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Oneway Thread-Lok Ferrule
An easy fix for a common trouble spot
Text & Photos by Tom Hintz
Making customized handles for our lathe tools is a common project for turners. While turning the handles is a relatively simple job, making an effective ferrule that reinforces the wood around the metal tool is more difficult. While many of us have come up with workable ferrule-making techniques, they are compromises to what is really needed. Not surprisingly, Oneway Manufacturing developed an easy-to-use answer.
What It Is
The Thread-Lok Ferrule is an ingeniously designed, finely machined aluminum device that makes joining the turning chisel and handle securely a simple task. The front end is bored to accept round-shaft tools with versions available to accept ¼”, 3/8”, ½” and 5/8”-diameter shanks. This hole through the center of the Thread-Lok Ferrule, combined with a hole drilled in the handle allows the exposed length of the chisel to be adjusted to fit the task. In addition, it allows using money-saving double-ended chisels.
The body of the Thread-Lok Ferrule is tapered and has fine threads cut on the inside surface. These threads are designed to bite into hardwood and generate a tremendous amount of holding power. This thread-on design also allows the user to tighten the ferrule with a simple twist if the tool handle shrinks or compresses during use. Try that with a traditional pressed brass ring-style ferrule.
Fitting the Handle
While the handle itself can be turned any way you like, the nose on which the Thread-Lok Ferrule fits must be a specific shape and size to allow it to thread on properly. There is nothing fancy about this taper, but it does have to be sized correctly. Oneway offers taper templates for each of the four Thread-Lok Ferrule models that make this a simple task. The metal templates will last forever and cost just $1.
The templates can be used with the handle between centers, slipping it over the taper at various points to check your progress, judged by how far the template slides over the taper. The final check is made by holding the template over the taper on the handle centerline horizontally.
The Thread-Lok Ferrule instruction sheet provides suggested diameters for the handle center hole for the Thread-Lok Ferrule size being used. The depth of the hole is determined by the needs of the chisel being used.
In the Shop
Oneway’s Thread-Lok Ferrule cures a problem I, like many of you have been fighting. We like making our own handles but completing the project with an effective – and safe - ferrule was the biggest problem.
The most difficult part of using the Thread-Lok Ferrule is turning the taper onto which it threads. However, with a little practice this part of the process is easily mastered. In fact, after going through the process on the first handle turned for the Thread-Lok Ferrule, turning the taper was no more of a problem than shaping the handle itself.
The fine threads inside the Thread-Lok Ferrule make installing it a bit deceiving. It doesn’t feel like it actually threads on very far but with such a large number of individual threads grabbing the wood, it really does lock on quickly. It is also very secure. Since making the first handles equipped with Thread-Lok Ferrules, I have had to tighten just one and that involved a very minor twist to re-seat it.
The dual setscrews (single screws on the smaller versions) hold the chisel firmly but allow adjusting the length of the shaft outside of the handle quickly. Once this feature is used, you will find yourself wishing all of your turning tools had it.
Though less of a consideration, the ease with which the Thread-Lok Ferrule can be installed or removed makes it feasible to have more than one handle style for a single chisel. This extra bit of versatility could be more useful than I think.
The Oneway Thread-Lok Ferrules are an elegant solution to a nagging problem when making our own handles. The simplicity and security the Thread-Lok Ferrule affords will make it much easier for you to create tool handles that make your chisels more comfortable to use. That always translates into better results in the projects.
With a price ranging from $14.75 to $16.74 (USD) depending on size, the Oneway Thread-Lok Ferrule are a welcome investment that will pay dividends for many years to come. The quality of the materials and manufacture mean they will remain functional far longer than the tools and handles that fit into them.
If you have been avoiding experimenting with new handle designs, get a few Oneway Thread-Lok Ferrules and start making your time at the lathe more comfortable – and more fun.
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