how-to: "multi-axis with a twist" tool handle - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 Old 03-16-2013, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
duncsuss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,609
View duncsuss's Photo Album My Photos
how-to: "multi-axis with a twist" tool handle

The handle of the mallet that I made for Jean (firemedic) snapped at the neck when he used it, so I tried to figure out what I'd done that left it weak and decided to make another one that should be up to the job.

At the same time, I took plenty of pix as I went along with the intention of writing up a how-to thread ... so here it is.

This is a multi-axis spindle turning project, the result is a tool handle with 3 sides that twist up the length of the haft. It's actually quite comfortable to grip (or should be), the corners fit behind your knuckles and the flats let your thumb rest smoothly up the side. Or that's how it's supposed to work.

I learned the method at a workshop given by Ernie Conover.

Getting started is pretty much the same as you'd expect -- though you have to start with a piece that's thicker than might be normal, or you won't be able to get sufficiently "off-axis" to make the twist. I had a second piece of the yew tree (same as the first mallet I'd done), so I just trimmed it on the band-saw, marked up and center-punched each end.


Pic 1: the log, trimmed with centers marked

I mounted the log between "Stebb centers". These have a center point (which is spring-loaded) surrounded by a circle of tiny teeth.

This type of center has several advantages, the most useful for this particular project being that it tolerates workpieces being held at odd angles without letting go of them (off-axis = off-balance).


Pic 2: mounted between Stebb centers


Pic 3: most of the bark turned away, so it's nearly round


Pic 4: close enough for jazz

When it's round, I true the faces at each end. The Stebb centers don't let you get all the way into the middle, so as you can see there's a little tenon that I couldn't get rid of. Ignore it and it will go away eventually.

Now it's time to mark up for the off-axis turning.

Set the tool-rest at the height of the center points, and bring it around to one end of the blank.

With a marker pen, draw a circle about halfway between the center X and the outer circumference (I hold the marker pen on the tool rest and spin the blank.)

If you have an indexing drive head, now's the time to learn how to use it -- mine has 24 divisions, so to divide a full rotation into 3 I use the stops at 1, 9 and 17, and draw radial lines at those positions to intersect the circle.

Label the intersections, and extend the radius around the corner onto the round part of the blank, copying the label.

While you've got the marker pen in your hand, draw a ring around the blank a couple of inches in from the end.

Now it's time to do the same thing at the other end of the blank.

Either move the toolrest to that end, or flip the blank end-for-end between centers, whichever is easier.

Draw the circle. Draw 3 radial lines - make them line up fairly close with the lines at the other end of the blank (exact isn't necessary; in fact, I don't even know if they have to be close - feel free to experiment!).

When it comes time to label these lines, you can choose: if you want a "straight" 3-sided handle, make label A line up with A, B with B, and C with C.

If you want to make a handle with a twist, as I was doing here, shift the labels either one position to the left or the right.

I did it by turning the blank till I could see A at the top-left of the far end, and wrote B at the top-right this end. Then turned till B was at the top-left of the far end, and wrote B at the top-right of this end. C was easy.

(This was the reason for extending the lines and labels around the corner of the blank, btw -- makes it much easier.)


Pic 5: one end of the blank, with a circle and 3 divisions - note the labels, and that the lines and labels are extended around the corner. You can just make out the A at the top-left of the far end of the blank and see how the A at the near end doesn't line up with it.

Using a center-punch, make dimples at the 6 intersections.

Now mount the blank between points "A". Yes, it's twisted.


Pic 6: point A at the headstock


Pic 7: point A at the tailstock

If you're still awake, you might notice the live center at the tailstock is the more traditional variety, I think I switched over from using the Stebbcenter when I was squaring the ends of the blank (it let me get closer to the center.)

Position the tool rest carefully, turning the blank several times by hand to make sure it doesn't hit the rest either end.

Turn it one more time by hand, just to be sure.

Now turn on the power. It's probably best if you choose a slower speed before doing that.

If you have good lighting, you'll be able to see a "solid center" with a "ghost" around the outside. (And if you don't have good lighting, perhaps you should re-think the idea of using a lathe.)

I start by making a shallow v-notch on each line around the blank, using the tip of a skew. Take this slowly or you'll need a ladder to get the skew of out the ceiling.

Stop the lathe and look at the notches ... surprise, they don't go all the way round the blank.

With a spindle roughing gouge, start removing material from the area between the notches/lines.


Pic 8: Some material removed using axis A

You can go deeper at the middle of the blank than near the ends.

I think the reason the first one I made failed is because I tried to cut it to an equal depth the whole length of the blank. The ends are spinning alternately much closer to and much further away from the tool rest -- so cutting to a uniform depth is going remove much more material at the ends than in the middle.

When you've gone to a depth where you feel comfortable, stop the lathe and reposition so the blank is mounted between "points B".

Same routine -- check again that it isn't going to hit the toolrest as it spins, start the lathe, make v-notches with a skew, and remove some material.


Pic 9: after turning on axis A and axis B

Do it again for axis C.


Pic 10: after turning on all three axes


Pic 11: after turning on all three axes

At this point, decide whether you've gone deep enough. Can you grasp the handle comfortably around the middle?

If not, make another pass, removing material on all 3 axes until it feels right. It's better to make multiple passes removing a little at a time than discover that you've gone too deep.

Remount the blank between the original centerpoints -- back to "normal" turning again.

Enlarge the v-notch at one end of the blank -- I used a spindle detail gouge for this -- and shape a pommel.


Pic 12: enlarging the v-notch


Pic 13: shaping a pommel

At the other end of the handle, enlarge the v-notch and shape the tenon which will fit into the tool head to size.

I also rounded just below the tenon.


Pic 14: the tenon begins to take shape

When the tenon is sized, reach for the sandpaper.

If (like me) you've got some ridges and tool marks, start at 60 or 80 grit. The pommel (and the small rounded area next to the tenon) can be sanded under power, but you've got to hand sand the off-axis portions. I do it length-ways.

Take it up through the grits till your sick of sanding, for me that's usually around 220 grit. Apply the finish of your choice (or none at all).



Pic 15: turned and sanded to 220 grit ... ready for the finish.

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
duncsuss is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to duncsuss For This Useful Post:
DaveTTC (03-16-2013)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 03-16-2013, 12:22 PM
Yea i got wood
 
robert421960's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Rockholds Ky
Posts: 3,015
View robert421960's Photo Album My Photos
that is an awesome build thread
im still shaking my head at it but im sure after reading it 6 or 7 times ill get it
nice job dunc
robert421960 is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 03-16-2013, 01:08 PM
Senior Member
 
Dave Paine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 7,221
View Dave Paine's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the build thread. Very interesting.

I can imagine the vibration with the off-axis portion. Can be scary.

I use an LED light to highlight the top of my turnings. Really helps for seeing the ghost.
Dave Paine is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 11 Old 03-16-2013, 02:33 PM
Turning noob
 
RusDemka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Eagan MN
Posts: 1,817
View RusDemka's Photo Album My Photos
That is very cool.. might need to try that on a tool handle

- Dema

Burn scrap wood not your soul..
Check out my YouTube channel @ www.youtube.com/mrdemcka
RusDemka is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 03-16-2013, 06:33 PM
Senior Member
 
tcleve4911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Vermont & Maine
Posts: 1,967
View tcleve4911's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for taking the time to show us that.
I might try that for a candle holder.
That's very cool.

Learning more about tools everyday
tcleve4911 is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 03-16-2013, 07:17 PM
Turning Wood Into Art
 
DaveTTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Jerilderie, New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,043
View DaveTTC's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the link and build.

If you were to repeat the process over a shorter length but several times would this give you a longer twist effect that goes right around the piece?


Hopefully this makes sense to someone.
DaveTTC is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 03-16-2013, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
duncsuss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,609
View duncsuss's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTTC View Post
Thanks for the link and build.

If you were to repeat the process over a shorter length but several times would this give you a longer twist effect that goes right around the piece?


Hopefully this makes sense to someone.
I understand what you're asking, Dave. Sadly the answer is "Negative, Captain."

At the same workshop, Ernie Conover showed us how to make a "barley twist" candlestick (actually a hollow-centered one, very fancy), but it's a highly manual operation. You basically use the lathe as a rotating vise to hold the spindle, cranking it round by hand while aiming a V-chisel at an angle. It's too complicated for me to describe accurately in a few words, and I haven't tried it.

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
duncsuss is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 03-17-2013, 01:42 AM
Turning Wood Into Art
 
DaveTTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Jerilderie, New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,043
View DaveTTC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncsuss

I understand what you're asking, Dave. Sadly the answer is "Negative, Captain."

At the same workshop, Ernie Conover showed us how to make a "barley twist" candlestick (actually a hollow-centered one, very fancy), but it's a highly manual operation. You basically use the lathe as a rotating vise to hold the spindle, cranking it round by hand while aiming a V-chisel at an angle. It's too complicated for me to describe accurately in a few words, and I haven't tried it.
Still .... got the imagination running

Dave The Turning Cowboy

DaveTTC

The Turning Cowboy
Turning Wood into Art
DaveTTC is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 03-17-2013, 03:53 AM
Turning Wood Into Art
 
DaveTTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Jerilderie, New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,043
View DaveTTC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTTC

Still .... got the imagination running

Dave The Turning Cowboy
Well - you're right.

Name:  image-2996696695.jpg
Views: 374
Size:  69.3 KB

So 5 spaces. With 3 point multi axis turning.

DaveTTC

The Turning Cowboy
Turning Wood into Art
DaveTTC is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 03-17-2013, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
duncsuss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,609
View duncsuss's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTTC View Post
So 5 spaces. With 3 point multi axis turning.
Different ... quite attractive, just not the same

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
duncsuss is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 03-17-2013, 04:35 PM
Turning Wood Into Art
 
DaveTTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Jerilderie, New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,043
View DaveTTC's Photo Album My Photos
I alternated between offset points for each space. The Tiber was particularly hard and brittle. As I got to the last section to cut the timber launched off the lathe. It split where it was held onto the spur drive beyond being able to be remounted. The finish is straight off the tool. I wet the timber with water just to highlight the grain a bit. As you can see, there is no sanding.

Dave The Turning Cowboy

DaveTTC

The Turning Cowboy
Turning Wood into Art
DaveTTC is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Difference between "Grizzly" and "Polar Bear" Planers? NickSaw76 Power Tools & Machinery 15 02-24-2012 11:20 PM
Multi-axis candleholder firehawkmph Woodturning 20 10-25-2011 09:24 PM
What are your thoughts on a "Tool Room" Firewalker General Woodworking Discussion 18 01-17-2011 07:14 PM
"Red Tool Box" kid tools at lowes serpentine5 Hand Tools 3 11-04-2010 04:29 PM
"New Posts" tool woodnthings Site Help and Suggestions 5 04-04-2010 10:49 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome