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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'd like to have a go at making a couple of octagonal chisel handles.
Is there a way to do this without a lathe? I have a tablesaw, pillar drill and jigsaw etc.
" use a table saw to turn a square blank into an octagon " ?
Thanks.
 

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Each angle on any octogon is formed by a joint of 22.5 degrees.

So if you wanted to make a "standard" STOP sign, you would need a "protractor" and a angle bevel gauge, so that you can cut the opposite angle just by "flipping" bevel gauge over.

Sorry for the complicated explanation.
 

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Cut the corners off a square and you have an octagon. If you try this on a table saw you will need a jig to hold the square piece at a 45 degree angle while cutting those corners so it doesn't take your fingers with it. A simple jig would be a board with a V groove.
 

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Peter; you'll likely find that a square-in-profile octagon isn't very ergonomically comfortable.
If that turns out to be the case, just use your spoke-shave to taper the octagon down to fit your hand more comfortably. It'll still be an octagon in cross section.
 

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Just me, but... For TS? I would first square the stock and leave long. Easier and safer to worth with a work piece than can be mounted and/or be manageable. Using a taper jig, give both ends slight tapers. (4 sides)

Tilt the blade to a 22 1/2 degree bevel. Mount the stock in the taper jig. Cut the four bevels on one end. Flip the stock and repeat. Dress and sand. Cut the ends to size.

If on a router table. Give the ends a slight taper (adjustable angle jig adjust flat, mounted at a taper, block with a piece of scrap to the repeat taper) Mount the long squared stock in the adjustable angle sled, now set at 22 1/2 degrees. Mount it at still set taper (blocked), diagonally across the sled. Same flip, repeated for other end and trim the handles off when done.

Either way would get you there. Can think of other ways... but those 2 would be my preference for ease, speed, accuracy and safety.
 

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Why make it more complicated than it has to be. Cut a square block then use a hand plane to bevel the edges. Given you are only talking a short length this should take about five minutes.
 

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Why make it more complicated than it has to be. Cut a square block then use a hand plane to bevel the edges. Given you are only talking a short length this should take about five minutes.
I agree with you, Dennis (I took a slightly different approach with the spoke-shave).
This is one of those creative projects where you get to revel in the woodshavings, enjoying peace and quiet, and not have to worry about taking your hand off through inattention.
Using good quality carefully sharpened hand tools is just pure pleasure. :)
 

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A V bit will trim off the sides quick, uniform and easy. 4 passes and you are done with no sanding required.
 

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FWIW, Chris Schwarz in his September 3rd Popular Woodworking blog showed how to lay out the guide lines in "Octagon Layout Made Easy" using a compass and straightedge. From then on it doesn't matter whether you use a router or a TS to make the cuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A V bit will trim off the sides quick, uniform and easy. 4 passes and you are done with no sanding required.
A few more questions Mike.
How would I make the shoulder that the ferrule fits on?
I read that hickory, ash, or oak are good for handles, any other species to consider?
Cut steel pipe to use as ferrule?
If I cut a 30mm square blank to use to make the handles. What spec should the V cutter have, to cut the octagonal shape correctly???
Cutting Angle Length ' C' 13.0mm
Overall Diameter ' D' 19.1mm
Cutting Angle 45 º
Shank Diameter 1/2 ???
Actually doing the cut on the router table, any special technique, setting up to do it?
Cheers.
 

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Peter, to create an octogon from a square blank you would set your bit so it cuts away one third of the height. Since you specified 30 mm you would want 20 mm left above your cut on the fence side. 4 passes will give you a perfect octogon provided your wood is square. Figure out haw many handles you want to build and cut the octogon on a piece long enough for all of them then cross cut to length.

I highly recommend buying a V bit larger than 1" diameter, in fact 1-1/2" is the most useful I have found. A 1/2" shank is required to support a bit this size.

On a 30 mm handle I think a 1/4" roundover bit run across each section of the butt end will give a nice shape to the handle. You can build a jig to cut round tenons on the end of your handle; this would be useful for many other projects like table and chair legs too.

The ferrule could be a short piece of pipe super glued onto the round tenon.
 

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using the home router table as a shaper

Hi,
I'd like to have a go at making a couple of octagonal chisel handles.
Is there a way to do this without a lathe? I have a tablesaw, pillar drill and jigsaw etc.
" use a table saw to turn a square blank into an octagon " ?
Thanks.
Peter I have given this issue regarding "Making Octagonal Tool Handles" a lot of thought over the years and making them is just one of the many things that I don't have the time to do, just yet, but I will do it. It really depends on if you want them to have parallel or tapered sides or, shaped sides like how "wood lathe tools" normally are, and that is what I think you are talking about, if you want them to have the shaped look that wood lathe tools normally have then you need to make a box to hold them while they are cut on a router table, the box must have a working 8 point indexing wheel and the work pieces need to be able to rotate inside the box as well as being able to hold the work piece that will be "longer than the finished handles will be" as you will need to finish them off to length after the eight cuts are done, but the box also needs to be able to hold the new handles "firmly fixed" when each cut is made and be able to stop the rotated work piece at all of the 8 indexing stations when each cut is made, this box need to be made with a very low profile as you do not need the work piece to be too high up in the air and far away from the surface of the router table so design it to be a low as you can make it, the design of the box also needs be made to include a "handle pattern profile" low down at the bottom, and level with the underside so that a bearing can follow along it as each cut is made so you will need to find some bearings that fit snugly onto the shaft of any half inch, longer than normal, straight router cutter, the pattern should look like how you want the tool handle to look when it is finished and the bearing, with the long straight router cutter up through the middle of it, will normally then follow along this pattern when the cuts are made, boxes I that I have made have been made in a way where the pattern can be changed, for a different one, so the box can be used for doing other work, you may need to use an extension arbour to get the cutter high enough so make the box is as low and as compact as you can make it, then one by one the eight sides of the handle can be cut as the bearing follows the pattern, when you make the box then for safety reasons then you will need to ensure that the cutter is "fully covered and shielded" when you do each of the 8 cuts as it will be sticking straight up and a long way out of the surface of the router table when it is being used, doing this type of work is "advanced use of the router table as a shaper" and it is not for an "unskilled person" to try so if you are not very skilled then hold off doing this type of "router table shaping" until you are fully able to make this type of indexed box, and also be able to use it safely, I have not posted photos of similar boxes and I have only "described this type of box", as you need to be skilled enough to be able to design your own boxes, and be able make it yourself, without a provided plan, to be able to use it safely. This does work and using the home "Router Table" this way, will open up a whole new world of "Router Table Profile Shaping" and the "making and the use of profile following jigs on a home router table" but it is not for the inexperienced router table user so be sure that you can do this type of work safely before you set out to make and use this type of box. NGM
 

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A copper end cap frpm the plumbing department might make a good ferrule
Good idea there. Hadn't thought of that.

Also taper "something" to tighten it when tapped on. Or wrap with stainless wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Good idea there. Hadn't thought of that.

Also taper "something" to tighten it when tapped on. Or wrap with stainless wire.
I read somewhere about tapering the ferrule and handle part for a snug fit. Beyond my skill set at the moment
 
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