New Handles For Vintage Stanley Chisels

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Project by ShaneA posted 02-12-2013 02:58 AM 4171 views 4 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently purchased the small Rikon Variable Speed lathe from Woodcraft that was on sale. Since then I have been trying to figure out how to use it. While I am not there yet, I will say it is fun. I like the ability to do a “project” in basically in one shot.

I can admit that I have a hand tool hoarding problem. It started with planes, then quickly branched off into chisels, and then into measuring and marking devices. It appears to be a classic terminal case. These are some of the Stanley 750 and 720 style chisels I have been buying from Ebay.

The handles that came on them didn’t match, and didn’t fit the socket in most cases the way I wanted them to. So, since I needed some lathe practice, and some new handles…this is what I came up with. They are turned from Zebrawood. Like most of my projects, I really didn’t have a plan or a clue per se.

I basically made them all somewhat similar, however there are some differences based on the widths and lengths of the chisels, some were based on what length and thickness the “original” handles were. I still need to finish sharpening, flattening and grinding the chisels to get them really ready for use. Some of the edges were pretty far out of square and some were chipped. I did not go overboard on shining them up, but I reserve the right to shine more in the future. I also have not lacquered the handles yet.

Thanks for looking.

33 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

18411 posts in 2285 days

#1 posted 02-12-2013 03:08 AM

They look great Shame, handles and all. I’ll get there some day.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View JL7's profile


8574 posts in 2682 days

#2 posted 02-12-2013 03:09 AM

Very classy Shane…...good to see you using some of the cool wood…....! I use the same planning technique as well….no plan or clue…...but you did good here without a plan…..shine away…

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View ksSlim's profile


1242 posts in 2607 days

#3 posted 02-12-2013 03:13 AM

Not too shabby for a beginner!

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View ShaneA's profile


6788 posts in 2315 days

#4 posted 02-12-2013 03:15 AM

Thanks guys, Jeff local hardwood retailer doesn’t carry a lot of exotics in anything above 4/4. I have had this 8/4 zebrawood for a long time, while that was thicker than I needed, I didn’t have to break down and buy anything for them. I would have considered Rosewood, Cocobolo, or a few others but went with what I had. I even considered BE maple that a fellow LJ had given me…thanks again Jeff.

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 2047 days

#5 posted 02-12-2013 03:41 AM

Shane, those things look awesome, very nicely done. You gotta post some more pics once you get some finish on em.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View waho6o9's profile


7918 posts in 2294 days

#6 posted 02-12-2013 03:59 AM

Fantastic handles Shane.

Your Rikon is being put to good use and your first set of handles
are quite impressive. Keep doing the good work.

View AnthonyReed's profile


9200 posts in 2157 days

#7 posted 02-12-2013 05:12 AM

Very nice work Shane. They look great.

-- ~Tony

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8425 posts in 1699 days

#8 posted 02-12-2013 05:14 AM

Only reason I would want a lathe…..improve my tools. Nicely done.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


14492 posts in 2335 days

#9 posted 02-12-2013 05:22 AM

Those are some sweet handles, my friend! Well done! I’d like to turn a new set of six handles for the DEs I have, but haven’t got the guts to try it; they have leather on the ends. Maybe I’ll turn chisel handles when you do half-blinds with your newly handled chisels? :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 2779 days

#10 posted 02-12-2013 05:28 AM

Very cool, nice handles. I love zebrawood….but it’s so pricey!

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View DouginVa's profile


490 posts in 1990 days

#11 posted 02-12-2013 10:33 AM

From one hand tool hoarder to another, nice job. And don’t let the ever decreasing lack of space stop your hoarding “problem”. It won’t stop me!

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View CL810's profile


3650 posts in 2705 days

#12 posted 02-12-2013 01:20 PM

Well done Shane! I’m reluctant to encourage an addict in most instances but for you I say, do it again!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View terryR's profile


6799 posts in 2025 days

#13 posted 02-12-2013 01:42 PM

Great job, Shane! That Zebrawood is gonna stand out for years to come!

When can I start sending ya old Witherbys for new handles? :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View ratchet's profile


1389 posts in 3504 days

#14 posted 02-12-2013 01:50 PM

Thats an incredible job for someone sthats “not there yet”. They look great! Thansk for sharing your work with us.

View Mauricio's profile


7127 posts in 2868 days

#15 posted 02-12-2013 02:59 PM

Wow thats nice! Great job Shane!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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