Turning Archive 2005

Tool handle lengths

Craig Daymon
>I'm looking for some thoughts on appropriate tool handle lengths. (Minor gloat.) I picked up 3 free pieces of Purpleheart that had been part of a shipping crate at one of the local wood suppliers. (Unfortunately, not a supplier for turners, but still a reasonable selection. They also have my business card in case this happens again.)

So the pieces are each slightly over 28 inches in length and a solid 2" square after trimming. The tools I have to handle are:

- Two 1/4" bowl gouges (P&N 8mm)
- One 1/4" spindle gouge (6mm)
- One 1" Skew Chisel (24mm)

I'm also considering rehandling my Sorby Hollowmaster as I'd really like a longer handle on it. My thinking right now is 14" (approx.) handles for the 2 bowl gouges and the skew, a 12" for the spindle (maybe 10"?) and 16" to 18" for the Sorby Hollowmaster.

I know this is all personal preference, but I'd be very interested in what lengths others are using.


P.S. If some consider Purpleheart a truly BAD wood for handles, I'd also like to hear. The price was right for handles.

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