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Thread: How to turn a Hammer Handle??

  1. #1
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    Question How to turn a Hammer Handle??

    I would like to make some smaller handles for some 8 oz hammers to give to my boys, but not sure as to how to make them. I would like them to be oval shaped like an OEM handle.


    Any suggestions/tutorials??


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Simplest thing I can think of is turn a spindle and shape with belt sander. The centers would be a nice clamp to hold it while you shape it too.
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  3. #3
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    Here is [one article] I found on the subject. The drawing is nice, but a couple photos would not have gone amiss....

    I could have sworn that a woodturning column in one of the larger woodworking magazines had an article on this in the past year or so, but I haven't been able to find it online. I'll do a "paper search" when I get home this evening.

  4. #4
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    Mebbe one can be 'turned' per those instructions. But, the traditional way to make hammer, axe, or other flat handles is with a draw knife, spokeshave or just whittle. Professionals use duplicators.

  5. #5
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    I think i'd start with the lathe and then switch to a rasp.
    A little light sanding after the rasp, and you're ready for the finish.
    I guess the other way is to first turn the larger cross section shape, then shift the center mounting at the head end of the handle so that it spins excentrically. Then, to make it symmetrical, you'd shift the center mount again the same distance off the first center mounting, but in the opposite direction.
    paulh

  6. #6
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    You have to find center then turn left of center and this will flatten one side, then change to right of center and it will turn the other side (flattened like a hammer handle) then put it on center to finish the bottom like a normal hammer handle. Clear as mud? Try it, amazing seeing it happen!!!

    Also, each end needs to be off center if you are going to get a flatter side. Only one end off center will create a somewhat flattened spiral. Example: - + = if the minus sign is the left of center, both ends need to be put on your live tail center and spur drive. Then to establish the flattened side on the other half, put the spur drive and live tail center on the equals sign. To finish the rounding of the bottom of the handle, spur drive and live tail center on the plus sign. Better???
    Last edited by Jonathan Shively; 12-23-2008 at 10:13 PM. Reason: further explanation
    Jon

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  7. #7
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    Well, I found the article I (think I) was looking for. It's "Turning Oval Tool Handles" by Judy Ditmer, on pages 90-93 of the October 2007 issue of Popular Woodworking. Here's the photo from the main page (click for a larger version):



    The bulk of the article consists of 24 (additional) photos with informative captions. As you can see, the article deals specifically with making an oval screwdriver handle, to lend more comfort and torque "without having to grip so tightly".

    I'm sure I have seen something more specific to hammer handles somewhere, but it beats me where (or when)....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hubbman View Post
    I think i'd start with the lathe and then switch to a rasp.
    A little light sanding after the rasp, and you're ready for the finish.
    I guess the other way is to first turn the larger cross section shape, then shift the center mounting at the head end of the handle so that it spins excentrically. Then, to make it symmetrical, you'd shift the center mount again the same distance off the first center mounting, but in the opposite direction.
    paulh
    Rasping is just another way of cutting across the grain. Handle woods are traditionally ash or hickory. The reason most are made with drawknife techniques is to remove waste with the grain for max strength. However, I realize commercial handles are made with duplicators that have powered cutters so there is probably adequate strength no matter how you do it. I understand a spinny guy wanting to do it on a lathe though. Good luck. I'll betcha the Neanderthal guys could offer some suggestions also.

  9. #9
    I have made several using the offset turning process. Simply turn a round blank to almost the size and basic shapp (you want an oval handle , thickness of the max diameter) Then off set both the spur center and the tail center and turn (this will create lopsided swing but you can see the shape coming together through the shadow as you turn. Then offset the spur and tail centers in the opposite side. Turn again and you can really see the shape form. Place back on center and sand turning slowly. Makes an excellant handle and can be very comfortable.

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