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Thread: resources or help to make wooden handles for custom tools

  1. #1
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    Jul 2019
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    Question resources or help to make wooden handles for custom tools

    Hi everyone,

    I did do a couple of searches but couldn't find anything, I've also looked on the internet but I can't seem to find the right combination of words for what I want to know!

    I'm currently a level 3 diploma student and our course just went over making custom tools for wax carving. I found this to be surprisingly enjoyable and have gone on a bit of a customising spree and am pretty happy with my results so far. I've done some customising of dental tools and have got the results I want, but they're so uncomfortable to hold, so I'm looking for an appropriate wooden handles to put them in. I'm getting a lot of ideas for tools I want to make now for different applications, but without comfortable handles, I don't really see the point so I've reached a bit of a creative impasse.

    The trouble is that all I can seem to find are either the big wooden handles for big flat and half round files, or graver handles which aren't right either. I think ideally what I'd like is something between a pencil and sharpie width of wood, similar to the Wolf precision wax carving tools (https://www.cooksongold.com/Jeweller...prcode-998-268).

    Is this something you can buy? If so, where and what do I search for to find it? Or is this a case of now I know how to customise / make tools I need to learn woodwork to make the handles too?

    I'll add some pictures if I can below to show the kinds of tools I've made if that helps. The first few were made simply by modifying scalpel blades and attaching them to chopsticks as a rudimentary handle, which does work pretty well but I think the chopsticks would be too thin to do the same with the dental tools I've modified (after cutting off the tool ends and filing down a tang).

    Thanks very much for any help and ideas you can give me!
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    The simplest option would be to go to your local hardware store and purchase some dowel in a large enough size to what will fit tour design carefully drill a hole for the tang so it is a tight fit,then shape with a file or rasp, and finish with sandpaper, then apply some finish e.g. wax, oil, polyurethane. If you do not want to make them yourself, locate a local woodturner. I hope this makes sense, to me this is second nature ( I am a Cabinet Maker and Woodturner by trade)

    P.S. You could also make use of any broken broom handles or similar that you may have lying around
    Last edited by china; 04-07-2020 at 02:46 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by china View Post
    The simplest option would be to go to your local hardware store and purchase some dowel in a large enough size to what will fit tour design carefully drill a hole for the tang so it is a tight fit,then shape with a file or rasp, and finish with sandpaper, then apply some finish e.g. wax, oil, polyurethane. If you do not want to make them yourself, locate a local woodturner.
    Hi Esk
    I think you might find something on this page

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=je...&client=safari

  4. #4
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    Error message post repeated
    Last edited by CJ57; 04-07-2020 at 02:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    I'd agree about a bit of dowel, or if you want a smoother finish, bamboo or wooden knitting needles. Charity shops often have single needles that have lost their mates for a few pennies - I've often found these useful as mandrels and handles.

  6. #6
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    This seems to be on a loop. Can you delete the 2 repeat comments please Peter
    Last edited by CJ57; 04-07-2020 at 04:01 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone,

    I think I might have found something thanks to CJ57's search string on cousinsuk. If they don't work I will look into biting the bullet and making something out of dowels as suggested. I'm not against making my own by any means, it's just that I have very little experience of wood working and I am ashamed to admit I still haven't mastered drilling holes in a straight line to make the tang hole!

  8. #8
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    Hi again, I thought I'd update this thread just in case anyone else has a similar situation and question.

    I ordered some pencil-like tool handles from cousinsuk ( item ref: H4623), cut down my dental tools and ground tangs into them using my dremel. It worked pretty well and I'm happy with the result. Ideally one day I'll learn how to turn custom handles on a lathe but that is not an option right now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I would say please excuse my scratched up desk but, who amongst us, right? haha. Thanks again for the help

  9. #9
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