Making jigs is fun, but sometimes they need their own handles, and often there are other reasons for wooden handles around the workshop I made a batch of them many years ago and over time they have been used up for various projects and it's time to make another batch of them that will hopefully last me a few years.
To make these, I am have laminated 3 - 1/4" pieces of hardwood together, Oak on the outside and maple on the inside to give me 2 laminated boards that are 5 inches wide and18 inches long. I will get 6 handles from each laminated board.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/4XXHj7qqz-o
I prefer laminated wood for a project like this because laminated wood is often stronger than natural wood, and these handles will be screwed and glued to whatever they are attached to so I need to make sure that screws and glue will hold them ...
I started off by trimming the boards to get 6 blanks, 5-3/4" long and 5 inches high. These are arbitrary numbers if you want bigger or smaller handles to adjust the size as needed.
After the wood was cut the next job is to layout on each one where the radius will be on all four outside and inside corners and what the thickness of the sides and the handle will be. I like a thicker handle so mine is 1 inch thick and the sides, I also like a bit thicker so they are 1-1/4" wide. You can see how I marked them in the video.
Next, the blanks outside roundover areas were trimmed a bandsaw just to make it a bit quicker to sand the outside radius areas.
Now comes the rounding over on the outside of the blanks. You could use a router and router table but in this case, I am using my trim or laminate router round over the outside of each blank. You can select whatever round over bit feels best to you, I believe mine was the 3/8" roundover. All it is really doing is taking the sharpness off the corners of the blank to make it feel better when you use it.
Then it's over to the drill press to drill the holes with a Forstner bit. I used a 7/8" Forstner bit that matched the same diameter of the washer that I used for marking the corners. This way you radiuses all match and the handle just looks a bit more professional.
When you have the 4 holes cut you have options on how to cut the lines between the holes. You could use a scroll saw or even a jigsaw. The advantage with this is it's a bit easier when it comes to rounding over the inside areas of the handle. I decided to cut the handle blanks in half and use my bandsaw to make the cuts between the holes. This works fine, but you are now going to be working with smaller wood for making the roundovers so you may need to support it with a clamp, or do what I did and use my small parts holding jig that I made some time ago for the router table.
That's really all it is to make good quality handles that will be perfect for many uses around the shop. I purposely did not finish mine as I will decide later on when they are attached to something if or what finish I might use them.
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Copyright - Colin Knecht