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Replacing a handle to reduce hand pain
This is a typical handle, small, with a slick lacquer finish. This does little to provide a good grip for arthritic hands.
I use a Vega® Duplicator to turn handles, but they could easily be turned on a standard lathe. Here the handle has been mounted as a template for a new, larger handle.
I have chosen Rhododendron wood pruned from the garden last year.
The maximum profile diameter of the larger handle has been turned.
In this view the inletting of the handle is complete to receive the whipping.
Although not required, it provides boundarys for the whipping.
This shows the contrast in size between the two handles.
I completed the whipping using carpet thread, I would have preferred a quality cotton twine.
The whipping was done on the lathe, but rotated by hand.
Note: before I remove the ends, I drill a pilot hole between centers to insure the hole is inline with the handle centerline.
This picture shows the completed handle in relation to the original slick handle.
Resetting the tool into the handle requires drilling a stepped hole using several drill sizes that closely match the tang diameter.
The tool is mounted in a vise for seating into the handle.
Carving with arthritis can be difficult and painful using standard tool handles.
Some relief may be found in modifying our handles.
Click on any picture
for a closer view
Handle is removed from tool, this is normally a very easy operation.
Another view of the handle mounted on the lathe.
Closeup showing how the tool is held in the vise.
The tang is heated with a propane torch, it must burn it's shape into the handle.
This shows the burn depth. The remaining tang is carefully driven into the handle with a mallet.
Note: if the tang extends too much, there is a danger of splitting the handle.
If the tang extends too little, the tool may loosen easily. (a loose handle is easier to repair than one that has split)
The handle is pressed onto the tang, leaving 3/16" or less of the tang exposed.
The handle is then removed and the tang allowed to cool.
This shows the completed replacement handle. This is only one style of handle that could be designed to improve grip and reduce hand pain.