Saturday, August 8, 2009

Modifying Tools - Chisel Handles

Well, the dearth of shop time continues as the tag team of Back Deck and Entryway Reflooring have combined to give me a serious beating. (If this were the old professional wrestling that I grew up with, they would wear capes, have managers and cool names like "The Black Hole of Doom!" and "The Frustrator!" while I would just be introduced as "Dan" with no cape or manager - a sure sign I was about to get a big time smack down!)

All major projects in the shop are on hold, but several small projects continue to creep along. Here's one of them.

I have a set of Narex chisels that I like, except the handles are a little too large for my hands, and the shape doesn't feel quite right. But, being made of wood, the handles are easy to reshape. After covering the business end with several layers of duct tape, I hold the blade in my shavehorse and work the handle with spokeshaves.

I prefer a faceted handle (feels "grippyer" to my hand) and it was not hard to change the existing handle into an octagonal shape. The only tricky part was being careful to stay away from the metal ferrules.

Here's a shot of a finished transformation - the beech handle has been restained...

Only a few are finished, but I can work on them piecemeal as time allows.

Anyway, don't be afraid to modify your tools to fit your needs. And if your opponent wears a cape and has a manager in his corner, be afraid. Be very afraid!


  1. Who needs a manager when you have a shavehorse to re-energize you? ; )

    I prefer faceted handles, too. Not sure why all handles aren't made this way, actually. They don't roll off the bench, and are indeed more grippy.

  2. VC - Yes, but imagine what I could accomplish on the horse if I DID have a manager...and a cooler name. Maybe something like "The Schnitzelbankinator".


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