Turn your drill press to lathe.

I really need to call it ‘How to shape a Bollocks Dagger wooden handle.

A while back a man name Tim, took my one and a half days knife making course.

It turn out that he is a enthusiast  archer. He told me about a particular knife that the midlevel English archer use to wear. It is the Bollocks Dagger. Bollocks dagger He told me that he really want to build a dagger like that and I told him ‘well, come to do another course’.

It also turn out that he own a nice restaurant in Falmouth UK, the Provedore.  http://www.provedore.co.uk/

Now.. my wife Tamsin add a birthday and I thought I can kill three birds in one go. First, I can take Tamsin for a meal on her birthday. Second I can built Tim the knife that he keep saying he want to have, and thirdly I can exchange the dagger for the meal (although it’s fair to say that Tim don’t know about that deal yet).

So I set to build the knife. After forging and finishing  the blade I was ready to build  the handle.

I use a block of oak that I add for many years. The design asked for some section of the handle  to be completely round.  Bollocks Dagger  From my experience I knew it is difficult to do it by hand. So I needed a lath machine.

And here it come..

I decided to use my drill press as a lath, and for that I needed to build a implement that will use as a chuck to hold the block of wood in the drill. It wasn’t only the chuck head, I also needed to build something to hold the bottom side of the block.

Basically the handle comprising  three sections, a big chunk of wood on one side,  to be the guard  in the form of testicles (hence the dagger name), middle handle shaft, and the pommel end. That present opportunity for the shape of the chuck like devise, that I will build. It will be a box shape that can hold the chunky bit of the wooden block. Turn your drill press to lathe

I drill four holes on all four side of the box and thread them to take a bolt screw. The screw is to tighten and lock the wood block to the ‘chuck’ box. I weld a short steel shaft to the box to enable me to attached it to the drill chuck.

I pre drill the wooden block from side to side. That will be for attaching it to the blade.

To insure that handle hole is dead centre with the drill chuck, I  drill and thread a hole in the centre of  the box from the inside, and screw a hardened pin in to it. Turn your drill press to lathe

I took a 10mm piece of steel, drill two holes in both side to enable me to attached it to the drill press table, and I also attached hardened pin in the middle of it. later on after attaching the wood block into the chuck box Turn your drill press to lathe

and into the drill, the pin at the bottom will serve as pivot axel to ensure that the block will stay put in the milling process.

Prior to the action on the drill, I roughly cut the wooden block to the size of the handle (see main photo). That is to help in the initial shaping of the handle. Is that the firs action when the wood is still big chunk is too hard on the drill as it is not really a lathe machine.

After you shape the round section of the handle remove it from chuck and finish shaping the guard end, manually.  Turn your drill press to latheTurn your drill press to lathe

And here you have it.

Turn your drill press to lathe

I am sorry it is a messy post but, hey, it’s thrdyslexiccraftsman.com as you know.



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Belt sander tip and trick

Today post  going to be short but, I feel oblige to my devoted followers (I wander where are they and if it say something about my blog?).

When I started to work on my newly build belt sander I order from a laser cutting company, some blank blades. Some was made of O1 still and some were plane low carbon steel. I intended to use the plane steel for practicing on the sander before I go to use the real knives O1 steel.

That arrangement work well, but then I realised that due to problematic craftsmanship (later discover as just wrong table rest adjustment) I have got slight deferent knife bevel geometry on both sides, i.e. left and right side wasn’t symmetrically shaped.

After adjusting the table rest the result was better but not as good as I wanted. I then realised that I holding the blade in deferent position, between left side and right side.

To remedy that, I needed to explore my action on the sander and lots of practice. To do that I use the plane steel blanks. Unfortunately they run quickly. That was a problem. To order new ones will take time and money. So I decided to… and here is the tip and trick, to cut a lots of wooden blanks, paint them and use them as practice dummies.

As I do more than one knife model, I cut few deferent knife profiles to resembles my knives, and then paint them. Obviously it is not important to give the blanks a proper bevel nor the thickness of the blades is important. Belt sander tip and trick

And here some of the used ones. Belt sander tip and trick

As a tip bonus I will say that while I was practicing, I come up with a solution to a problem that I encounter when I try to shape the bevel of some of my models.

You can see that the knife cutting edge starting away from the beginning of the knife bevel. Also some time you want  the beginning of the bevel to align with the starting point of the cutting edge, as in the second photo.

Handmade knifeHandnmade knife

So my trick is in both cases, to leave some of the knife profile unfinished. Belt sander tip and trick

Form the bevel and then finish grinding the blade profile. See samples 1 and 6 in the photo above, above, above.

That all for now. I hope you enjoyed it


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Making wooden star knob

How to do a wooden star knob, for using with M6 bolt.

If you remember last post I talked about a homemade metal sheet bender (if you don’t remember, I advise you to read it). I used three Star Knobs. Obviously I didn’t have knobs like that in my shop. So, like always I build it myself.  Mind you, the internet is probably full with instruction on how to do it but, I couldn’t be bothered to look. In any case my method work well.

I found three M6 Coach bolts so I used them.   You also need 12mm (or there about) thick hardwood.

I first  used  25mm Holesaw, luckily it had a 6mm pilot drill bit, if not you will have to drill the middle hole to 6mm size afterword.

Wooden Star Knob Wooden Star Knob







I draw circle 25mm in diameter and divided it into six segments.  Then I  traced it on the wooden batten that I cut earlier.






Now, saw the  wooden battens (knobs) along the six dividing lines to the half  depth of 7mm round rough  file for metal.

Wooden Star Knob






Clamp it on a vice and start to shape it into Star knob. I used two files. The first one was a triangle fill to help establish the position of the grove and I then finis the grove with the 7mm round file.








Now all you have to do is to apply some glue around the top most end of the coach bolt and drive it into the knob’s hole.

And that it. if you in to it, you can now paint the wooden part. I didn’t.

Come to think about it, I saw deferent method on the internet.  You first cut six holes around the edge of the desire knob size and, then you cut the knob out of the peace of hardwood.


Maybe its les complicated.

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How to build Burning Man stool.

This post is about how we build a stool made of burning man left over.

But first let me tell you how the idea for it came about.

Last summer we have been to the Israeli burning man, the Midburn. Our camp, ‘Camp Winners’ concentrate mainly in lazing about near the camp.

So we set about to invite people to hang around the camp. Every morning we came up with idea of how to involve the burners in activity near the camp.

One morning we decided to build a notice board. We decorate it to reflect the famous Western Wall in Jerusalem.

burning man stool

And invited people to be creative on it. we left some paint cans, brushes and big felt tip markers, and mainly left the burner to be creative on their own device.

burning man stool

But as you can see, some time we provided help.

burning man stool

The result was nice and we had a lot of fun with it.

At the end of the event my brother Hadar suggest that, instead of burn it, he can make small stools out of the board.

buringman stool

So back at home he was busy preparing drawings for sending the board to CNC cutting specialist.

Not only make the drawings, he actually send it for cutting.

burningman stool

We were four of us in the camp, and the board that was MDF 120cmx2400cm was to small, so he had to use another small board for the last two stoosl. But he used it mainly for the seat board support so you barely sees it.

And here it is…..

burning man stool

I am not sure, but I think he still have the drawings for it. he will be happy to share it (probably). Let me know if interested.




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How to make pond rake

How to make rake for raking water plants and surface algae for big domestic pond.

The other day I got dozen yellow Koi fish. I introduce them in to my pond but there is a problem.

You know the phrase ‘ from too much trees you can’t see the forest’, it is the same in my pond. It got too much of water vegetation in it, so you cannot see the fish.

A (5)

The solution is: or to ask (and pay) somebody to clean the pond or to do it myself. If I can I always do it myself, but for that, I need a special devise. Problems are one, I cannot buy it off the shelf and two, as I said, if I can, I do it myself.  So i set about to do it and I will try to show you how I did it.

I built it from scrap metal bits that I found scattering in my workshop. It was old farm broken piece, old gate bolt and nails. General dimension are: 300mm x 180mm and 100mm long nails.

A (2)

I had to do some size adjusting

A (3)

then some re shaping in my gas forge

A (4)

and finally some arc welding.


I am not a welder as you can see, but it served the purpose.

I attached it to 18m rope and down to the pond.

The raking is simple, you stand firm on the pond bank and throw the rake adjusting the strength of the throw according to desire distance. and drag it back to you.

A (6)

the result is not that bad, in one hour you can clean serval hundreds kilo of water plant.

A (1)

Things to conceder

18m rope length is just about right for normal man throw. but you can throw it farther.

For durability and longevity you may consider using thicker nails, though 100mm long is good length size.

For cleaning the surface of the pond I advise to attached some mean of buoyancy to the rake. maybe in my next model I will weld few eyelets to the main rake shaft on the back side, so it is easy to fix the floats to it.




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