Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wood Lathe Mandrel Turning

I have an old fireplace tool that's missing its wooden handle, like so.

The solution is obvious -- turn a new handle on the lathe. How to do that is not so obvious.

The handle must be bored through for its retaining rod. Boring it after it's been turned is a pretty iffy proposition. Boring the blank before it's been turned is more like it, and that leads to turning it on a mandrel, like so.

That mandrel is a length of 1/4" threaded rod, centre-drilled at one end to accept the nose of the tailstock's live centre. Let's see how this goes.

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And here's the handle, as good as it's going to get.

I don't claim to be a masterful wood turner, and that's not the most graceful handle imaginable, but it will do.

Let's see how it looks attached to the fireplace tool's shank.

All in all, that's not a bad outcome.

I'll give the handle a tung oil finish, and I'll have the use of the tool back.

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