Corradi Gold Rasp Handles

Last year I bought a couple of Italian made Corradi Gold Rasps direct from Italy; a 6″ round and a 10″ cabinet rasp. While I absolutely loved using them, they were painful to use without a proper handle. The tip of the tang would dig into the palm of my hand causing great pain. Corradi sells handles for their rasps, but I figured I could make my own easily enough.

http://www.corradishop.com

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I use these rasps to shape and make new pieces of wood for the top of my rosewood plane totes. Their small size makes it nice to work into the tight curves of the handle and the small hole for the threaded rod. At a 6 cut, they are aggressive enough to make quick work of removing the wood, but with their advanced stitching, they don’t leave big tool marks on the wood’s surface. In the photo below, there is a small black line near the top of the tote that distinguishes the original Brazilian rosewood and the new piece of cocobolo. I use cocobolo because Brazilian rosewood is nearly impossible to get nowadays and cocobolo is in the same species of wood. While the color of the woods are not an exact match, they’re good enough to make the tote look nice again.

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I started making the handle with a scrap piece of apple about 12″ long and chucked it into my lathe.

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Then, using a template handle I had when I bought an old knife sharpener, I used my parting tool and calipers to mark and measure the details of the handle.

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After everything was turned to my satisfaction, I took some of my lathe shavings and burnished the wood to a nice sheen.

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In order for the handle to fit in the tang of the rasp securely, I drilled a small pilot hole as plum as possible down the center of the handle. The drill bit was the size of the very tip of the tang of the rasp so it would fit tight when driven into the handle.

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Next, I took my blow torch and carefully heated the tip of the rasp so I could burn into the handle. It took a couple of tries as I didn’t want to burn it in all at once. On the second burn, the rasp seated nicely into the handle and I was unable to pull it out.

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The final touch was to simply apply a couple coats of oil on the handles. These handles were extremely simple to make. In fact, it took less that 30 minutes to make both. Why I didn’t make them last year when I originally bought the rasps I have no idea.

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Making a Replacement Handle for a Knew Concepts Saw

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.