I picked up some slotted screwdrivers recently, but was also looking for some Philips ones. They don’t seem to ever be made with wooden handles (new or used). But Lee Valley sells screwdriver shanks of all types, so I picked up a set of 3 with Philips heads and some brass ferrules. I figured it would be a good chance to make my own tool handles on the treadle lathe.
For the wood, I had an osage orange blank in the pile (I got it as a trial wood for the chess set, but went with hard maple for that in the end) and it was long enough for three handles. Here is a quick step-by-step of how I turned the handles…
I drilled a hole in the blank as parallel to the length of the blank as I could. The hole fit over the live center cone on the lathe. I used the handle of my slotted screwdrivers of similar size to mark the length of the piece. These screwdrivers were also used as a guide for the maximum diameter of the turned handles.
I turned the handle down to its maximum diameter using the roughing gouge, then marked on the length of the brass ferrule from the end with the hole in it. I turned this part down to the inner diameter of the ferrule to achieve a tight fit (this took some fine tuning). After marking on the location of the maximum diameter with a pencil, the handle was tapered with a spindle gouge. Osage Orange feels wonderful to turn!