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Handle build for Desk

Handle build for Desk

I saved the design and building of the handles for last. Mainly, because I had no Idea what I was going to do for a handle. All I knew, was I wanted it to be made from wood. I searched through all my design books, and all over the web looking for inspiration. I finally came across Darrell Peart’s website in the Green and Green Style. Now this desk is not in the Green and Green style but I liked the simplicity of the handles on his pieces and thought they would work well with my desk.

As always, when I take inspiration from another maker I try to change it in some way and add my own flavor to it. Darrel’s drawer pulls where straight across, dowels set between two posts. I decided to make mine tapered, a little more like a traditional drawer pull. I also thought the curve in the taper would complement the curve in the legs and side panels.

Using a wrench as a gauge on the latheI started with a blank in the lathe and measured off the width of the handle. I used a 3/8 wrench to set the final diameter of the ends. This was important because I was going to use a 3/8 inch drill bit to drill the holes in the posts that these handles would be glued into.

Tapering a wooden handle on the lathe  Next, I found the center of the handle. This would be the thickest part of the handle, and as I turned it, I tapered it down towards the ends, creating the final shape. Once I had the basic shape I wanted, I sanded out any imperfections and refined the taper.

Cutting Small parts on a table saw crosscut sledMy crosscut sled seemed to be the safest, most accurate way to cut the posts.

 Simple drill press jig for drilling holes in the centerI used two stop blocks I got from the scrap bin, and clamped them to the drill press table. This little jig made it easy to quickly, and accurately drill all the holes in the center of the posts. I used the outside shoulder of the forstner bit to gauge my depth, which I had pre-measured, and added to the handle length before turning it.

Sanding small parts with a belt sanderTo create the round over effect on the edge of the posts I did a combination of hand sanding and shaping at my oscillating belt sander.

Handmade drawer pulls The final drawer pulls turned out pretty well. I used walnut for the posts, and the same spalted maple for the handles that I used for the accent panels on the sides of the desk. To finish the handles I used clear satin lacquer which I applied using a spray gun.

Please Check out my other posts on how to build a writing desk:
Building the Legs and Accent Panels

Follow this link if you would like me to build you a custom desk, or see more completion pictures.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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