Friday, August 21, 2009



As I told before, you can also use aluminium as the base material instead of wood.
So here are some versions of my handle that uses aluminium as material for the handles.

Version 1)
Instead of the wood, I just took an aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 8mm and an inner diameter of 4mm (material strength: 2mm). Everything else is the same as described above.

As it is a tube, you don’t have to worry about drilling the holes, because they are already there with the right diameter. I admit that it wasn’t easy to find aluminium tubes with that size (2mm material strength) and I was only able to find it in the pure, not-anodized quality, so you have to polish the handles (pic. 22).

And one hint regarding the reducing pieces (tubes): If you want to use the reducing tubes with this handle-version, you should keep in mind that the handle is hollowed over the whole length. So you have to avoid to accidentally pushing in the reducing tubes too deep, or they will “drop” into the handle and it would be very hard to get them out again.

Maybe you should think about gluing the reducing tubes permanently into the handle and just use the handle only for tool tips with that size.

Version 2)
The second version might be easier for you to build, because this time I used aluminium tubes with sizes that are easier to find. You need aluminium tubes in two different sizes:

The first is an aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 8mm and an inner diameter of 6 mm (material strength: 1 mm).

The second one is an aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 6 mm and an inner diameter of 4 mm (material strength: 1 mm).

As I mentioned before, you have to check, if you are able to place the smaller aluminium tube into the larger one (see the blog entry about the “Schellert-Tool”).

As I also said before, it’s much easier to find aluminium tubes with those sizes in the hardware store or the building centre and you can find them in the anodized quality as well as in the pure-aluminium-surface quality. Remember: while using the anodized quality, you don’t have to worry about the surface of the handle because it’s just fine as it is.

You can build the handle with those tubes in two ways:
The first one is to cut off pieces with a length of 9cm each from each tube (8mm and 6mm) and just glue the tube with the smaller diameter right into the larger one.

It’s nearly the same procedure like I’ve explained for the “Schellert-Tool” with the exception, that this time, the both tubes have the same length. If you have done this, you just have made one aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 8mm and an inner one with 4mm, just like in Version 1) above, so the rest is exactly the same.

The second way is to take two shorter parts of the 6mm tube (say 2cm) instead of using one 9cm long piece. This time, you first glue the sockets of the adjusting rings into these small tubes. Then you glue this small 6mm tubes with already glued in adjusting rings into each of the hole of the larger aluminium tube. By doing this, you need less material (less 6mm tube) and that means also less weight (even these handles are quite light weighted anyway) (pic. 23a).

After putting it all together, it looks like that (pic. 23b)

One hint regarding knocking in the sockets of the adjusting ring into the aluminium tubes:
As you use aluminium instead of wood this time, the handle is much less delicate and won’t get any cracks even you hit quite hard with the hammer on the adjusting ring to get it into the handle. But don’t let yourself mislead by that to make insensitive use of the hammer now. Even the aluminium might not getting damaged, the brass adjusting ring might.

There are two sensible areas at the adjusting ring.

The first is the inner hole of the ring. If you beat the ring too hard or too often, the brass starts to deform and you might discover, that the diameter of the hole is getting smaller.

It’s possible that a 3mm tool tip that fits perfectly at the start wouldn’t fit anymore if you made too much use of the hammer. If this should happen, you have to widen the hole with a file again.

The second is quite more critical. It’s the threaded hole for the headless screw.
If you damage this so the screw can’t work anymore, your tool holder is a case for the garbage can. So I recommend leaving the headless screw inside the adjustment ring while using the hammer. This reduces the risk of the hole getting deformed accidentally by the hammer blows.

And of course it’s better to grind of the socket of the adjustment ring a little bit (see what I’ve said about the standard tool tip holder above) than to hit harder with the hammer.

Version 3)
The last version of my handle is simply a smaller one.
Instead of using an aluminium tube with an outer diameter of 8mm, I just use one with 6mm.

For that I use a smaller version of the special adjusting ring that I described above.
There’s one available with an outer diameter of 6mm and an inner diameter of 2mm.The outer diameter of the socket is 3mm on that adjusting ring.

On the next picture, you can see the comparison of the small and the large adjusting ring (pic. 24).

As the inner diameter of the 6mm aluminium tool is 4mm, you have to use short pieces of a brass tube (with outer diameter: 4mm / inner diameter: 3mm / material strength: 0.5 mm) in a similar way as I described for version 2) above.

So glue in the ring’s socket into the small brass tube. Then glue the brass tube with the ring into the 6mm aluminium tube.

If you like, you can also bevel/round the upper edge of the adjusting rings like I explained above.

This handle is made for 2mm tool tips (1,5mm tool tips would also fit in). On the next picture you can see the comparison of the small handle and the large (=normal sized) handle with a reducing piece (2 mm). Both hold 2 mm sculpting tool tips (pic. 25).

On the following Picture you can finally see all versions of the Schellert handle. The handle made of beech wood is covered with palisander(rosewood)-varnish (therefore the dark brown colour) while the other wooden handles are covered with clear varnish. So the pure metal-handles are best for sculpting science fiction miniatures, while the brown handles with the brass parts are best for sculpting steampunk miniatures (joke alert).

So, that's nearly all about the handles, I've developed for holding the tool tips.

The critical point so far is this special adjusting ring, that all handles are built with. So maybe you'll have some problems to find such a special adjusting ring with integrated socket.

But even that would not be a problem. Instead of those special rings, you can use just ordinary adjusting rings and a little brass tube to make a very fine alternative.

Next time I'll tell you exactly how to do this.

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