View Full Version : D handle question
01-19-2013, 11:34 PM
How would you guys make a Meiji style D handle? At first glance, it looks like you could almost start with a round (not oval) handle and "flatten' one side into a shallow curve, make the other side "pointy" with two almost flat faces and then do the tapers on the ferrule. Am I oversimplifying it a bit?
01-20-2013, 12:35 AM
I think the hardest thing would be to find a round block of wood:D If I had a lathe I would round and taper the block,then shape the "D"
01-20-2013, 01:04 AM
I do it from a rectangular block. I can't see how you can turn assembled handle into a round block, particularly if it has metal parts (spacer or tip) in it, but even if you could, it would add unnecessary steps. The finished handle is oval, not round, by the way.
I will add that it is much harder to make a D than an octagonal.
01-20-2013, 08:56 AM
I have to believe it would be easier to make an oval out of a circle then a square.You would not turn the assembled handle,just the wood pre-assembly.I don't feel a "D" is harder to make,just a different process.
01-20-2013, 11:01 AM
I respect your opinion (belief), but stick by mine. D you give shape freehand, octagonal, you rely on a set angle on your work table. Big difference.
01-20-2013, 11:19 AM
I doubt if I ever find out if it would be easier as there is no lathe in my future.I am stuck free handing them from blocks.Maybe some one can experiment.
01-20-2013, 12:40 PM
I have a few blocks glued up for my first D handle, i can imagine it will be trickier than doing an octowa handle.
01-20-2013, 01:18 PM
Mike, is the use of say a metal spacer what makes MOST of these handles tricky regardless of shape? I would think that if you were making a D handle with no metal spacer, you could start from round or square/rectangular and used shaped scrapers for a lot of the shaping. It appears that the Japanese commercial handle makers use some kind of cammed router/carver setup to knock out handle fairly quickly. I may be wrong, but I doubt that Shun makes all of their D handles freehand.
01-20-2013, 03:36 PM
There are videos on how Japanese D is made. They turn the handle by hand against a moving abrasive disk, and it's the manual action of a turner is what give the D shape.
01-20-2013, 03:46 PM
01-20-2013, 03:50 PM
Very cool video, Thanks for posting!
01-20-2013, 06:44 PM
That's such a cool lathe. I wonder what other kinda stuff you can do on that.
01-20-2013, 08:36 PM
That is the video that I had seen. Maybe my eyes are shot, but I am seeing some camming action on every rotation of that shaping lathe. What I would like to see is how they shape the hole in the ferrule. The other major operations seem to key off of the shape crated by that lathe. I guess the one advantage that those guys have is with the exposed ho wood, they just drill a round hole for the tang and fill it in later.
01-21-2013, 12:02 AM
I thought that was the video where they did the fitting too, but apparently not. In a different video I saw them burn the tangs in for the fit.
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