Hand Tools

Re: Draw Knife Handles - Just the Facts Maam... *LINK* *PIC*
Response To:
Draw Knife Handles ()

John Aniano in Central NJ
Hi Brian,

First, thanks for posting this. I thought I'd just add a few more images and details to round out the posting...

The drawknife was made by Joseph Kolp in Cincinnati, around 1845 according to the Directory of American Toolmakers (DAT).

Both tangs were too short for ~6" long handles, so I extended them with the silver solder method. In retrospect, I should have used mild steel for the extensions instead of O-1 steel - it would have been easier to pein the tang ends...

The wood is pernambuco, but Mexican Pernambuco aka Chakta Viga (Coulteria platyloba). Too weak and not dense enough to make instrument bows, but great for handles.

The handle design is inspired from a mid 19th century firmer gouge I own, shown at the far right. I've copied/adapted it many times including a garden trowel handle in purple heart...

The domed ferrules are threaded onto the wood and epoxied into place.

I used my South Bend metal lathe for this project because I recently acquired a Beall ER-50 collet "Big Chuck" which seemed well suited for this job. I would need to mount and remount the handles multiple times as the work progressed. The Beall chucks (I have both the ER-32 and the ER-50) are wonderful tools!!

Because a 1-1/4" ER (Extended Range) collet chuck was available, I turned cylinders at both ends of the handle blanks. The final shaping was done by using a 1" collet and holding the finished brass domed ferrule, with paper in between to protect the finish.

Although mounted onto a metal lathe, I did do much of the turning with hand tools including my favorite 3-point tool, a bit of a "cheater" lathe tool. Can use as a skew as well as a scraper. Used it to cut the bead and do the three decorative marks as well a to define the recess for the brass endcaps. Used pencil lead marks on the inside of the cap, put it in place with the work spinning and where it transferred the lead, I would remove the wood high spots until all fitted closely. Sort of like chalk fitting but using pencil. I cleaned the wood and metal well before epoxying the caps in place.

All in all, a fun project and more challenging than I first thought!


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