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Thread: Handle Wood?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoAngel View Post
    Bodock as we say in the south here.

    Osage Orange. It is RIDICULOUSLY hard and tough. I challenge anyone to find a domestic wood any harder. BUT, it's really holds up. I have a mold mallet I made over 7 years ago and it's still going strong.
    You will ruin a chainsaw bar and blade if you ain't careful.
    Bodock was THE wood for making singletrees and doubletrees years ago.

    If you approach it like machining aluminum or another soft metal, it's not hard to work at all. Treat it like oak or walnut and you'll be burning up tooling.
    It's a right ugly yellow when first finished. With time and lots of handling, it turns a burnt orange color that's right nice.
    Also, there's very little need to put a lot of effort in finish as far as oils or varnish. Sand it slick and rub a little linseed oil. It won't soak up much at all. I actually sanded a set of grips down to 1500 grit and used a muslin wheel to polish it. It was so slick, they weren't usable. LOL!
    Bodock=Bois D'arc=Bowdark
    Learned that from my Texan stepfather. It can be used to make archery bows.
    Wayne
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - or else it gives you a bad rash.
    Venison is free-range, organic, non-GMO and gluten-free

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    At the NRA convention in 1976, I sat at the table with the gentleman who started and owned Saeco. He told us that he went to a stock manufacturer(don't remember which one) and bought their scraps of figured walnut to make handles for his molds and tools.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Bois D'arc means ''bow wood'' in French

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    If you have a choice of woods, first is hickory, second is maple, then white oak of the common american woods.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  5. #25
    Boolit Master


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    How about a wood from the Genus Ebony? The only species north of the Tropics in right here in the good ole USA (other places as well), and is Persimmon. Grows wild all around my place and makes the best wood for woodturning projects. Neighbor and I have used it for Maul handles, ect.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master

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    At work I made a Brass Ball Peen hammer with an ebony handle up. This wasn't for actual use but was buffed up and polished to a shine and mounted on a plaque for a retiring mechanic.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master

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    I always save broken broom & shovel handles. Chuck a piece in the lathe & turn away. Never throw stuff out, never know when it'l come in handy. And if I need something bigger, I go out to the firewood pile.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master



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    Go to the hardware store and ask for chainsaw file handles. Already contoured (but can be changed to your liking) and have a hole predrilled (which can be enlarged if need be)

    Made of hickory I believe and pretty tough stuff.

  9. #29
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alstep View Post
    I always save broken broom & shovel handles. Chuck a piece in the lathe & turn away. Never throw stuff out, never know when it'l come in handy. And if I need something bigger, I go out to the firewood pile.
    LOL, that's about exactly what I do...But I did buy this bag of handles at a thrift store recently. I don't know what they were originally for? came with an eye bolt and washer. No internal threads in wood, only a through hole. They are a lightweight wood like pine, but has a real tight grain, like mountain cedar. shown next to a Lee mold for comparison.






    This is really my prefered...aged/weathered white oak, from the firewood pile...the knotty and gnarly the better.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master

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    I save all my broken oak shovel and ax handles and recycle them into other handles. I have a few screwdrivers with curly maple handles and I have used scraps of purple heart and ebony for fancy handles for duelling pistol sets. Use your imagination, use denser woods for the most stressed applications and from there just go with it! Don't ignore turned deer antler as a choice either.

  11. #31
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    [QUOTE=JonB_in_Glencoe;3987501]LOL, that's about exactly what I do...But I did buy this bag of handles at a thrift store recently. I don't know what they were originally for? came with an eye bolt and washer.


    They are handles from jump ropes.


    OK, OK. I'm guessing!
    Chill Wills

  12. #32
    Boolit Master

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    File handles are a good handle for a lot of things. Ive used them for a lot of things. I have been known to even sand them out nice and stipple then oil finish them. A lot come out with a very nice look. Ive also used copper pipe caps for ferrles on wood handles.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    You can often find good Hickory or other hardwood Tomahawk handles if you shop around.
    I know I found some in the 18" length for 6$ each.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparky45 View Post
    How about a wood from the Genus Ebony? The only species north of the Tropics in right here in the good ole USA (other places as well), and is Persimmon. Grows wild all around my place and makes the best wood for woodturning projects. Neighbor and I have used it for Maul handles, ect.
    I agree, if you can find it! Not exactly a common wood. Golf club wood heads are made from it,.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  15. #35
    Boolit Master

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    Another often over looked wood is Mullberry. It can be very pretty and is easy to work with.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    I have used sage orange for a couple projects and it is very hard even when green and not cured once cured its very hard and more like metal working than wood working in some ways. As it ages it becomes very nice looking.
    We have Osage trees growing everywhere here. The stuff lasts forever, you commonly see very, very old fence posts made rom it that have been out in the weather for sometimes 60 years or more that are still strong.

    I live on some acreage and we have quite a few osage trees. The former owner had left an old shovel head out in the yard and I was going to buy a new handle and install it, but a handle costs almost as much as a new shovel. I wonder if I can find an osage limb straight enough to work something out of it, I never thought of it making good tool handles.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master woodbutcher's Avatar
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    Hi JonB.Those are handles for the aluminum skillets that are usually Teflon coated.The loop is for hanging them up.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
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    Otto von Bismarck

  18. #38
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    When mold handles start working loose I've had great results with high temp silicone sealer. I squirt a generous amount in the original handle hole, push it back on and wipe off the excess if necessary. Set it aside for 24 hours before using. Haven't had one come loose yet.

    David
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  19. #39
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    It took a while but someone finally said dogwood. It was used for axe handles at one time. It is tough stuff.

    Lots of good suggestions, ideas and reasons in this thread.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    As they say, "in olden times" the traditional home made handles were made to be tough and durable. Most of the woods used have been mentioned. Osage, Dogwood, Persimmon, Hickory, sometimes White Oak and in specific uses Locust. I have used some of all these in various projects. I will warn against using any Hickory or Oak with wide rings = it's weaker and splits easily, trees from dryer and higher has closer growth rings and is tougher. This has been my experience, yours may be different. 10ga
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