How to make unique Homemade awl using old scraps? NO LATHE!

This homemade awl was in my mind for a long time, and I’m glad I finally made one.

This homemade awl will make drilling more accurate and placing screws more easily in the future.

When I searched online on how to make a homemade awl for my woodworking workshop, I noticed all handles need to be made by a lathe. But since I don’t have a lathe, I had to find an alternative way to make that handle.
That way I could not only make a handle, but I could also inspire other people who also don’t have a lathe.

By thinking about the design for the handle, I had some requirements.
It has to look cool and modern, I wanted an easy and firm grip, and it had to be ergonomic.

To inspire other people to make this homemade awl, I also wanted to use materials everybody has lying around in a workshop.
That way, anyone would be able to make this unique awl.

So, are you in the same situation as I am?
Don’t you have a lathe too?
Do you want to make this cool homemade awl with an ergonomic handle too?

Follow the step-by-step instructions below, and you can make this cool item for your woodworking workshop.

You can also use the idea of how to make the handle as a base to make other hand tools for your workshop.

But for now, I’ll show you how to build this cool handtool.

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Watch the video here & learn how to make

Here you can watch the video and see how to make the homemade awl from scrap.
After watching the video, you can continue reading the step-by-step guide to making this homemade awl yourself. 

How to make a homemade awl step by step

Step 1 | Preparation for this unique awl

To start, I took a piece of beech wood about 2 cm thick and 7 by 6 cm.
On this piece of wood, I sketched the shape I had in mind.

In the center are the two holes that can serve as a grip on the handle.
The holes have a diameter of 26 mm and are spaced approximately 5 mm from each other.

I could determine the outside of the handle based on the shape of the circles.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

The first thing I did to make the handle was to drill the holes.
I used my drill press to be sure I drilled the holes at right angles.

I drilled the holes with a 26 mm Forstner drill bit.
This gave me a nice clean surface inside the drilled hole, which saved me a lot of work sanding the handle.

Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

To prevent the small piece of wood from turning with the drill press, I clamped it in my homemade drill vise.

If you also want to make this drill press vise for your workshop, be sure to check out this blog.
In that article, you can follow the step-by-step instructions and download the free plans.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

Before giving the handle its shape, I removed all the excess wood as close to the sketched lines as possible.

I did this with my Japanese handsaw, which allowed me to make very precise cuts.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

After I had removed all the excess wood, I was able to fine-tune the shape a little more.
I did this with my homemade drum sander and 80 grit sandpaper.

Be sure to protect yourself against dust when you take this step.
A drum sander makes a lot of fine dust!

Check out the blog I wrote lately about how to control dust in your woodworking workshop. 
You can find that blog here.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

Step 2 | Making the copper ferrule

Where the homemade awl and the handle merge into each other, I have applied a copper ferrule.
Not only does it protect the connection, but it also gives the unique awl a nice and professional look.

After making a mark on the inside of the ferrule and the depth of the ferrule, I removed all the excess wood with the Japanese saw.
Then I touched up the joint with a chisel and a file.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps
How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps
How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

For the ferrule, I used a piece of copper tube with a diameter of 18 mm. The piece of the copper tube, I cut with the handy little tool that you can see on the picture below, was about 1 cm long.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

I applied epoxy glue on the protrusion that I previously made to fit in the copper tube.

Epoxy glue is a 2 component glue that hardens within 5 minutes after mixing.
I always mix the epoxy glue on masking tape. learn how to do this in my article How to Mix Epoxy Glue Properly: A Clear Step-by-Step Guide to Success
That way I can easily clean up the residue, but also check from time to time whether the glue has cured.
I can do this through the rest of the glue that is left behind on the painter’s tape.

You can find more in-depth info about epoxy glue in the article that I wrote earlier. By better understanding this type of glue, you will get the best results in the future.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

Step 3 | Making the shank from an old drill

Even though a piece of material has been worn out, I still have a hard time throwing it away.
Luckily I didn’t do this with this old drill either.

This old drill was the perfect material for the shank, as these are hardened, so the sharp point will last a long time.

I made the point by holding it against a fast rotating sharpening stone.
I did this on all 4 sides until they came together in a sharp point.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

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Step 4 | Assembling the homemade awl

Before I could start assembling, I touched up the sharp edges of the handle with a file and sandpaper.
That way, it feels nice to hold this handle, and it perfectly conforms to the shape of my hand.

How to make a cool homemade awl using old scraps


If you want to know more about how to determine the right sandpaper for your project, be sure to check out my blog: The perfect sandpaper grit guide for woodworking.

Everything you need to know about sandpaper can be found in this article. It will no doubt give you a better understanding of the proper use of sandpaper.

Highly recommended!

Once the handle was the shape I wanted, it was time to drill the hole for the shank.
I drilled that hole with my drill press to be sure of a perfectly square hole.
I made the hole slightly bigger so that there was some room to apply enough glue to glue the shank into the handle.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

To glue the shaft to the handle, I used epoxy glue again.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

Step 5 | Finishing

To protect the handle, I have treated it with linseed oil. I applied this in 2 layers.
To apply the linseed oil, I used a stainpad wood stain applicator.
This ensures that you can apply linseed oil or other stains without spilling, an absolute must!

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps

My homemade awl was now ready, and now I made this handle, it inspires me to make more hand tools myself based on this idea.

I hope this blog was helpful, and I wish you a lot of fun if you are trying to make a tool like this too.

How to make a cool & unique awl using old scraps
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I hope this information on how to make a homemade awl with scraps was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.

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Christophe, founder of
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