Monday, November 27, 2017

Drawbore pins completed

I made the remaining handles the same ways as the first handle, and It went according to the plan.
The tangs or shafts of the drawbore pins were a bit over sized compared to the hole that I had drilled in the handles. Just a little bit, but when I first tried to mount the handle I got afraid that they might split, after all bubinga isn't a soft wood.
So I mounted the drawbore pins in the lathe and turned down the shafts to the exact diameter of the holes that I had drilled.

I still had to use a large hammer to mount the handles, but none of the handles split, and everything was really tight once seated.

For a finish I decided to use some old floor varnish that we have on board.
I simply dipped the end of a handle into the can and smeared the varnish over the rest of the surface. Once the entire handle was covered in varnish, I rubbed the handle a couple of times with an abrasive pad, and then I wiped off the excess varnish.
The idea is that it should provide a bit of protection against grime without being a super shiny and slippery surface.

Conclusion of the project:

Making a set of eccentric drawbore pins is relatively easy if you have access to a metal working lathe, or know someone who does.
The actual turning process is very simple and the material is inexpensive.

I am not sure if it was necessary to harden the drawbore pins, but I figure that it can't hurt to do it. But if you don't have the equipment for it, I am convinced that a set of homemade drawbore pins will still work perfectly.

Making tapered octagonal handles is easy, and you don't have to despair if they are not exactly square or if the taper is not identical on all sides, They are comfortable to use and a huge advantage is that they roll very poorly, so if you work on a ship there is a possibility that they might actually stay where you put them on the bench. I guess that the non rolling function also applies to shop ashore, so if you haven't got a tool tray - it could be a pattern worth considering.
Joshua Klein made an entry about the subject a couple of years back.
He was inspired by Zach Dillingers blogpost which provides a very thorough step by step guide to making those handles for a chisel.
A really fine thing about this pattern in my point of view is that it is possible to make it without a lathe.

All there is left for me now,  is to see if having some drawbore pins will make my work easier when using that joint. But I kind of expect that I will be the case.

Completed and finished drawbore pins.

Handles while drying.


  1. They look good. I look forward to see if you actually use them or not, and how helpful you find them.

    1. Hi Brian
      Thanks, I actually think that they came out pretty fine too.
      I suspect that I will actually use them, since I regularly try to do drawboring whenever possible.

      If they prove to be a success, I suppose that I could get Gustav to fabricate a small batch to sell, cause I think that it might just be a project up his alley. At least the metal turning. But I guess that anyone interested in a set of drawbore pins could make the handles themselves.


  2. Thanks for posting these, Jonas. I picked up a set of drift pins not long ago based on an article from Chris Schwarz. No plans to add any eccentricity, though. I like this style of handle (thanks also for the Dillinger and Klein links). The Castle Ring blog was great fun to read, too. "Podger" is a great addition to anyone's vocabulary.

    1. Hi Jeff
      Thanks for the nice comment.
      Podger is indeed a great word, I have tried to search the Internet for a Danish word equivalent to framing pin, but I haven't been able to find any. Which I think is strange since timber framing was widely employed in Denmark earlier. Most buildings were not clad with wood, but the spaces between the timbers were filled with either brick work or wattle and daub.


  3. Hi Jonas!
    I think your pins look great. I have drift pins that came with a punch set that I used at my former job more than 20 years ago. I've never gotten around to making handles for them, though I've thought about it several times.

    I'm not sure how you feel, but I'm not completely sold on drawboring on everyday furniture joints. I can understand it for larger items like a workbench, and obviously on timber framing it is a must. But projects such as table legs etc I have the idea that it will introduce unnecessary stress on the joint.
    I'm sure somebody will tell me I'm completely wrong :)

    1. Hi Bill,

      I have never thought about it as a source of stress for the joints.
      If I use drawboring for furniture I normally make the offset smaller than for stuff like a workbench or a sawbench etc.

      But I don't use it all the time. The face frame and the door frames for the chimney cupboard for instance where just plain mortise and tenon joints, but I still think that they will outlast me.

      So I kind of agree that on smaller stuff it is unnecessary, but on a sturdy piece I like to use it.

      I think you need to post the comment on a forum to really get a bashing about being wrong :-)