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Phily
24th May 2017, 10:20 AM
I'm still very much mulling over all the comments that were made in my previous posts about the ideal handle shape. I've made a few handles since then which do the job though I'm not satisfied that I've nailed it!

So its got me thinking. Its not hard to make a handle that will do the job, so why do people buy handles? You can select your own timber, create your own look and feel, enjoy using the end result of your own efforts.

So what does motivate folk to buy? is it because they can't be bothered turning their own? Too keen to get on with the 'real' job? Maybe there is a trust of the shape from a big manufacturer? or they like the uniform look of a series of chisels/handles?

I'm curious, why did you go off and buy that handle??

Cheers
Phil

chambezio
24th May 2017, 10:42 AM
To me, the shape of a handle really doesn't matter. The first chisels I bought nearly 40 years ago were a set of Marples. At that time Tamworth did not have any from any tool supplier. Since then my chisel inventory has expanded. I have bought a mixture of chisels handled and unhandled.
For instance I have bought 4 detail chisel from Doug Thompson which were unhandled. The handles I made for them were based on the old Marples shape and the timber was River Oak, just to give the a "set like" appearance. These handles are fairly light requiring a sensitive feeling when used. At the other end of the scale I made a 1.5mm Parting tool that has no real shape other that circular, and I use this just as easily as the smaller "Marples"

In your case maybe you are looking for something that will make your chisels more uniform in shape in so doing making a personalised collection of turning tools

rtyuiop
24th May 2017, 11:05 AM
For me, I tend to buy handled where I can - purely because I enjoy working on projects that will finish up outside the shop more than working on tools.

Gary H
24th May 2017, 11:46 AM
Originally I didn't know which timber was suitable for handles. Now I am working mainly with Camphor Laurel and bowl blanks - neither of which make for a good handle.:doh:

BobL
24th May 2017, 11:49 AM
I think it's a Process versus Product thing.

Folks that do things for a living like tradies, or folks that are focused on the product, will do whatever to get that product/task completed.
Others that really enjoy the "process" or "voyage" and stop and smell the wood shavings are likely to undertake activities that enhance that process.

tonzeyd
24th May 2017, 12:00 PM
For me it depends on time and availability of wood. If i'm not working on anything important I'll make it especially if I have an offcut from previous project that won't be reused for anything else.

Phily
24th May 2017, 04:50 PM
The psychology behind this has me fascinated. Can anyone remember the last handle they bought and what the thought process was? What made you decide to buy and why that particular handle?
I have a bell ringing that there is something more to handle design than first appears, though I have no idea yet on what that may be.

Sturdee
24th May 2017, 05:23 PM
For me it's simple. I buy a tool if I need one. If it's available cheaper because it's unhandled I'll get it unhandled, but that is not always the case.

If I make the tool or get it unhandled I'll turn a handle from whatever scrap wood I have at the time as the use of the tool is more important than its appearance.

I even have the ends of skews, gouges, roughing gouges, parting tools etc taped with different colours of insulation tape to make them easily picked out from the bench as I'm working.


Peter.

NeilS
24th May 2017, 05:35 PM
The handles I purchase get used with a variety of tools. Some tools don't get used enough to warrant a dedicated handle.

The handles I turn are purpose made and fixed to a particular tool.

And, I must admit, any fascination with spindle turning faded somewhere over the last 50yrs of turning.

Sent from my ZTE T84 using Tapatalk

bueller
24th May 2017, 06:24 PM
Interesting question. I'm actually going to turn new handles for all my chisels when I get my shop set up, really hate the stock Narex handles. Much prefer the handles on the old Stanley chisels I have (on the left).

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170524/1dec011439f6a5c1ec8cd42ae59f6558.jpg

issatree
24th May 2017, 06:52 PM
Hi Everyone,
Out of all my Turning Tools, there are only 2 Handles that came with the Buy.
The other 30+ I have Turned, in which all came from a Design
from Richard Raffan's 1st. Book " Turning Wood ".
I really like that Design & it fits my hand very well.
I also just use Aluminum Ferrals that come from A/ Chairs, & they polish up nicely.
Wood, well anything really, & most are 13in./330mm. long.
Having a small hand, mine are not very thick, maybe 25mm-1in. +
The handle ends are sq.but slightly rounded, but can write the Chisel Size on it, so I know which Chisel is which. All my Chisels hang down in my Carousel Holder.
Thatsmy2senctsworth.

Old Croc
24th May 2017, 07:16 PM
I make my own because I like a particular shape. I really hate steel or alloy handles so when i needed to make a handle that was a quick change I copied this idea from John Jordan. Glued the brass insert into the wood handle and works like a dream. Not as bulky as a collet holder.
Rgds,
Crocy

Skew ChiDAMN!!
24th May 2017, 07:52 PM
I rarely buy a new handled tool if it has a cheaper unhandled version. Rarely is a handle "so good" that it justifies the price difference and I have better uses for the money. It only takes a few minutes to turn a new handle, after all.

On the other side of the coin, I'll rarely rehandle a newly acquired 2nd-hand chisel unless the existing handle is basically useless.

My tools aren't pretty and they aren't a matched set but they're quite functional. :)

Best of all, IMO, they all have individual characters and I can spot whatever tool I want to use at a moment's notice without needing to look closely enough to differentiate profiles.

Sawdust Maker
24th May 2017, 11:37 PM
My first few chisels (P&N) were handled. I bought them about the same time as the lathe. I needed handled chisels to learn to turn
since then I've bought unhandled for a couple of reasons.
1. I like my money to go as far as possible, so prefer to buy unhandled as they are generally cheaper
2. I like the handles a little longer and a little thicker than the stock standard P&N's
and
3. I'm at the stage of my woodworking that I like to use nice tools and my own made ones (mostly) look pretty good (IMHO)

I have rehandled a small number of chisels. This has only occurred when the original handles were too small. In fact I have recently been given a couple of Robert Sorby tools and I find their handles too small and they'll get the treatment sometime soon.

Phily
24th May 2017, 11:43 PM
interesting that no one has mentioned in any of the posts on handle design any concern about oh&s, particularly when rsi type injuries from wrist through shoulder are well known. Are handle ergonomics a consideration when designing/turning your own handles? If anyone has found any information on ergonomic design I'd be keen to see it. Cheers Phil

Phily
25th May 2017, 09:51 PM
Well that's interesting. Have I broken an unstated rule or offended the woodturning gods??? One mention of OH&S and everything goes quiet. Does that mean there isn't an issue or its simply not talked about?

hughie
25th May 2017, 10:31 PM
Well that's interesting. Have I broken an unstated rule or offended the woodturning gods??? One mention of OH&S and everything goes quiet. Does that mean there isn't an issue or its simply not talked about?

Oh dear, you have transgressed :)

Well for me handles are not so important as the tool that hangs off the end and like many I, discovered un-handled cost less. But seeing I make many of my tools it follows I will make the handles. As mentioned elsewhere I like my handles this way, not that way :). This is ergonomics and OHS at work here. As I have fairly particular thoughts on what my handles should be, do and be capable of.
If you go into it there are some serious studies on the making of handles for various uses etc I ran across this man years ago.
found this so theres a fair bit about the science
http://ergonomics.uq.edu.au/eaol/handle.pdf
https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/handtools/tooldesign.html
https://mpatkin.org/ergonomics/handle_checklist.htm
Designing the Perfect Grip - Of Handles and Homepages - DESIGNING *for humans (http://www.designingforhumans.com/idsa/2008/12/designing-the-perfect-grip-of-handles-and-homepages.html)

chuck1
26th May 2017, 10:50 PM
If it came with a comfortable handle it stayed, though most of my tools have handles I turned.
The most comfortable handle I bought was a P&N.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
27th May 2017, 02:40 PM
I think that when it comes to ergonomics, having the lathe set to the correct height for the turner is no. 1 priority.

No. 2 is setting up appropriate lighting.

I rank tool handles at about the same priority as I would custom ergonomic handles on hammers, cutlery or pens & pencils... ;)

This is not say it's not important... in some cases. There are some tools which need to be held in very specific ways and/or have a limited range of movement. eg. mounted deep hollowers. If spending any great lengths of time on these (which one does tend to do when using such specialty tools) then a good handle design is a must.

But the average daily users? Nar.

Paul39
28th May 2017, 01:15 AM
My thoughts:

If one has more time than money, one makes.

If one has more money than time, one buys.

If you can't find something to buy that fits the particular need, you make.

I make mostly bowls and tried to make a few tool handles and had a lot of trouble with the "accursed skew". With the encouragement of Retired and others I persisted and after around 25 hours of lathe time with skew I now use the skew as entertainment and as a break from my "serious" bowl turning.

I hate doing anything as practice so I make a tool handle, which is useful. I heat with solar and wood, so when I am splitting firewood and find a nice straight grained hard, dense, quarter I set it aside for a handle. Same with interesting grain. It is nice to pick up a gouge and admire pretty grain on the handle.

When I was struggling with the skew, I had several HSS from Craftsman and some highly rated UK makers, along with an 18mm one from a Chinese 8 tools for $20 set.
The one that I had the best luck with was the junky Chinese carbon steel one with a very small handle which caused my hand to cramp. I have re handled it and use it on dirty gritty timber or when I might encounter a nail in a repurposed chair or table leg. I no longer have trouble with the "good" skews. At least no more than usual.

I have big hands and arthritis and found the handles provided by even Crown, Sorby, Henry Taylor, etc. were too small and when used for long periods of time caused pain and cramping. Overall I find that the more expensive the tool, the better the handle, but even with that they are too small for long use. Some cheap tools will have good steel but bad handles.

I have a couple of 16mm traditional grind bowl gouges that I use for hollowing out big bowls. I have big fat, long, handles on them that I can hold for hours without cramping. They are around 35mm in diameter and about 450mm long with the tool sticking out about 200mm.

Some tools used only for a few minutes at a time, such as a parting tool made from a bread knife, still has the original handle. Same for the tool I use to make the spigot on a bowl to grab with the chuck.

I don't have and tools with detachable handles. The long and strong bowl gouges are a real pain to sharpen to a swept back grind using a jig as the length and weight of the handle gets in the way. The longest one I grind as a "bottom feeder" as I can do that free hand. I see an advantage in having just the steel to put in the jig. Old Croc's solution in the photo above or in another thread looks like a good one.

Bushmiller
28th May 2017, 09:09 AM
I'm still very much mulling over all the comments that were made in my previous posts about the ideal handle shape. I've made a few handles since then which do the job though I'm not satisfied that I've nailed it!

So its got me thinking. Its not hard to make a handle that will do the job, so why do people buy handles? You can select your own timber, create your own look and feel, enjoy using the end result of your own efforts.

So what does motivate folk to buy? is it because they can't be bothered turning their own? Too keen to get on with the 'real' job? Maybe there is a trust of the shape from a big manufacturer? or they like the uniform look of a series of chisels/handles?

I'm curious, why did you go off and buy that handle??

Cheers
Phil

Phil

I think you pretty much answered your own question or at least suggested the answers.

In making your own handle there can be:

1. A need for a handle (missing or damaged or deliberately purchased that way)
2. A handle that offends your sensibilities
3. A handle that is sized wrong (for you)
4. The desire to personalise
5. The knowledge that you can produce a better product
6. The use of special timbers to produce an effect or even continuity.
7. It is cheaper.

In purchasing a ready made handle you are comfortable with:

1. Knowing it is ready to use out of the box or packet
2. It is very likely durable
3. It may well be expressly suited to purpose
4. You can get on with your work, which is your primary focus.
5. Relatively it is cheap

Myself, I rather like making my own handles. I make them for chisels, files, screwdrivers and a few other bits and pieces. The irony is that I have made the majority of the handles for my turning tools (and the tools themselves for that matter), but the only turning I do is for handles. I have never turned a bowl! :rolleyes:

Regards
Paul

artme
28th May 2017, 09:44 AM
Very interesting thread. I have a mixture of tools I bought with handles ( a subset here being handles made by other owners ) and ones with handles I made myself.

My initial forays into turning included handle turning and I think this is an excellent means to learn some skillls and produce a useful item.

I have noticed that I have to adjust my grip and approach according to the tool but that is a millisecond decision.

Paul makes a relevant comment concerning arthritis and this is something no ready handled tool accommodates, in that case making is most probably better than buying.

People , like my careless self, with acquired hand injuries would be in much the same boat regarding handle size and shape.

Phily
28th May 2017, 04:13 PM
Well for me handles are not so important as the tool that hangs off the end and like many I, discovered un-handled cost less. But seeing I make many of my tools it follows I will make the handles. As mentioned elsewhere I like my handles this way, not that way :). This is ergonomics and OHS at work here. As I have fairly particular thoughts on what my handles should be, do and be capable of.
If you go into it there are some serious studies on the making of handles for various uses etc I ran across this man years ago.
found this so theres a fair bit about the science
http://ergonomics.uq.edu.au/eaol/handle.pdf
https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/handtools/tooldesign.html
https://mpatkin.org/ergonomics/handle_checklist.htm
Designing the Perfect Grip - Of Handles and Homepages - DESIGNING *for humans (http://www.designingforhumans.com/idsa/2008/12/designing-the-perfect-grip-of-handles-and-homepages.html)[/QUOTE]


Thanks Hughie,
I came across some of these during my earlier research. Interesting that turners are so wedded to wooden handled turning tools, despite rsi type problems. The CCOHS's position that tubular hard shiny surfaces are about as bad as you can get for handles! Though put into perspective, for the casual turner it probably doesn't matter (unless they already have injured or arthritic joints).

Thanks for all the feedback folks, my quest to create the perfect handle continues .......

Cheers

Old Croc
28th May 2017, 07:04 PM
Thanks for all the feedback folks, my quest to create the perfect handle continues .......

Cheers
Phily, you have answered your own question. There is no perfect handle. The closest to perfect is the one you make yourself for your own needs and to suit your personal physical requirements. Like I posted, I like mine with a knob on the end so when my fingers get there I know I am at the handles end and I won't slip off. I really hate metal handles even up here with our mild winters. I am so pedantic about handles and ergonomics I made new operating handles for all my lathe banjo's to get a better angle for my wrist.
Rgds,
Crocy

powderpost
28th May 2017, 11:28 PM
I find the comments interestng. I make my own handles, I am not concerned about the aesthetics or overly concerned about the size or length. Some of my tools have handles 125mm long, some are about 400mm long. The species is not of great concern, neither do they all match, they are all functional. Some get rings burned onto them some don't. My only concern is that they all have fairly straight grain, not because of the "forces" involved in turning, but because of potential damage when they get dropped. The "forces" during turning should be minimal, if not, get some help to improve your tehnique. The bottom line is that, unlike metal machining where angles etc. are important, wood turning is a vastly different kettle of fish. As Frank Pain, a well known old English turner said, "Turn wood as it likes to be turned". Let the tools do the work, the tools do not need to be forced.

Make the handles any way you want, there are no "rules" to break, make them the way it suits you and enjoy the turning.

Jim

Robson Valley
29th May 2017, 08:27 AM
Making tool handles is common practice in the Pacific Northwest carving community, the native carvers in particular.

The usual is make crooked knife blades from files, etc, repurpose blades from farrier's hoof knives or buy ready made blades from
a few outstanding PacNW bladesmiths. The handles are entirely up to the carver.
There is a collection of about a dozen to study in the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology.
Google UBC/MOA and you will find them in the online collection, too.

The best description is probably the "Kestrel Constant," named for a blade making shop.
The notion is that you hold the tool handle in a fist grip, palm up.
The tips of your second and third fingers should just touch the fat ball part of your thumb.
For me, that is 7/8". 3/4" is far too skinny. 1" is OK, 1.25" is far too big. No kidding, it's that precise.

I found that size applies to both my elbow adze and my D adze (both blades from Kestrel Tool.)

I'd be really interested to learn if a parallel exists with turning tools.

skot
29th May 2017, 09:24 AM
I have made a few handles for my chisels........sometimes to replace a broken one on my Dad's old set.

The most joy I got was a job I did for my wife. She does lots of craft type activities and purchased an Awl from Spotlight. The awl was made for sewing and had a tiny plastic handle which hurt my wife's palms as she had to pierce thick leather and paper for her bookmaking (..no she makes hand crafted books...not taking bets).

I removed the steel from the handle and made a more comfortable rounded handle that doesn't hurt......


413298

NeilS
29th May 2017, 11:32 AM
And, you can also modify any that come already handled. eg. the five handles marked with an arrow in this photo were returned to suit me. Why waste good wood if you can reuse it.


413310


This comes out of having limited success in getting sellers to remove the handle and just sending the tool steel if they don't offer a tool only option. It is extra work for the sellers to remove a handle and I guess they are also concerned about the risk of damaging the tool in the process. I accepted that I would be paying for tool and handle, but the handle can add to the cost of shipping beyond what it is worth, especially if it is coming from overseas.

So, if you can't avoid getting the mandatory handle, one option is to modify it if it doesn't suit you as supplied.

Phily
29th May 2017, 05:15 PM
Phily, you have answered your own question. There is no perfect handle. The closest to perfect is the one you make yourself for your own needs and to suit your personal physical requirements. Like I posted, I like mine with a knob on the end so when my fingers get there I know I am at the handles end and I won't slip off. I really hate metal handles even up here with our mild winters. I am so pedantic about handles and ergonomics I made new operating handles for all my lathe banjo's to get a better angle for my wrist.
Rgds,
Crocy

Hi Crocy, I heartedly agree that there will never be a perfect handle, there are too many individual preferences and turning styles to ever enable such a design. However I still believe that there are some design fundamentals that most handles don't conform to and that their incorporation could improve quality and comfort. I'm not suggesting that I have all this figured out yet, far from it, in fact I'm still fact finding. One example of things to be considered is that the OH&S folk seem united in the view that a hard shiny tubular shaped handle is not a well designed handle. This would suggest that a wooden handle, no matter how shaped, is still far from being close to perfect. Does an axe shaped end really improve the ergonomics? Does wrapping the handle with tennis grip tape help reduce RSI injury risks? Is there an ideal balance ratio at the tool fulcrum? And, even if I find all these things out, will the net effort of incorporating all these aspects into a handle design provide a tangible return on the effort to make the handle? I have no idea but evidently I do have too much time on my hands, so what the heck, I might as well keep asking questions. And who knows, it may be worth the effort!:rolleyes::roll:

Phily
29th May 2017, 05:31 PM
Making tool handles is common practice in the Pacific Northwest carving community, the native carvers in particular.

The usual is make crooked knife blades from files, etc, repurpose blades from farrier's hoof knives or buy ready made blades from
a few outstanding PacNW bladesmiths. The handles are entirely up to the carver.
There is a collection of about a dozen to study in the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology.
Google UBC/MOA and you will find them in the online collection, too.

The best description is probably the "Kestrel Constant," named for a blade making shop.
The notion is that you hold the tool handle in a fist grip, palm up.
The tips of your second and third fingers should just touch the fat ball part of your thumb.
For me, that is 7/8". 3/4" is far too skinny. 1" is OK, 1.25" is far too big. No kidding, it's that precise.

I found that size applies to both my elbow adze and my D adze (both blades from Kestrel Tool.)

I'd be really interested to learn if a parallel exists with turning tools.

I'm not sure about parallels but finicky on size most definitely. I must have looked at a hundred or more wood turning handles and have only found one consistent feature - they are all different. Some folk have worked out that their hand best fits a 40mm diameter that tapers to 25mm. Others have worked out that a 32mm rod works best etc etc etc. And there are plenty of folk that are adamant that their design, to the mm, works best for them. How this is evaluated I have no idea. I have spoken to professional turners who have determined that a particular shape aids with their production turning eg timed at 18 minutes to turn an ash blank to a finished, waxed 6inch bowl. But how does a hobbyist determine that a 32mm diameter works better than a 34mm diameter? Now that is a question I would love to hear an answer to!:roll:

hughie
29th May 2017, 08:58 PM
I'm not sure about parallels but finicky on size most definitely. I must have looked at a hundred or more wood turning handles and have only found one consistent feature - they are all different. Some folk have worked out that their hand best fits a 40mm diameter that tapers to 25mm. Others have worked out that a 32mm rod works best etc etc etc. And there are plenty of folk that are adamant that their design, to the mm, works best for them. How this is evaluated I have no idea. I have spoken to professional turners who have determined that a particular shape aids with their production turning eg timed at 18 minutes to turn an ash blank to a finished, waxed 6inch bowl. But how does a hobbyist determine that a 32mm diameter works better than a 34mm diameter? Now that is a question I would love to hear an answer to!:roll:
For me its quite simple. I place my middle finger tip to the tip of my thumb and its a loose 32mm and with that I make my handles 32mm . I use 25mm stainless tube which takes a foam cover that ends up around 32mm+. The ID of the foam tube is around 23mm so its a good .fit

Paul39
30th May 2017, 12:58 AM
I'm not sure about parallels but finicky on size most definitely. I must have looked at a hundred or more wood turning handles and have only found one consistent feature - they are all different. Some folk have worked out that their hand best fits a 40mm diameter that tapers to 25mm. Others have worked out that a 32mm rod works best etc etc etc. And there are plenty of folk that are adamant that their design, to the mm, works best for them. How this is evaluated I have no idea. I have spoken to professional turners who have determined that a particular shape aids with their production turning eg timed at 18 minutes to turn an ash blank to a finished, waxed 6inch bowl. But how does a hobbyist determine that a 32mm diameter works better than a 34mm diameter? Now that is a question I would love to hear an answer to!:roll:

I think it comes to whatever each individual finds most comfortable and efficient. We are all different. In my own situation I found that small handles made my hands cramp, so I made bigger ones. I would put a hunk of timber between centers and make a roughly cigar shape, grab it in the middle and if it felt good make a spigot for the ferrule, drill, finish and glue in the tool. After reading Hughie's rule of thumb about making a circle with middle finger and thumb and all the ergonomic information, etc. above, what I have been making falls within those parameters.

I think it comes to whatever feels good while using, and doesn't make your hands or back hurt after you have had a long session at the lathe, is the solution. The same applies to spindle hight, I like mine higher than the recommended elbow hight because I do 90 plus % bowls and don't like to be hunched over while hollowing.

For roughing out bowls whose blanks that have been hacked out of timber with a chain saw, I like a 5/8 inch bowl gouge with a big fat, long, handle of dense timber to minimize the banging of an interrupted cut. Those who make delicate finials, would prefer something else.

As has been mentioned many times,"fit the tool to the task at hand".

Robson Valley
30th May 2017, 02:08 AM
I hafted more than a dozen blades as crooked carving knives, Pacific Northwest native style.
All the handles, laminate glue-ups of rosewood and mahogany, were made oversize.
With a #5 plane and spokeshaves, 7/8" was about where they all wound up.

I could be working with the same knife for 2+ days so the size that reduces grip strain is important.

Phily
30th May 2017, 09:25 AM
After reading Hughie's rule of thumb about making a circle with middle finger and thumb and all the ergonomic information, etc. above, what I have been making falls within those parameters.

I think it comes to whatever feels good while using, and doesn't make your hands or back hurt after you have had a long session at the lathe, is the solution. The same applies to spindle hight, I like mine higher than the recommended elbow hight because I do 90 plus % bowls and don't like to be hunched over while hollowing

Now we are getting somewhere, this is good. So by following Hughie's rule we know we will have a handle that is going to be a reasonable base to work from. Then work through lathe position, posture and ensure there is a good foam matt on the floor to help take some of the leg pressure. Once all of the lathe/posture side has been set up correctly have a long session at the lathe to test the handle. Having set up the lathe correctly it is likely that any hand, elbow, shoulder aches are a consequence of inappropriate handle shape, if that's the case then re shape the handle and when fresh, start the test again. One caution, if you have a shoulder problem it could be because the chisel(s) are not sharp enough or that you are being too aggressive - both resulting in the tool being pushed too hard into the timber - which will strain your shoulder.

bueller
30th May 2017, 09:37 PM
Nothing to add to the conversation but wanted to say this has been a very informative read, I'll definitely be applying a lot of this knowledge to my own handles in future.

hughie
31st May 2017, 05:48 PM
I think it comes to whatever feels good while using, and doesn't make your hands or back hurt after you have had a long session at the lathe, is the solution. The same applies to spindle hight, I like mine higher than the recommended elbow hight because I do 90 plus % bowls and don't like to be hunched over while hollowing.


As has been mentioned many times,"fit the tool to the task at hand".[/QUOTE]

I have mine centre height much higher than the recommended elbow as well, around 1200mm.

Phily
3rd Jun 2017, 01:40 PM
Maybe not as simple as it seems Hughie to work out the right tool for the job. In my research I came across a really interesting article written a few years back by the International Labour Office in Geneva. It talked about "Skill Fatigue", the phenomenon wherein using a poorly designed or inappropriate tool causes both physical and mental fatigue to creep up on the user. Usually they are oblivious to the fact that there is a problem with the tool and therefore don't realise that they are becoming fatigued. The symptoms include an increasing preparedness to accept a lower level of quality and increased error rates. Ever wondered why after 6hrs+ at the lathe, just doing the final finishing cut when Wham, a bloody great catch?? Maybe, just maybe a bit of skill fatigue has set in. The article talks about tool use, and in that regard I guess that incorrect lathe set up would be as big a contributor to fatigue as handle shape - if not bigger.

hughie
4th Jun 2017, 09:38 PM
Maybe not as simple as it seems Hughie to work out the right tool for the job. In my oic

ksresearchY I came across a really interesting article written a few years back by the International Labour Office in Geneva. It talked about "Skill Fatigue", the phenomenon wherein using a poorly designed or inappropriate tool causes

physical and mental fatigue to creep up on the user. Usually, they are oblivious to the fact that there is a problem with the tool and therefore don't realise that they are becoming fatigued. The symptoms include an increasing preparedness to accept a lower level of quality and increased error rates. Ever wondered why after 6hrs+ at the lathe, just doing the final finishing cut when Wham, a bloody great catch?? Maybe, just maybe a bit of skill fatigue has set in. The article talks about tool use, and in that regard, I guess that incorrect lathe set up would be as big a contributor to fatigue as handle shape - if not bigger.

Yoicks! I don't think I have ever spent 6 straights hours at my lathe. But I take your point. I tend to be doing several things at once in the shed and most things I turn can be done in around 2-3 hours as a long job. The carving etc, yeah well, that can take a bit of time.
But the centre height, my foam handles etc are all developments over time of what works well for me. One of the most successful changes for me earlier was to get rid of the white knuckle grip. I now have a more relaxed grip 90% of the time and to date, this has not been a problem. The idea of hanging onto the handle for grim death never did really appeal plus it's so damned tiring. :U
The end of the day I think we all have to find what works for each of us. I suspect that age, fitness, height, personal susceptibilities etc all play a part. ie I can wander around my shed in thongs on the concrete floor all weekend and it won't bother me, yet I have a mate who has anti-fatigue mats everywhere as the concrete floors kills him.

hughie
4th Jun 2017, 09:50 PM
found this and makes an interesting point
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/may/08/working-hands-happiness-burkeman

Phily
4th Jun 2017, 10:25 PM
Several interesting points and gives a good description as to why folk like us woodies need to have shed time!!

Dalboy
4th Jun 2017, 11:05 PM
I mainly buy tools with handles but have also made my own I find that some of the suppliers of turning tools that their handles are just right for me so I tend to make the ones I need close to their design. For the smaller tools I tend to leave them with the small handles as I use these for very fine detail work and a large handle leads to being slightly heavy handed.

Like many hobby turners I don't spend long hours in the shed just enough to keep it fun. and also because I can no longer stand for long periods in one place due to back problems

Phily
5th Jun 2017, 09:52 AM
I mainly buy tools with handles but have also made my own I find that some of the suppliers of turning tools that their handles are just right for me

I think this is the nub of it. Just about all turners talk about handles that are "right for me", but my question is "How do you know it is right for you?". It seems that there are no guidelines on size, shape, grip etc. Most of us simple turn a shape, hold it, maybe modify it then use it. Over time we work out a shape that we think is appropriate to our requirements. But is it? Does the shape actually perform as we think? Does it actually minimise fatigue? Does it actually encourage a controlled rather than white knuckled grip? Does it really absorb vibration? etc etc. As was mentioned very early in these posts on handle design, "its a can of worms". But I'm on a mission:D

hughie
5th Jun 2017, 06:54 PM
A man with a mission :U This may not help in the mission, but here goes. Heres a shot of my wooden handles, variations loosely depend on usage.

413638

Dalboy
5th Jun 2017, 07:01 PM
I think this is the nub of it. Just about all turners talk about handles that are "right for me", but my question is "How do you know it is right for you?". It seems that there are no guidelines on size, shape, grip etc. Most of us simple turn a shape, hold it, maybe modify it then use it. Over time we work out a shape that we think is appropriate to our requirements. But is it? Does the shape actually perform as we think? Does it actually minimise fatigue? Does it actually encourage a controlled rather than white knuckled grip? Does it really absorb vibration? etc etc. As was mentioned very early in these posts on handle design, "its a can of worms". But I'm on a mission:D


I find that if it is comfortable to hold and handles well then why change the design, if it meets those then I can turn for longer periods of time but if a handle is uncomfortable then it makes me want to make one that is nice to use.

This in the end makes me enjoy turning that much more, after all that is what it is all about for me enjoyment of this hobby.

Sawdust Maker
5th Jun 2017, 10:14 PM
I think this is the nub of it. Just about all turners talk about handles that are "right for me", but my question is "How do you know it is right for you?". ..

for me it has been a bit of trial and error - and now I make what seems and feels comfortable. It works for me and I don't feel the need to think too deeply on the whys and whatevers - it works and I'm happy with it

hughie
6th Jun 2017, 05:43 AM
I notice to some extent that handle design has focused on shaped as to prevent rolling of the handles, as to ergonomics well we are all somewhat different so a common diameter will be a challenge. Vibration is an issue perhaps more so for us here in Oz especially with burls and my foam covered handles are a result of my experience with them. I find them very effective and now they form the majority of my handles.

bueller
16th Jun 2017, 03:25 AM
Been digesting the advice here and now I want to make some new handles for my turning tools. How much extra do you guys usually add for your blanks ideally? I want a 32mm thickness handle and have some really nicely aged 40mm thick jarrah I could turn into blanks. Would that be enough?

Sawdust Maker
16th Jun 2017, 02:39 PM
Should be plenty thick enough

PS you might want to turn a couple out of pine or something as practice and to be sure you like the shape and that they feel comfortable (NB don't use these as handles though as they won't be strong enough)

bueller
16th Jun 2017, 04:59 PM
Awesome cheers, will definitely crank out some test ones first and see how I go.