This is the first part in a series that will chronicle how I make a RakeMaker II.
Handle making begins with stock selection – dry, straight grained apple, cherry, and walnut. Since only small pieces are needed, I am able to use bits and pieces, drops from other projects. The handle in the following pictures is made of apple.
I begin with square stock that is about six inches long, which will yield three handles if I don’t make any mistakes. I use three measurements to define the shape: the largest diameter, the overall length, and the diameter at the base of the handle.
I use the three tools shown below to turn the handles. I am not really a woodturner, so take what you see below with a grain of salt. I have learned a couple of things along the way, though.
- Sharp, light cuts work best for me, especially in dry wood that is unsupported at one end.
- Profiles are easiest to reproduce when the shape mirrors that of the tools used for turning.
After the lathe work is done, the finger grips need to be shaped. Any half round file or rasp will work, but I use milled tooth or Vixen files. they cut fast and leave a clean surface. I have also used a Liogier rasp for this task, and with great success.
Turning the handle, as hard as it may be to believe, is the single most time-consuming part of this saw filing guide. But it is very comfortable in the hand, and I think it looks pretty good on the tool.