting ring on a spare piece of brass tube with exactly the same diameter as the inner diameter of the adjusting ring. The brass tube shouldn't poke out of the adjusting ring.

Then fix the brass tube with the ring into the power drill. Set the power drill to rotation and grind down the upper edge of the adjusting ring with a small belt sander or a rotary tool with an abrasive wheel. You can see the different stages in the following pic. 29.

If you’ve done this, just glue the brass tube into the hole of the adjusting ring so the headless screw can go through the hole in the brass tubes side. Then you can use this new part in the same way, as I’ve explained above for those special adjusting rings with sockets.

So just glue this part into the hole in the handle as I’ve explained above.
As before, you can use handles made of wood or aluminium.

Be sure, that all parts that touch each other are covered with glue. But be sure, that the glue didn’t plug the threatened hole for the headless screw.

After pressing all parts together, remove spare glue (it should not stain the handle) and let the glue getting completely hard.

On the next picture you can see handles in all 3 sizes (1 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm) that are made with the alternative version of the adjusting ring.

That’s it.


  1. I just want to say I have been enjoying and inspired by your instructions and information. I'm writing from California granted I tend to prefer stainless steel for my tools because I use waterbased airdrying clay and other types. Btw for wire stock have you thought about checking at your local bike shop for spokes? They may have broken spokes that can be made into tools. Also your english is just fine keep up the good work.


  2. Hi deanS,

    thanks a lot.
    I prefer stainless steel too. So I only use non-stainless spring steel for tools with diameters smaller than 2 mm. To use spokes might be a very good idea. I have to give it a try to see how the metal of the spokes will react.

  3. Almost forgot there's also Stainless Steel wire used in fishing tackle ,but I think the max diameter is 1mm or .43. If anything you might check to see if there are any online tackle shops on your side of the pond that carry anything like this. You know you might consider selling kits on Ebay ,your stuff looks better than some of the kits I've seen in the garage kit magazines here.