Dovetail chisels DIY (skewed, fishtail and left, right dovetail versions) blog #4: *Fitting handles on the chisels *

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Blog entry by mafe posted 1297 days ago 7007 reads 4 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: *Honing the chisel blades to new shapes * Part 4 of Dovetail chisels DIY (skewed, fishtail and left, right dovetail versions) blog series Part 5: *Paring and a Exocto science (for beginners...)* »

Fitting handles on the chisels
no fit, just hit!

This first part will be how to mount the tang blades in the handles, and then a go go.

Where we ended last, with a set of reborn chisel blades.

The tube is cut up into smaller pieces, and these are grinded flat in the ends.

Handles and ferrules.
Next step was to drill holes in the handles, I forgot to photograph this one, but the this is how it’s done.
First drill a small hole in the handle, this hole must have the deepness of the tangs length.
Then you drill two or three more holes, less and less deep, in this way you make a hole that fit the shape of the tang.

Mount the blade in the wise.

Fit the handle over.

No fit, just hit!

If the blade not fit perfect, or you want a better grip, use epoxy, I did on the skewed, since I think they will be used also with mallet.
(The real way I heard, is to heat the tang and stick it in while red hot, but again I was afraid of the hardening on the blade).

Sizes: 6mm-1/4”low angel and side, 15mm-5/8”skev, 11mm-7/16”dovetailed.

Grease box, pipe and a set of self made dovetail chisels – what more can a man ask for?

It’s the end of this blog (for now)…

Hope this winged dovetail tour could be to inspiration, perhaps bring some old chisels back to a new life,

Best thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

24 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2002 posts in 1439 days

#1 posted 1297 days ago

Hell yeah :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View ShopTinker's profile


873 posts in 1374 days

#2 posted 1297 days ago

They look fantastic. I never would have thought to try this. I love the contrast of the new shiny handles and well-seasoned chisels. Extremely well done and anew favorite!

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Maveric777's profile


2687 posts in 1682 days

#3 posted 1297 days ago

Well done Mads! I am inspired….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Brit's profile


5109 posts in 1448 days

#4 posted 1297 days ago

Great blog MaFe. Thanks for taking the time to document it all for us. There’s one picture missing though and that’s a set of dovetails produced with MaFe chisels. :-)

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1714 days

#5 posted 1297 days ago

Great blog series Mads. Old tools make great tool steel for new shapes and uses. Nice tangs on the old chisels. You have a high quality set that will last for several life times.

Thanks for posting,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View againstthegrain's profile


117 posts in 2358 days

#6 posted 1297 days ago

GREAT blog MaFe!! I’ve been eyeing Rob Cosman’s custom dovetail chisel for some time, since I own most of his DVDs. I wanted to make one. You have now given me the know-how to get after it. Thanks buddy!!

-- Anchul - Warrensburg, MO: As a Pastor, I am just trying to get closer to Jesus. He was a woodworker too.

View DaddyT's profile


267 posts in 2116 days

#7 posted 1297 days ago

Really makes me want to jump on ebay and buy some old chisels to redo. Great blog Mads and cant wait to see what you make with these!

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut once.......@#%#$@!!!......measure twice, cut....

View Schwieb's profile


1484 posts in 2067 days

#8 posted 1297 days ago

Mads, This is terrific. I’m feeling real bad for being so lazy. Your spirit of determination and resourcefulness is inspirational. I wish I had your energy.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View HerbC's profile


1155 posts in 1465 days

#9 posted 1297 days ago


Now you’ve done it. I will have to make a set myself now that I’ve seen yours.

Thanks for the informative and inspiring blog.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View stefang's profile


12611 posts in 1940 days

#10 posted 1297 days ago

What a beautiful set of useful chisels and handles you have created Mads! First rate work and result. You are one resourceful and clever Dane!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View tdv's profile


1114 posts in 1676 days

#11 posted 1297 days ago

Now that’s what I like The Beatles sang in All you need is love “Nothing you can make that can’t be made” & you keep on proving it Mads if you want it & can’t afford it …. Make it!
Nice little series Like the pipe on the lathe

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1721 days

#12 posted 1297 days ago

thank´s Mads
it was a very informative , funny ,interressting toturial serie to read

take care

View lanwater's profile


3075 posts in 1540 days

#13 posted 1297 days ago

I missed the part you flatened the back on those chisels.

Great series. Thanks.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View mafe's profile


9456 posts in 1695 days

#14 posted 1296 days ago

Ho ho,
Ian, I flatten them on the side of my water grinder, that’s it…
Dennis, perhaps you will make some, I hear a bird singing that some wonderful wood has arrived in Ærø.
Trevor, yes I love to make, to ‘invent’, but most of all to see if I really can. And I tend to get amazed, it’s amazing what a pair of human hands can do. As I say, if I can, you can, so it’s all in the determination or what they call naivity I guess, like that thick bee that flyes even it should not bee… That me!
Mike, and you are one wonderful man.
Herg, go for it, and post them when done, I look forward to see.
Ken, I’m retired due to health, so that is why I can do this when ever my health allow, when I was working a full time job as a architect I did not eighter had the energy to do all this, now it’s what is keeping ‘relativly’ normal. So do not feel any kind of bad concious you keep your mind busy at work.
Jimi, go and do it, you will not regred.
Anchul , remember to post so I can see them.
David, its funny to think about acually, that they might be sold on e-bay one day as vintage and rebuild, and yes who knows in 100 years there might be a guy standing with a smile working with these. It is a wonderful thought, thank you.
Brit, yes this I have to get to soon.
Dan, I hope you will do it.
Shop Thinker, I also love the old steel and this feel of history in them, this combined with a new razor sharp edge and a flat back makes me smile.
Thomas, see you soon.
Best thoughts, and thank you again and again for all those kind words,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile


9456 posts in 1695 days

#15 posted 1276 days ago

Now update with new sides on the fishtail chisel.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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