After you have made the shape of the handle, and have it almost the desired dimensions, it should be finished with a sharp steel scraper (Chapter II., Paragraph 16); it may be scraped with a pocket knife, or a piece of glass. The purpose of the scraping is to remove all marks made by the cutting tools, and to make the surface perfectly smooth all over. In the scraping process it may be necessary to scrape part way from one direction, and the remainder from the other direction, to avoid tearing the grain. The final smoothing should be done with fine sandpaper, sandpapering the direction of the grain. After it is completed give it a good coating of linseed oil.
The handle should be carefully shaved, and fitted into the eye of the hammer or hatchet, whichever it may be. In shaving the handle, make it fit the eye snugly at all points, taper it sufficiently so that it will reach through the eye and extend a little on the other side. After it has been well fitted, and driven in perfectly tight, examine it carefully to be sure that the hammer or hatchet hangs properly on the handle. Then either split or saw the end of the handle which extends, and drive in hard wood wedges to hold it securely in position. Saw the handle off even with the tool, and finish smoothly with a wood file. The other end of the handle may be sawed and slightly rounded, and smoothed with the wood file and sandpaper. When the handle is entirely finished, it should have a final coating of linseed oil. An occasional coat of linseed oil on hammer handles will cause them to wear smoothly.
Optional and Home Projects Employing Similar Principles.
1. The principle of the shaved handle can be applied to a great number of tools about the shop, home or farm. The mattock or pick handle is almost identical with the hammer handle, except in size.
2. A very excellent chisel or file handle may be hand-shaved. The size and detail of shape are largely matters of personal taste.
3. The hoe or rake handle differs from the other handle problem but little, except in length.
No. 1. Are there any mills of any kind run by water power anywhere in your community? Make inquiry and find out some of the advantages and disadvantages connected with the use of water power.
No. 2. What kind of flowers should be selected for a window flower box? What kind of dirt would you select and how would you prepare it for a window flower box?
No. 3. Visit a shop or hardware store and examine a patent miter box. What advantage does this miter box have over the wood miter box which you made in the shop? How does it compare with your handmade box in price?
No. 5. Visit a carpenter's or cabinet-maker's shop and ask the man in charge to show you the different kinds of planes which he uses. You may be able to find some of the old-fashioned wood stock planes in your community. By inquiry from some of the carpenters, find out what advantages modern all-steel planes have over the old-fashioned wooden planes.
No. 6. For what practical purposes have you seen sleds used in your neighborhood? Which will run more easily on snow, a sled or a wagon? Discuss this matter with some of the teamsters in your community and get their opinions.
No. 7. Make a very careful search about your home to see how many articles you can find which are made of hickory; examine each one carefully and explain why hickory is selected for that particular purpose. Do you know of any objections to the use of hickory for frame material in a house?
No. 8. At what season of the year should shade trees be trimmed? From the study of the references and inquiries which you may make of practical men, what do you think would be the result of trimming shade trees very closely during the hot, dry summer months?
No. 9. Examine the ironing board used in your home to see whether it folds easily. If you find any faults in its construction, remedy them.
No. 10. Visit an art store or gallery and study the pictures; note the kind of frames used on the different pictures. Ask the person in charge to explain why different types of frames are used on certain pictures.