Fork handles

For all those other associated crafts.

Moderators: jrccaim, Bob_Fleet, gavin, Robin Fawcett, HughSpencer

Fork handles

Postby TonyH » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:58 am

Does anyone make traditional wood garden fork/spade handles ? You know the sort, a round shaft which is split and bent to form a fork between which the handle piece sits ? Any hints ... I presume I turn it round, rip saw it down, then steam bend with some sort of jig(s) that stop the spilt growing down the shaft, and holds it in shape until cool ?
TonyH
Regular
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:32 pm
Location: Bedfordshire

Re: Fork handles

Postby 81stBRAT » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:16 pm

Hi Tony
Arivet with two washers will stop it spiltting done the shaft, or a band of thin metal wraped around and fixed.
A jig and cramp to bring the top back to handle width should work easily steam up tp 1hour.
Richard
81stBRAT
Regular
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:56 pm
Location: Herstmonceux East Sussex

Re: Fork handles

Postby SeanHellman » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:14 pm

I have always made T bar handles, far quicker.
If I was making the bending jig I would not only rivet, as Richard said, but would also support the outsides of the handle, just above the rivet with curved wooden blocks either side. Then force the handle apart with a triangular block and then clamp the top of the 2 handles. I am sure we would all appreciate some pics.
"Scarcely anything is original- it`s very hard to be totally inventive, so I am not terribly interested in originality. Vitality is all I care about" Clive James
Green wood courses, tools, demonstrations.
http://www.seanhellman.com/woodwork/
User avatar
SeanHellman
Regular
 
Posts: 928
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:13 pm
Location: South Devon

Re: Fork handles

Postby Brian Williamson » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:01 am

How easy you find it may well depend on the length of sawn/split handle you give yourself to work with.

I would imagine that the modern process involves cutting the handle to length and using some kind of press to force the two halves apart and shape them. You'd probably do better (working by hand) in giving yourself some overlength so that you have something to lever with and to clamp. You can cut the excess off when you've done.

If you do more than a few you could try reducing the overlength to see how little you could get away with.

Brian.
http://www.westcountrycoppice.co.uk

undergreenwood.wordpress.com

'Measure twice and cut once'
User avatar
Brian Williamson
Regular
 
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:33 am
Location: Stroud, Glos..

Re: Fork handles

Postby TonyH » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:53 am

First go was a fail. I used a jubilee clip around the bottom of the slot to keep it from splitting - that bit worked a charm. Then proceeded to lever apart the two halves, and then as Sean described, squeeze in a wooden wedge shaped former with a sash clamp. So far so good - it was squeezing the ends back in to parallel that caused the breakage - I think I made a number of mistakes, including not slotting the wood far enough, so trying to achieve too small a radius bend, perhaps having the wood too thick to begin with, I could have shaved it down a bit thinner to make it flex more easily, and finally impatience at the steaming stage combined with being too slow after the wood came out of the steamer.

I'll try that one again. Thanks for the ideas. I think the extra length is a good thought,
TonyH
Regular
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:32 pm
Location: Bedfordshire

Re: Fork handles

Postby anobium » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:43 pm

Alternatively why not have a straight handle about a metre long? A longer handle means you don't have to bend your back so much and you have more leverage. Most French spades and forks are fitted with this type of handle often with a 'pomme' at the top for more comfortable grip.
anobium
Regular
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:05 pm
Location: deux sevres France

Re: Fork handles

Postby TonyH » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:09 pm

I do rather like the long handle of the cornish shovel. It is a thought.

Similarly, I am sure Sean is right that the T style handle is much quicker and easier, but as JFK (almost) said "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard" !

I have just done the kind of thing I have often told other people to do, and gone and looked closely at a lot of old fork handles like the one I'm trying to make. I notice that the great majority have a pair of metal straps that the rivet holding the horizontal part of the handle goes through, and extend down the outside of the forked shaft. Presumably this stops the rivet bursting out of the end grain, but also lends strength just where my first attempt started splitting. Hmm.
TonyH
Regular
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:32 pm
Location: Bedfordshire


Return to Greenwood crafts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests