Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HANDLES - simple handle version 1


A very simple handle with glued in tool tips could be made like that:

Take a 10 cm long piece of a wood pole with 8mm diameter for the handle.

I recommend here not to glue the tool tip directly into the wood, but to first glue in a little brass-tube and then to glue the tool tip into the brass tube. By doing this, you’ll give the tool a better steadiness.

Drill in holes for the tool tips on both sides of the wood. The drill should have the diameter of the brass tube. So for example if you want a tool with 2mm sculpting tips, I recommend an brass-tube with an outer diameter of 3mm and an inner diameter of 2mm (material strength: 0,5cm).

You have to be sure, that your 2mm tool tip will fit inside this tube (sometimes they are a little smaller than 2mm). If it is too small, you can widen it carefully with a drill or a needle file.

If you want to have a handle for 1mm tool tips, just use a 3mm brass tube with an inner diameter of 1mm.

A surprisingly difficult part is to drill the hole into the wooden handle exactly centred and straight. Maybe you should drill in a guiding hole with a smaller drill first. I don’t want to talk too much about this point here, but later I will explain a little tool, I build for myself, that helps to drill in such centred holes quite easily.

After drilling the holes in, just bevel or round the two ends of the wooden handle. A quite easy way for doing that is to fix the handle into the power drill. Then while rotating it inside the power drill, grind off the wood with the rotary tool and a grinding tool that is suitable for wood. Keep an eye on the rotating directions of the power drill and the rotary tool to make sure that they didn’t “neutralise” each other (pic. 3).

If you got a nicely bevelled handle, you have to give it a good surface by using fine abrasive paper.

Then you have to glue in the two brass tubes into the holes on each side of the handle. I prefer to let the tubes poke out a few mm (pic. 3a)

Then you should varnish the handle. Be sure to take the right varnish for that. As you will hold the tool in your hand, the varnish should be quite hard. You should ask someone ad the hardware store / building centre, ore wherever you buy your varnish about a varnish, that can be used for that. If you want to do it well, give your handle at least two layers of varnish, first an undercoat / primer and then a second layer of varnish. You can also do the first layer with varnish that you’ve thinned a bit with the right paint thinner. After the first layer of varnish / primer has dried, make sure to abrade / grind it with very fine abrasive paper before doing the second layer. As an alternative to the abrasive paper, you can also use very fine steel wool.

When you work with the varnish, be sure not to clog the hole with it (pic. 4).

After the varnish has dried, all that’s left to do now is to glue in a tool tip on each side. For that you should get a good metal glue (ask at the building centre). A two–part epoxy glue might be adequate here (pic. 5).

The handles on the picture above are not varnished

Next time: a simple handle version 2

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