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Resin Handles: The Final Frontier

It's taken awhile to make these replica tortoise resin handles. From casting the original pieces in silicone, to repeatedly trying to make tortoise, just getting them to this point was miraculous. Problem was, I really had no idea how to finish them. A skateboard making friend (with a generous woodworking family) learned me how to do it. The key was a tap and die set:

It creates the threads in each drill hole that will hold the screw in place, without cracking the resin. News to me. As was the amazingly fast drilling technique he used. A sweet jig was fashioned out of some scrap wood, which held each piece in the vice snugly and allowed for fast, accurate holes.

Them holes drilled up real fast.

But they were smooth as a baby's bottom. Threads were the next step.

And this is where the tiniest snag hit. The tap is pointed at the bottom, and that's necessary to keep it straight as it's being twisted in. But that also means that the threading doesn't start until about mm from the tip. The holes were so shallow, that when the tip of the tap hit the bottom of the hole, only a few threads were carved in.

So 2 taps were needed: 1 with the point, and 1 with it ground down. Each hole was tapped with the pointed one first, to create a few threads as a guide for the other.

The one on the top has just the threads at the opening, and the one at the bottom has the threads all the way to the tip:

Once all the holes were tapped, they were ready to suit up. The one on the left is an original, and the one on the right is the reproduction. Clearly, the repro is not as accurate as it could be. So while these are good stand ins for the time being, they're are still better yet to come.

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