Sunday, July 16, 2017

Handle for Gem Jr. 1902

I have always liked the wooden handles on the old lather catchers like the one below. I have wanted to make one for my Gem Jr. 1902 Lather Catcher.  I thought about it a long time, and today, I decided to do an experiment. I had some 3/4 inch dowel stock, and I cut off a 2.5 inch piece. I had experimented on finding a screw that would work with my Gem. It turns out that a #8 sheet metal screw works great. I found the center of the dowel and drilled a pilot hole with my Yankee push drill. I screwed the screw down into the hole and cut it off with about a 1/4 inch showing.

Here it is with the head attached. 

I have a one inch drum sander attached to my 1/2 inch drill motor, and I have that strapped down to a small horse stand I made for the purpose. Using that, I began to shape the handle.

Here, it is beginning to take shape. I free handed this handle. I have quite a bit of experience making brushes using this procedure, so this worked out pretty well.

I marked three spots on the handle to put some decorative rings.

Then, I did some initial finish sanding. I am going to have Tom White make me a ferrule to go on the top of the handle. That will provide strength and add a little bling to the handle.

 I will make some more minor changes in the handle, but it is close to being finished.

Update: July 18, 2017

Tom White is making ferrules for my handles. In the mean time, I made two more handles on the lathe. I can hardly wait for the ferrules to arrive so I can put them all together.

Ferrules by Tom.

The left handle was done with a lathe and the other two with a lathe.

As it turns out, the Ever-Ready 1914 Little Lather Catcher has the same threads as the Gem Jr. So, the handle will work on it, too.

Update, 7/31: 

OK, I forgot to update, so here goes.  I finished three in black, one went to its owner unfinished, and the other two were clear finished mahogany.

First shave with the new handle on my lather catcher.


  1. Very well done sir! Quite inspiring!

    1. Thank you. That reminds me that I should update this post.