In a comparison of price, between handled and unhandled turning tools, and after receiving Firehawk's fantastic tutorial, the decision was clear. Unhandled was the clear choice.
Ok, so pull up a chair guys, here's the story..................
It all started 4 days ago. With my printed tutorial in hand, I chose my stock, sized my blank and started in on my first chisel handle project. I carefully mounted my wood of choice between centers and roughed out my blank. Measured, marked and cut the tenon to size for my chuck. So far, so good. I then proceeded to take the next step of measuring and drilling the hole to accept my new chisel. About 3/4's of the way through boring the hole, the lathe stopped turning. What the?!?!?
Turns out that it was just the drive belt. It had worn through and snapped. No problem. I'll just get a new one. I travelled to the local store but was unable to get the right size. I purchased one that was a little too large, but it would get me turning again. The cost? $6.00. I mounted the belt onto the lathe and began turning again. The problem? I've lost my lower 5 speeds on my variable speed lathe. No problem, at least I can still turn. I finish boring my hole for the chisel and it is then, that I notice that my live center is way too small to use for this project.
Off I go, to the local woodworking store to see what is available. There are 3 choices. I choose one that will be usefull for not only this project, but for future projects. An extremely nice live center. But it doesn't stop there, because I can't leave the store without a new Norton grinding wheel to shape my new chisel. Total price? $206.00.
Back to the shop I go and complete the turning of my handle, only to find that my ferrule is cut crooked and the hole for the chisel is way off center. I can't have that now, can I? Scrap that handle and start another.
I carefully cut another blank and set it up between centers on the lathe but due to the loss of the lower 5 speeds, I can't safely rough out the blank. Off I go to another store to try and get the correct size belt. 45 minutes of driving, (each way) and a price tag of $22.00, I return with 2 belts and a new found ambition to rough out the new blank. However, there is still the issue of the ferrule. Off I go to yet another store to pick up some 1" copper couplings and, while I'm there, I decide that a new pipe cutter would do a much better job on the ferrule than my old one did. Out the door, clean and clear for $47.00.
The new handle starts. The new belt makes the lathe speeds complete and roughing out is easy. The chips are flying, due to the fact that my new grinding wheel is sharpening my chisels perfectly. The hole is bored, and the new live center holds everything perfectly in line. The new pipe cutter, cuts the ferrule at 90 degrees to the edge of the coupling and I finally finish my handle.
Now, I sit in my recroom, writing this story. 4 days later, and a total cost of $281.00 (not including the chisel) I have to say that it has been a great 4 days. Got to hone some of my lathe skills, got some new tools and am now the proud owner of one of the most expensive lathe chisels in the history of turning.
Made by me.
The chisel now sits in my shop while the epoxy sets. Hopefully, tomorrow, I will post some photos of the completed chisel.
A huge thanks goes out to Mike Hawkins for his fantastic tutorial. It made the experience a great one. Even with all of the hurdles that I had to jump over, the tutorial made it so that I never lost the confidence to complete the project. Great job on the tutorial Mike.
Pictures to follow.