Saturday, November 2, 2013

Scrap Wood Project-mystery project

Hi Everyone,

Well, I was going to wait to tell you what today's project is but the explanation won't make a lot of sense unless I tell you at the beginning so this is what it is:

Wooden bag handles

I like to walk a lot and I often walk to the grocery store or to the local library. The downside of this is that a bag of books or groceries is heavy and the handles of the bags digs into my hands and hurts. The logical solution is to make some wooden handles with a slot along the long axis of the handle that the bag handles can rest in while I'm carrying the bag home.

Unfortunately, I used pine for the handle which didn't quite work out.

Here's the photos:

Here is a photo of the end of the turning blank. I've marked off the center and drawn a circle that shows  the diameter of the handle. Note the relationship between the slot and the circle:

Here is the blank on the lathe. I've placed it between centers and I'm turning it as a spindle:

Here's the problem: the edges of the slot began to break off as I was turning the handle. A harder wood would probably prevent this from happening.

You can also see that I've marked off the handle for cutting in a minute. I'm going to cut this about 5" long which is about 1" longer than the width of the palm of my hand and also short enough to for bag handles to fit in (see below):

I've cut off the ends. This is a photo of the end of the handle. The edge on the right side broke off leaving the handle with a very shallow slot that bag handles would probably fall out of:

Being pine, I took a narrow wood gouge and gouged a deeper slot in the handle:

 And this is how the whole thing should work: the bag handles fit into the slot on the wooden handle and they won't dig into my hands anymore:

Lesson learned: don't use soft wood for this. Next time I'll use some harder wood along with at thin piece of contrasting wood in the middle. This will give a narrower slot but hopefully a deeper slot and the whole thing should turn with the edges left intact.

Ok, I'll try it again.



  1. A solution could be to cut a spline of pine (sorry for the rhyme) that fits in the slot either by pressure, hot glue, or paper and glue. Turn the now solid piece to what you will and then knock it out. Even better may be to glue it solid at each end of the turning but only the ends and then saw those off - the spline will drop right out.

    don't give up on that pine

  2. Scott,
    Thank you for your email-that's a good idea. I'll give that a shot and try it again.
    And I'll never give up on pine!