Over the Christmas break, I discovered a small mom and pops antique store/restaurant, so I took the boys out for a walk, gave us each a few bucks, and let everyone look for a small, unexpected, treasure. Sam took an interest in a small silver spoon (I guess it was fitting since he wasn’t born with one in his mouth ;) and Gabe took a shining to an old military hat. As for myself, I found an old Buck Brothers 3/8 inch socket straight chisel. No handle, but it was only two bucks and the company just don’t make chisels like this anymore. So today, I was looking for a quck shop project to get my mojo running again and decided this would be an ideal time to make a handle for that chisel.
I have a habit of collecting old wood junk i find. Old broken tables, chairs, etc. Anything that contains a snippet of real wood quickly becomes part of my hoard. In this case, I have a small collection of table legs. They are Oak, the square portions not good for much since they have been deeply drilled to hold the dowels, but the middle section looked like it could make a decent handle -
After the square blocks, were removed, I now have a turning blank and chisel steel -
Mounted on the lathe, I start hogging off the material -
Once at a uniform width, I start working on the taper that will house the chisel. The deepest recesses of the chisel are too narrow for my turning calipers and my regular calipers bottom out too shallow of the socket. So what I decided to do was perform a partial mount of the chisel blade and adjust my rest so that the proper taper would be acheived by setting the skew at 90 degrees on the rest. In this pic I am not quite there yet -
But I got it figured out and came to a very tight match -
All that remained was to shape out the handle. From pictures I have seen and the couple socket chisels I owned, the handles for these are rather short. One hand holds the blade steady, the other provides the pressure. The goal is not power but control. I shaped the handle accordingly -
A few mallet strokes to set the handle and a couple coats of shellac and Voila -
Not perfect, but definitely passable. Could use a ferrule on the end to prevent splitting, but if it breaks, I will just make another one. This wouldn’t be used for deep mortising anyway. Just shallow ones involving hinges and whatnot so I should be good for awhile. Nice project to learn some control and make shavings to accomodate set dimensions.
Thank you all for viewing and keep the sawdust flying :)
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.