All you need to make the three designs shown here are a tablesaw, drill press, router table, router, bandsaw, and sander. You can vary the size with each design, and the look by mixing different wood species. Let's get started.
Bead and cove
This beefy handle provides plenty of surface for securing with glue or screws. Begin by cutting your workpieces and scrap stock for test cuts at least 5⁄8 " thick and to the desired dimensions with the ends cut square. Rout a bead around the top of a blank, as shown in Photo A, then undercut it with a cove (Photo B). This provides finger room and an excellent grip. When finished routing, sand all surfaces before securing the pull to the drawer, door, or box lid.
Router bits: Freud no. 80-102 1⁄8 "-radius traditional beading bit; Whiteside no. 1407 3⁄8 " round-nose bit.
(Photo B, above) Invert the blank in the clamp with the bead on top. Set a round-nose bit height so it intersects the bottom of the fillet. Position the fence to expose about 1⁄16 " of the bit, and rout around the blank, starting with the end grain. Move the fence back 1⁄16 " and repeat until the bit's centerpoint reaches the fillet edge (3⁄16 " with this bit).
Bracket and arch
This Asian-inspired handle provides the perfect opportunity to mix wood species. Use the pattern link to make an 81⁄2 "-long handle.
Inset and beaded arch
The recess below this handle keeps a low profile, while the bead improves its grip. Like the bracket-and-arch handle, this presents the opportunity to mix wood species. You'll build two jigs for this.
Whiteside no. 1430 1⁄8 "-radius half-round bit; 1⁄2 " spiral or straight bit; 1⁄4 " spiral bit.
Make the jigs first
Get some relief from grippy tape
When using both jigs to make this handle, you'll secure them to the workpiece and router table with double-faced tape. To simplify removing a jig after use, rout a shallow rabbet across each end of both jigs. When finished, slip a screwdriver into the rabbet and gently pry the jig loose.
Click on link to download full-size patterns of handles.