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Looking at Handles

When we talk about carving tools, we discuss the make, the steel, the tempering and so on. We forget about the handle.

Think about this for a moment: When you buy a carving tool you get the handle that manufacturer decides on; always very limited in the range of size; each looking much the same, and without any consideration of the size of your hands, for even the tool. Sometimes the choice works fine. However, for me, more often than not it doesn't.

The handle is where you and the tool meet and there are several good reasons why you should have a look at the handles of your tools and decide whether you might be better off changing any of them, which means either altering, re-shaping or even making a handle.

In this video I'll wander you through a few of mine and give you an idea of the sort of thing you might do. It's not carving, any more than sharpening is not carving, but having the handle that 'works' or feels just right is a big contribution to the ease and enjoyment with which you carve.

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| 17 June 2021 20:04

Imran - Got it! I actually use a wood dye, which soaks into the fibres, rather than paint, which is fairly superficial. If your handle is varnished, you'll have to rub that back with sandpaper to bare wood first
When the dye dries, I varnish or oil the wood to fix it - I check that by buffing vigorously with a cloth. You can use coloured ink too.

| 17 June 2021 19:45

In the video you showed a few of your tool handles that you had painted different colours so as to make the tools more easily recognizable. In the video you mentioned you either sometime lathe, mark or paint the tool handles so that the particular tools are easily identified from a bunch laying on the work bench. I don’t have access to a lathe and was wondering if painting a particular tool handle would be the way to go. I just wanted to know if you use a particular type of paint that does not come off on ur hands etx as you are using the tool? Thank you

| 17 June 2021 19:29

Imran - Sorry, not quite understanding the question - and its connection with handles?

| 16 June 2021 19:19

Hi Chris. What type of paint can one use that does not come off on hands etxx? thanks

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