Woodturning Tools What To Look For In A Handle

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Woodturning Tools What To Look For In A Handle

When people think of woodturningTeds wood workingtools, they tend to thing of the cutting end first and ignore the handle, unless they are making their own. Yet when turning, it is the handle we grip and the more comfortable and usable it is the better, especially when employed for long periods of time. There are a few simple things to look for when selecting or making a tool handle.

In the run of a woodturner's day the same hand is likely to use a pen or pencil, hammer, saw, knife, fork or spoon and use them all well. All woodturning is not the same nor are all woodturning tools. Neither do all handles need to be the same nor should they be.

Spindle work tends to be smaller and finer than faceplate work although there are always exceptions. Smaller work can be turned with larger tools but small tools make it easier to create delicate cuts and fine detail. The chances of small work creating high torques and dangerous catches are small so smaller tools allowing for finer movements are both possible and desirable. Just as the shafts of the tools are small and fine so are the handles.

Much faceplate work such as bowls and platters can be fairly large and is often turned from unbalanced log sections. The tools to handle the higher torque and roughness of the material are often called long and strong. Just as the shafts are longer to give a range of motion over the tool rest so the handles are long to allow for large range of motion and lots of leverage. These handles tend to be thicker as well, much as the handle of a splitting maul will be heavier than a nailing hammer.

Regardless of the size, look for a handle that is comfortable for your hand when the tool is held for the intended work. If there is a selection of sews in the store, for example, hold them as if you were making a skew cut or two and ask yourself if this would be comfortable after fifteen minutes or a half hour. Subtle differences can generate big results. If you are making a handle for a tool, consider tools that you use for similar cuts and choose the most comfortable to copy or modify.

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