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 Post subject: File handles
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:30 pm
Posts: 4332
Location: MI
I make a lot of the tools I use in the shop. When I find myself needing the occasional file handle, I just grab whatever's handy and make it. They range from "crude' to only "semi-crude". OK, a few from my apprenticeship days are truly "full crude", just a scrap of 2X4 belt sanded out, tapped onto the file tang, and later crudely crosshatched with another file (undeserving of the word "checkering").

I've been around Osage Orange most of my life and always had a bit of a fascination with it-- it's like the local version of Lignum Vitae (but not related). Osage Orange, Maclura Pomifera, is hard and tough. Native Americans made bows from it, farmers made tool handles from it and used it for fence posts. I have a few in the yard, they were probably put in before I was born and I bet they'll be there after I'm gone. I have one that came out of the ground many years ago after being in the ground for probably 75 years at least. The inside is still dense and brown, ready to be made into something. When I burn O-O in the shop stove, it's hotter than Lucifer passing ghost peppers. O-O puts out the most BTU's per pound of any firewood found in North America.

Now these handles are nothin' fancy. Not only do I not claim to be good at working with wood, I'll be the first to tell you that while I can make just about anything out of metal, I can screw up just about anything I'm trying to make with wood.

From top, 1/2 Osage and 1/2 Lilac. Lilac gets soft and rotten quickly but when living it's actually good enough for something like this....fairly dense and heavy, and fragrant. This is one of only a few pieces of O-O I've seen that actually had a few worm holes. Musta been some tough worms.

Next is 1/2 walnut from an old Remington stock, 1/2 oak from a pallet, and a cap of Osage Orange. This is actually just a flimsy diamond nail file but it works well for certain things.

Next, the small one spun from Osage Orange. This stuff turns like Delrin. This piece will not absorb linseed oil, it is so dense and already oily.

Lastly, a handle made from a chunk of a bowling pin, so Rock Maple. One of the lamination joints is evident (bowling pins are made from several pieces of Rock Maple glued together). Whatever they're using for glue, it is strong. I soaked a laminated piece in water for two weeks and could not break the joint.

I left this pic full-sized as I think some of the wood is quite pretty.

 Post subject: Re: File handles
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:30 am 
Senior Member

Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:15 pm
Posts: 434
Neat stuff!

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