Monday 9 July 2018
These Thread-Lok ferrules are extremely well made; each one is machined from a solid billet of aluminium, and tapered accordingly to size. They have a tapered threaded socket which screws onto the handle you have turned, one or two grub screws – depending on ferrule size – to tighten the tool blade in place on the ferrule/shaft.
I found that the best way to make my handles was to bore the hole in the end of the timber to suit the given size of blade. These sizes are in decimal inches and are a clearance fit.
Once the holes were bored, I was then able to turn the corresponding taper onto the handles. Unfortunately the ferrule kits that you buy do not come with the corresponding taper template; you have to buy them separately. You could try to turn the taper without the template, but they do make getting the taper right a lot easier.
The instructions also state that the taper and corresponding shoulder on the handles should be around 6mm (1/4in) short of the bottom of the ferrule and top shoulder respectively; this is so the ferrules can be tightened up as the handles shrink, or the wooden thread that is cut on the taper beds in.
Now for the part that is entirely up to you: turn the rest of the handle to suit your own size and to a shape that you are happy with. I turned my handles to mirror the Robert Sorby style, and I sized them according to that of the ferrule. I then applied a sanding sealer to finish them. Simply screw the ferrule onto the handle, fit your blade – or even a homemade tool – then you're ready.
I thought that the size of the ferrule would interfere with my turning, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it made no difference. However, I did find that the ferrules did indeed require tightening onto the handle after a few days – so you will have to leave the required gap, as previously described. The 10mm (3/8in) spindle blade fitted through the ferrule snugly and stayed put with the grub screw; the tool was evenly balanced and comfortable to use.
These ferrules are really well made and would make an ideal gift. The only fault I can find is in having to buy the taper templates separately.