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So I'm working on a few projects at the moment and I've already totally botched a few sets of scales. Both sets I did in purple heart, the first set I learned that my 2x72 chews off material waaaayyyy too fast and I just can't see it well enough. Second set I was using a file and rasp but I accidentally went too thin and it ripped a bunch of the grain out. What is everyone's favorite method of shaping handles? I wouldn't mind trying something that doesn't cost me any more nice hardwood.

 

Cheers

Steve

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Does your 2x72 have any kind of variable speed? I use my 2x72 but have it usually at most 50% speed for hogging material and tend to use worn belts until I reach 120 grit then use wood only belts that never touch metal. Im sure there are better methods but I use what I have and if needed go low and slow.

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1 minute ago, Sean Blum said:

Does your 2x72 have any kind of variable speed? I use my 2x72 but have it usually at most 50% speed for hogging material and tend to use worn belts until I reach 120 grit then use wood only belts that never touch metal. Im sure there are better methods but I use what I have and if needed go low and slow.

No, it's a pretty temperamental rig, I couldn't afford a good VFD so I made one out of an old treadmill motor and control. I either go high speed or there isn't enough power to run the belt.

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I would say then use worn belts until you get to finishing belts so you are not striping the material as quickly but you will have to worry more about burning the wood as there is more friction. Otherwise its being very careful and gentle and planning out every hand movement. 

 

Hopefully someone else will come along and give better advice as I can only speak from experience on handles. I have very little woodworking experience overall and that stuff can come in handy for solving these kinds of issues.

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1 minute ago, Sean Blum said:

I would say then use worn belts until you get to finishing belts so you are not striping the material as quickly but you will have to worry more about burning the wood as there is more friction. Otherwise its being very careful and gentle and planning out every hand movement. 

 

Hopefully someone else will come along and give better advice as I can only speak from experience on handles. I have very little woodworking experience overall and that stuff can come in handy for solving these kinds of issues.

Thanks Sean! I will break out the old belts and see how they do on a test piece. Maybe spring for a god motor and VFD this year

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You could always throw a set of step pulleys on your existing rig.  Cheap man's VFD.

Edited by Alex Middleton
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LOL thank you guys but you've definitely over estimated my ability to make some things. I will practice on pine until I'm good enough, I'll use the files as well to see which I like more

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You can use a dremel tool with a larger diameter sanding drum, variable speed helps.

 

After rough shaping- I've used really thin double sided tape to stick my scales to a piece of sheetmetal cut to match tang shape- clamped in my vice, and emery cloth to hand sand rounded profiles.

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I almost never touch my handles with the grinder anymore other than very rough work.  Rasps and files get me most of the way without as many "oops" moments.

 

I'm not sure what to tell you if you didn't have control with a rasp, other than maybe you were using too coarse of one.

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Another thing I recently did- was purchase a harbor freight 1x30 sander- just for wood use. My brother gave me a spindle sander which helps as well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I use this sander with 1x42 AO belts for handle shaping.  The motor I attached spins at 1725 rpm.  Works great, plus I take it outside when working with nastier stuff like G10.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/tools/sharpening/44884-sander-grinder?item=68Z7501

Edited by DavidFB
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