New Handles For Vintage Stanley Chisels

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Project by ShaneA posted 02-12-2013 02:58 AM 2265 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

15020 posts in 1220 days

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

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

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View JL7's profile


7179 posts in 1617 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 - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View ksSlim's profile


984 posts in 1542 days

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

Not too shabby for a beginner!

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View ShaneA's profile


5295 posts in 1250 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


921 posts in 982 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 (online now)


4914 posts in 1229 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


4646 posts in 1092 days

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

Very nice work Shane. They look great.

-- ~Tony

View BigRedKnothead's profile


4963 posts in 634 days

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

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

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


9891 posts in 1270 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


417 posts in 1714 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


486 posts in 925 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


2006 posts in 1640 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!

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View terryR's profile


3107 posts in 960 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


1290 posts in 2439 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


6818 posts in 1803 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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