Cutting your own handle blanks

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Cutting your own handle blanks

Post  Ben on Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:21 pm

Hi all, id like to start cutting my own blanks from blocks of timber. I have tryed several times without much succes they end up taking a long time to work to shape.
One thing I soon relised is it's probably best to buy blocks of timber at the desired thickness of the handle that I require. I was using off cut blocks of sapele I scrounged from a local timber merchant, it's worth a try by the way.
I have an axminster bandsaw model SBW3501B which I find does most jobs I require it to, but when cutting angles like the area on a lyre handle where your thumb rests or other general sharp curves I have trouble with the blade twisting and not cutting properly, though the blade is up to the correct tention and im left scratching my head thinking how does everyone else do this?
I also struggle trimming down the edges off the blank I guess that comes with practice or is there a better method of doing it?
I don't like the idea of putting my fingers that close to a blade.

Would it be worth investing in a Scroll saw for cutting handle blanks and would it make better or eaiser job of cutting them? I have bought several handle blanks from Keith recently and they were cut beautifly.

Ben

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Cutting blanks

Post  thestickman on Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:45 pm

That's a decent enough band saw you're using - should do everything that my Record one does. What size blades are you using Ben? To cut tight curves you need to use 1/4" blades and 6tpi gives a clean cut. If the blade is twisting then it may be blunt (or at least not very sharp!) or the guides may not be set correctly.
For taking the edges off - like the blanks you got from me - just tilt the table to 45 degrees and run round all the edges. This is quite tricky though and it's the most likely manoeuvre to cut yourself, so beware!

Keith.

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Stick handles

Post  Pellcity2003 on Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:57 am

Ben, I have had good success in getting scraps from local cabinet and furniture shops that make good handles. Some of it was exotic woods. It does help to start out with a blank of the correct width and be sure to drill for the shaft before you round it off. I try to decide which shaft I will use the handle on and then drill the correct size hole with a forstner bit.

Marvin Little
Pell City, Alabama

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Drilling holes

Post  thestickman on Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:32 am

As an add on to Marvin's - it's also much easier to hold a blank in a vice if it is still "square", although I always take off the corners on the band saw as I mentioned. I try to drill down the centre of the "neck" but occasionally it goes off line and if you've left plenty of spare material you can just work to a new centre.

Keith.

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blanks cutting

Post  Ben on Thu May 01, 2008 2:32 pm

Many thanks Keith and Marvin I'll check my blade and set up and give that a go and see how I get on, im really keen to try making some handles with exotic timbers.

Ben

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