Solid ash D handles.

image of solid ash D handle

Traditional ash "D" handles are made from a thick plank in one piece - no joints, no steamed bends, no glue. The grain is orientated front to back, which helps to prevent splitting in the shaft, but limits the timber that is suitable. A long steel rivet reinforces the hand grip. More timber is needed to produce a "D" handle than with more modern designs, however wastage is minimal, as off cuts can be used to make small handles (for trowels, billhooks etc.), and rejected timber (bad grain, knots, splits) keeps my workshop heated!

Many early twentieth century and late Victorian tools had this type of handle, and it is very appropriate to family heirloom tools.

I make the handles from locally felled and milled ash. It is rather time consuming, and I am not in a position to even consider automating the process. Making the handles by hand gives the ability to tailor them to suit the needs of customers. Each handle is a "one off" and will have subtle evidence in it's texture and finish to show how it was made. I can make the length, shaft diameter and grip width to suit your hand and the tool head.

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© Ian Swain 2023