Ipe Chisel Handles

  • Advertise with us
Project by MrDan posted 08-30-2011 08:54 AM 3788 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been needing some chisels for awhile and I had a bunch of really old crappy ones that needed a lot of work, so I finally got around to flattening, sharpening and making new handles for them. I just found some ipe that a guy was practically giving away and I figured I’d try that out for the handles. It’s supposed to be tough as nails so I though it was worth a shot. I turned ‘em on the lathe and then used copper pipe for the ferrules. I do like the way they turned out. I actually prefer the look of copper over the usual brass ferrule, and I think it accents the ipe quite nicely.
The only down side is that the steel in these chisels is junk, so in a way it was an exercise in futility, but it was fun and I got some more lathe time in which is always fun.

15 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3214 days

#1 posted 08-30-2011 10:30 AM

Nice work, I love Ipe! Well done

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2805 days

#2 posted 08-30-2011 01:06 PM

Very nice.. Now if you get some “better” ones these can be display pieces !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2718 days

#3 posted 08-30-2011 01:58 PM

I’m with you, that copper looks exceptional next to that Ipe. I’ve made many chisel handles and you know what? It never dawned on me that I could turn more than one at a time. This single post changed the way I’m going to woodwork in the future. How’s that for some crummy chisel steel!!! Thanks!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View techjoey's profile


12 posts in 2491 days

#4 posted 08-30-2011 02:26 PM

I like the stepped handle design as opposed to just a bead or cove at the ferrule….But, I agree with Glen…. These will make really nice display pieces at a minimum, and don’t discount the experience, enjoyment, and pride of accomplishment you got while making them.

-- - No design is perfect - That's why pencils have erasers -

View JRL's profile


104 posts in 2564 days

#5 posted 08-30-2011 02:35 PM

I have chisels of such steel. They serve as my beater set. Whenever I get into one of those projects that
requires some wailing with chisels, I hone the beater set and go at it.

-- Jay in Changsha

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 2704 days

#6 posted 08-30-2011 03:34 PM

I like the copper as well. I haven’t seen it used in person this way, but i definetly has a look all its own when used alongside wood. As far as beater sets go this may be the nicest looking beater set around.

-- Anthony

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 2649 days

#7 posted 08-30-2011 04:41 PM

You did a great job. Fine looking chisels even if the steel is junk.
You could always get a conscience by-pass operation and sell them on ebay as high grade
must-have chisels that will make the buyer an over night creative carpentering artistic sensation.
Not that I am recomending this course of action, you understand. :-)

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#8 posted 08-30-2011 07:27 PM

Nice looking turning.

I posted an article on better file handles a couple of years ago (1486 days ago). It was from a magazine article in 1989. You might take a look and see if some of the tips for file handles might also be appropiate for chisel handles. He talks about measuring them to fit your hands.

I realize that filng is different than chiseling but the fit might be appropiate.

Very nice job and use of the IPE.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3114 days

#9 posted 08-30-2011 09:20 PM

You have made a fine job there, elegant chisels.
Next natural step will be to find some old quality chisels on E-bay and give them a tour like this, and you will be one lucky man (or some good quality plastichandle chisels and change the handles).
I also like the doubble turning idea, and will use this, good thinking, thank you.
Look here what I got out of old chisels: you might get some inspiration, there are a blog also.
Best thoughts,

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

View MrDan's profile


205 posts in 3313 days

#10 posted 08-30-2011 09:36 PM

Thanks for the kind words everyone! I’m glad these were able to spark a few new ideas.

These will be my beater set for sure…maybe for removing glue too. Although if I didn’t have a conscience I might try that ebay suggestion… :)

The picture above of the double handle turning was actually 3 handles, but I cut one off before I took the picture. I’m not much of a lathe person (this was only my second turning) but I imagine you could do a whole set all at once assuming your lathe was long enough.

Thanks Karson for the file handle aritcle. What’s funny is that I don’t have any handles at all on my files, just the super uncomfortable metal ends that poke into my palm as I use them. So your article will definitely be put to good use.

Mad F, Just wanted to let you know that your post of your DIY chisel rehab was the inspiration for this project. I saw how beautiful yours turned out and I said “I gotta do that!” I always keep an eye on your posts whenever I’m looking to make some shopmade tools, you do stellar work.

View WilcoFlier's profile


58 posts in 3038 days

#11 posted 08-30-2011 10:40 PM

Very nice set, they look very ergonomic!

-- Wilco Flier

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3114 days

#12 posted 08-30-2011 11:05 PM

Thank you, that makes me really happy.
Best thoughts,

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

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3084 days

#13 posted 08-31-2011 03:41 AM

Very nice job. I made some handles for chisels I have. I just hated the plastic handles that they came with.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18288 posts in 3701 days

#14 posted 08-31-2011 05:37 AM

I like the Cu too! Nice work.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View MrDan's profile


205 posts in 3313 days

#15 posted 08-31-2011 07:22 AM

Let’s see those handles Doc!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics