Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Shop-Made Handles

Like a lot of woodworkers, I have a hard time throwing away the scraps left over from a project. My workshop is full of short lengths of hardwood and cutoffs from sheets of plywood that I know can be used for something. The truth is, I'll probably never be able to use all the scraps that I've accumulated, but fortunately, there are a number of things that can be made from leftovers from the scrap bin.

Drawing 1That was the case recently when I needed a couple of handles for a project. They're made from plywood and are fairly small. So to work with them safely, I started by gluing up a blank that's sized to produce two handles.

After gluing it up, lay out the handles on the blank, as shown in the drawing at left. Then drill a hole near each corner to form the curved shape on the inside of the handles. The outside corners are simply cut with a band saw (or jig saw) and sanded to match.

Drawing 2The next step is to remove the remaining waste, see the drawing at right. Note: To end up with two handles of equal size, be sure to make the entry cut centered on one edge. After removing the waste, exit at the spot where you made the entry cut.

To complete the handles, rout a roundover on all the edges. To do this, I use a 1/4" roundover bit mounted in my router table, see the drawing below. Then cut the two handles apart.

Drawing 3Finally, give them a quick hand sanding and finish them with a couple coats of polyurethane. These handles are so sturdy and comfortable, that I'm tempted to make a few extras to use with other projects,

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