A London pattern handle
has an octagonal shape on part of it.
I recently wanted to make a London Pattern chisel handle, but I didn’t know how
to do it, and have it come out right. Reading on the subject revealed that most
such handles are not concentric, and I wanted mine to be concentric.
“Pretty” is important to me. If I am going to put in the time required to make
something, I want it to look nice when I am finished. I reasoned that I would
have to make a jig which would use the lathe centers as registration. Then the
octagon would be concentric.
Making a Jig
After making a prototype jig, and adjusting it to work, I used the dimensions to
make the jig shown below. I have photographed each step in making the jig. It is
pretty simple, but there are small things that can and do go wrong.
Start out by cutting pieces of plywood that you can glue up into 1-1/2 inch
thicknesses. You will need one piece that measures 5” by 12”, and 2 pieces that
measure 2” by 5”. My base piece is 1” thick because the jig will flex when you
screw in the handle if it is thin.
The small pieces will need to be drilled and tapped. Lay out the holes as shown
in the next picture. Then drill the holes to 7/16” diameter and tap with a 1/2”
tap. I used 1/2” all thread rod for my jig, because it was what I had on hand.
Tap the holes and oil the threads in the plywood so the bolts will go in without
Next I screwed my all thread rod through both pieces. This is to be sure that
the holes are in line after glue up.