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These Door Handles Might Hurt Someone....

John Malecki

These Door Handles Might Hurt Someone....

I Build a pair of Ax Door Handles with NO FORGE and DIY Etch the metal!

Projects
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5
min read
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Apr 6, 2022

This week I set out to build the most awesome set of door handles you’ve ever seen to add to the brand new doors we made a few weeks back. The doors turned out amazing, but these ax door handles might just be the coolest thing I’ve ever made. If you wanna see all the squirrely ways I managed to create these killer door handles, check out the full video on my Youtube channel. Even I was surprised by how well this project turned out!

How I Built Custom Ax Door Handles for the Dream Shop

This project required a lot of firsts for me—including precision carving and metal etching

John Malecki video screenshot building ax
Wrapping the handles with leather before final assembly.

The Dream Shop is really coming along these days, isn’t it? After we built some impressive—if I do say so myself—doors for the CNC room in the shop, we still needed some handles for the outside. Since the doors are so cool-looking, I knew we had to do something equally awesome that would match. I decided on ax door handles inspired by fantasy warriors from Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. 

I got started by sketching and cutting the metal pieces that would become the ax head. Then, to make sure that the two handles are relatively similar, I tacked them together to start shaping them and making sure they were the same shape. Once the ax heads were looking good enough, I started tracing the general shape of the handles. Just by eyeballing it, I got a pretty good shape for the ax handles. To make sure that the handles are symmetrical, I used the famous blue tape trick to secure them together and start shaping.

Once the basic elements of the ax door handle were ready, I started detailing. This is where I had a bit of learning to do. I started by detailing the wooden handle first, before trying my hand at etching an eagle design into the ax head. Both the handles and the ax heads turned out a lot better than I expected—especially the eagle design on the heads! For the final step, I decided to wrap the ends of the ax handle in leather to give it a realistic feel.

Once the ax door handles were ready to go, the only thing left to do was mount them on the door. Now, we didn’t take the doors off the hinges, but Jordan and I were able to successfully mount the axes in the door. I made sure that the handles were mounted while they were still wet with epoxy so I could make last-minute adjustments. Keep reading to find out which tools I used to create these incredible door handles.

Tools & Materials Used

Check out the materials and tools we used to turn this old table into a brand new stool

John Malecki video screenshot etching process
Checking out how the etching worked out.

The first thing I grabbed to get this project started was 2 pieces of 5/8th inch metal plate. Once the shapes were cut, I used the flap wheel to make sure that both ax heads were the same shape and size. To detail the wooden handles, I used a Dremel carver with a tiny burr that allowed me to carve into the wood with precision akin to drawing with a pencil. It was my first time doing detail work like this, and I must say I turned out really well.

For the metal etching, I used the Cricut cutting machine to easily create vinyl stickers that were used to map out where we are etching. Using the Cricut is easy, and it can create any design I want—all I have to do is upload a png into the software! Once I got the eagle design I wanted, it was time to get to etching.

To successfully etch a design into metal, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Cup of water
  • Table salt
  • 9v battery
  • Q-Tip
  • Cables
  • Organic vapor respirator

Once I gathered my supplies, I attached the cable from the positive end of the battery to the metal sheet. Then I took my q-tip dipped in saltwater and connected it to the negative end of the battery to start etching in the metal. It was unbelievable that it worked so well on my first try, but I was certainly very happy about it. To finish off the project, I used TotalBoat Thixo Epoxy to attach the ax head to the handle, and then attached the handle to the door. This ended up being one of the coolest door handle projects I’ve ever seen. Do you agree? Be sure to watch and leave a comment on the video if you want to see more projects like this. Yinz stay squirrely!

Top Tools and Product Affiliates

Check out some of my top tools and product affiliates here. 

- Woodworking Tools 

- Metalworking Tools 

- Favorite Finishes

- My Camera Gear

Extra Supplies

Check out some of my merchandise, build plans, and go-to safety glasses.

More from the Dream Shop!

Download the Plan

Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.

Projects
|
5
min read
|
Apr 6, 2022
|
Sponsored by
John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!