Bedan for a Buddy
Originally written 16. January, 2022
A friend is building a lathe from scraps and I wanted to make sure he has something to work with when he gets it working, so I made a bedan for him.
The handle is a sandwich of cherry and sycamore. I had enough of this sandwich for four handles for lathe tools. The ferrule is a piece of .50 BMG cartridge I had laying around. And the tool itself is a 10mm square HSS rod I got from China.
The picture above is just the one bedan, but four views of it, so you can see all four sides at once.
Steps to build this:
- Set up the blank between centers and turn a tenon as large as possible on one end.
- Put that tenon in a chuck and turn the opposite end to fit the ferrule.
- Back off the tailstock and put the ferrule on.
- Put a drill chuck in the tail-stock and drill a ⅛ inch pilot hole, making sure the chuck is holding the handle straight.
- Drill a half-inch hole about ¾ the depth of the ferrule.
- Drill a ⅜ inch hole to a total depth of two inches.
- Put a live center into the hole and finish turning the handle.
- Trim the ferrule and wood with a hacksaw, remembering to back off the live center so you don't saw the point of it off.
- Bring the live center back in, and finish the handle (I used a BLO and shellac friction finish), then part it off from the tenon.
- Grind about 1.5 inches of the piece of HSS to a round ⅜ inch in diameter.
- Grind the corners down on the piece of HSS for another half to ¾ inch
- Put the piece of HSS into the handle, first by hand, and then pounding it in until it's home.
- Mix up some epoxy (about 7.5ml, or ¼ oz) and pour that in around the HSS, getting it slightly domed in the ferrule. You'll probably need to pour a little, then wait for it to run in, then pour a little more.
- Clean up any spilled epoxy.
- Let the epoxy cure overnight.
- Finish up the handle with some paste wax.
- Grind the end of the bedan to 45 degrees and sharpen it up
That's it. Took me about three days elapsed time, but only a few hours of work. I was working on other projects at the same time.
I made a second one for another friend, using 1 inch diameter brass for the ferrule. I think this is a better fit for ⅜ and ½ inch bedans (9 and 12mm).