I started making timber handles about 6 years ago. People asked me – would I do timber handles? They asked a few times, and then I decided to do them.
I never wanted to go and buy new timber for this, off the shelf. So I sourced second-hand, recycled timber, and that equates that you cannot always have the same timber available. Sometimes you just need to take what you can get.
To turn these handles, you need a very fast spinning lathe, and this lathe can run at up to 30,000 RPM. To get the handles smooth, I use sandpaper – anything between 80 and 700 grit. Then we do a wax and shellac finish.
I prefer this finish to polyurethane type plastic finishes, because I can instantly finish this to a good standard. With the other products on the market, it takes up to 24 hours drying time, and that’s not user friendly for my workflow.
People have got to realize that due to the nature of the timber, that not all handles are the same. They might vary slightly in shape, and from time to time, we find little flaws that we may fill up with putty – but that’s the individual character.
Today I started making a handle, but half way through, the timber opened up with a crater, so for this particular order, I wanted to start again. In future, we can put the first handle on the website, and people can select it if they like it.
This handle is hand made, red gum timber. The average time to make one hand made timber handle is minimum 1 hour. The basic materials cost to make them is approximately $17 AUD – the knoll is $12, and then the timber $5, plus a bit of lacquer. People are lucky that this is a hobby, because if you had to pay for the hourly rate and profit, you’d have to put an extra $100 on top.
The real deal.Shop our timber handle tampers
Check out the video on youtube showing part of the process: