Depending on what stock I have on hand, I sometimes turn 2 handles at once. This can be more difficult to do - the long stock can tend to vibrate more in the lathe, making it more difficult to get it smooth, at least in my experience. But the benefit is in increased output - and I had a piece of 15" long ash that was dying to be made into handles, so...
Tanged tools require a ferrule be installed to help keep the wood from splitting when you first jam that tool into it and also to strengthen it to prevent the same while you are using it. The ones I use for these handles are 3/4" brass ferrules purchased from Lee Valley in an assortment purchased some time ago. I've also seen them made from brass and copper pipe, as well as hydraulic hose fittings - but at the cost they are available at from Lee Valley, I had them throw in a bunch as an extra in another order I was placing at the time. It's very handy to have several sizes on hand for uses like this that pop up occasionally.
Turning the Handle
After roughing the stock to round, I find the center point and mark it with a pencil. Taking a parting tool, I dimension the center to just over 3/4" - enough over that my 3/4" wrench won't fit over it:
I leave the final dimensioning for later, but want to have it close enough that I can tell about what size I need to make the rest of the handle. Once I have that dimension roughly established, I widen that dimension with a skew to equal the depth of two ferrules plus just a little bit:
Once I have the shoulders of where the ferrules will be mounted established, I turn the rest of the handles and sand them to about 220 grit:
The shape of the handles is one I've not personally tried before, but have heard others praise, so decide to try them out with these.
With the handles fully realized, I turn my attention back to the slightly oversized center portion. The size of this part is critical for the ferrules to get a good fit. After double checking the inside measurement of the ferrule, I turn the center portion down to 3/4"... but make it so it's a tight fit for my wrench:
The wrench doesn't easily slide over the wood - I have to push a little for it to slide over it. It's not hard to push it over, either... In reality, therefore, the size is *just* over 3/4" - I want that , as I want a tight fit for the ferrule, which measures exactly 3/4". The wrench's fit should be uniform for the entire length of the shoulder. Too small, and the ferrule will be loose and need to be epoxied on, and won't work as effectively. Too tight, and you won't get the ferrule to fit without some fussing around. There isn't any way to test fit it while it is mounted in the lathe either - but it really isn't that difficult to get it to the right size, and uniformly so - if you go slow, and are cautious in your cuts.
If you only turn one handle at a time, you could test fit the one end - remember, you don't want the ferrule to fit on the wood easily. You want it to *almost* fit, but not quite. More on this later. Suffice to say, it's better to leave too much on rather than too little if you're unsure.
Once the shoulder is sized for it's entire length - mark the center of it with a pencil, and then the handle can be removed from the lathe. I use a back saw and cut the two in half right on the lathe, but this could be done with a miter saw. Don't saw off the other end of the handle just yet, though - we'll need it for the next step. Only saw the part where the ferrule goes.