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Restoring Chisels, Turning Gouges and Other Edge Tools

  Chisel Handles - 3 Varieties by James Thompson 1 of 5  


I love making tool handles, particularly chisel handles.

Here are three varieties for my chisels.


Handles for Chisels with Tang

Here is how I make handles for tanged chisels.

First, rough out the handle and turn the spigots for the rings. I measure the fits with a dial caliper so I know they will fit.  But I also use a little CA glue just to be sure.

Shape the handle as you want it to be.

Cut very shallow lines and burn them with a piece of guitar string while the wood is spinning. These grooves are purely decorative, and you can put on as many as you like. I round over the sharp edges of the brass rings now and sand then smooth. 

I buff my handles with Tripoli compound on a buffing wheel.  This removes any fine scratches from the sanding process and leaves a waxed finish. It also brings out the beauty of the grain. I donít like any other kind of finish on my chisel handles. The wax is quick and easy to repair later on.

The Schlagring (as the striking ring is called) on the big end of the chisel will come off under repeated poundings. To prevent this I drill through the ring and handle and then insert a piece of brass rod. I make the brass rod about 1/16Ē longer than the OD of the ring so I can rivet it with a small hammer.

After the pin is filed smooth and buffed it is barely noticeable. But this ring will never come off.

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D. R. Barton

L. & I. J. White


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