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Thread: D handle advice

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    D handle advice

    So, I'd like to try my hand at a d style for the first time. To this point, I be only done western rehandles, and I much prefer the d handle to octagon.

    So my though was to glue and clamp my handle pieces, then carve it to shape with a chisel. Then sand to shape on a disc sander, finish with hand sanding... Is that the method? Any pointers?

  2. #2
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    I am not very experienced with chisels, so I just shape mine completely free hand on the 6x48 belt sander. Since that has no speed control, the shaping of the round/oval and the ridge in the right place from a square piece can be a bit of an adventure. Throwing away a piece because I did not get the right shape before it got too thin, getting it ripped out of my fingers and shot across the room, and sanding my finger tips are common occurrences, so I am not sure you should listen to me on this

    Stefan

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    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    and sanding my finger tips are common occurrences Stefan
    you still have fingertips?
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
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    I've made a handful of D's and am about to make a few again soon so I'll be curious to see other peoples methods. Suppose it will depend, in part, on what tools you have available. Lots of possibilities.

    For my method, I start out by putting a slight taper on the glued blanks with either a jointer (effective but potentially dangerous without a good jig) or a bandsaw. If aiming to have even thickness for the whole handle, this is obviously not needed.

    Next I'll mark out on each end the shape of the D and placement of the ridge. These become guidelines to rough out the shape. If i were making many, smart move would probably to make one handle out of scrap wood and cut it into segments so I could use them as templates....but for a hobbyist like me, that level of repeatability is overkill.

    For shaping, I like to treat it more like something you'd throw on a lathe. In other words, get it close to the final shape before I jump in to the actual detail work. To Stefan's post, this helps save my fingers a little bit later. For this rough out, I knock off edges and extra material with the bandsaw by tilting the table to angles before cutting. I'm essentially making it like an octagon. With handtools, the same can be done pretty easily with a sharp block plane or spoke shave if you have a good vice to hold the blank in. (I wouldn't use a chisel. I've done plenty of chisel carving, but doing it carefully isn't very efficient. It takes a while and is easy to mess up)

    Once I am reasonably close to the final shape, then I hit the belt sander.

    For shaping, autobody files are also a great trick if you want slower cutting and more control. Some woodworkers use these with fine inlay projects and get great results. They're super sharp but leave a smooth clean cut. Think the technical name is a smooth finish milled tooth hand file. Often they are flexible, or you can get curved ones. At about $25 to $40 they're worth having in the toolbox for any woodworking doing carving/shaping.

    Hope that helps.

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    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    I am not very experienced with chisels, so I just shape mine completely free hand on the 6x48 belt sander. Since that has no speed control, the shaping of the round/oval and the ridge in the right place from a square piece can be a bit of an adventure. Throwing away a piece because I did not get the right shape before it got too thin, getting it ripped out of my fingers and shot across the room, and sanding my finger tips are common occurrences, so I am not sure you should listen to me on this

    Stefan

    I've always loved your D-handles so whatever you're doing is working even if you're losing your fingers in the process.

  7. #7
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    I agree. I have two stefan d handles, and a third just hanging out waiting for a knife - theyre my favorite. And, finger tips do grow back, and I do have a belt sander, so... I might give stefan's technique a go.

    @CPD
    thanks for the tips. good stuff


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    I've always loved your D-handles so whatever you're doing is working even if you're losing your fingers in the process.

  8. #8

    stereo.pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    I've always loved your D-handles so whatever you're doing is working even if you're losing your fingers in the process.
    You have to crack a few eggs in order to make an omelette.
    Twitter: @PeterDaEater

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