Back in October I bought a Knew Concepts saw at the Woodworking in America marketplace in Covington, KY. I always heard that the biggest complaint about the saws were that they came with a cheap handle that didn’t fit with the looks of the saw. I was willing to live with the handle for awhile until I had the time to make a replacement, but I did think it was uncomfortable. In fact, the more I held it, the more I hated it. There is a company on the internet who sells replacement handles for Knew Concept saws out of exotic wood, but those handles are thicker than the original. I don’t want something that is thicker, I want a handle that is thinner.
Then a few weeks ago, I saw this antique knife sharpener in an antique store. I didn’t care about the knife sharpener part. What interested me was the feel of the handle. I knew as soon as I grabbed it, it would make a great replacement for my Knew Concepts saw. So, I ended up buying the knife sharpener simply to use the handle as a template.
In order to make a new handle, I needed to take the old one off. The handle on the Knew Concepts saw had a small little cotter pin that needed to be removed. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a special tool to get the thing out, so I had to do it the old fashioned way.
I basically had to trash the handle in order to get it off. I drilled through cotter pin and tore into the handle to remove all the wood around the pin in order to grab the pin out with a pair of pliers.
Now needed a piece of wood nice enough to make a new handle. I bought a slab of apple from a guy on eBay and cut off about 10″ from the end.
I then milled the piece into two 1″ pieces and a third piece to 1/2″
I took one of the 1″ thick slabs and milled 1″ square blanks. Each blank will be used as handles for something or another.
I attached the apple blank into my lathe and turned a new handle using the knife sharpener handle as a template. The handle is nothing fancy, but it is comfortable to hold.
The handle is turned and sanded. The end of the handle where the ferrule goes is 5/8″ in diameter because the inside of the copper fitting I used to be the ferrule of the handle is 5/8″ in diameter.
I used a 5/8″ socket wrench while the handle was on the lathe and used the wrench as a gauge to know when to stop when I turned it to size with my parting tool. As you can see, the fitting fits perfectly over the ferrule end of my handle. I trimmed the extra part of the copper fitting flush to the end of the handle with a hack saw.
The biggest challenge in making the handle fit, is cutting the mortise slot into the end. I found the center of the handle and carefully drilled an 1/8″ hole straight down the shaft. I then took an 1/8″ chisel and cut a rectangular mortise down the hole. Carefully checking every few minutes, I took my time and pared away the wood so that the entire tang of the saw would eventually fit snuggly into the handle.
Once everything fit well, I figured out where the hole of the tang lined up with the copper ferrule and drilled an 1/8″ hole through the copper. A 16 penny nail fits perfectly into the 1/8″ hole to act as the pin. I cut the nail to size and hammered it with a ball peen hammer to act as a rivet. I also used some JB Weld in the hole to give everything a bit more strength.
With a little oil on the handle, here it is. A Knew Concepts with a much more comfortable handle ready for years of use.