|Forum topic by Jon1094||posted 535 days ago||1623 views||1 time favorited||18 replies|
535 days ago
So I spent days trying to find out how to properly make handles for my ugly Irwin chisels. I finally decided to go it alone and make them without instruction. If anyone is having the same problem here is how I did it.
First start by removing the old plastic nasty handles. The best way is to hold the blade in a vise. I used a leather belt to guard the blade. Take a pair of vise grips and pull the handle off. You need to twist it a bit but it will pop right off.
Then form the block to roughly the size you want your handle to be and drill a hole in one side. For the Irwin chisels drill a 3/8 inch hole the correct depth. To get the correct depth you have to remove the old ugly blue plastic handles first.
I then turned it down to a cylinder in several stages.
Use calipers to make sure that the side that the chisel tang fits into measures exactly the same as the flare on top of the tang so that it fits flush. When the shape is close I sanded to to 400 grit. Then I sprayed the handle with water and let it set for several hours to raise the grain. After that I lightly sanded with 400 again and started with my Micromesh pads.
Micromesh pads are great. They start at 1500 which is equivalent to 600 grit sandpaper. I sanded with pads to 12,000 micromesh to achieve a nice polish. After sanding to 12,000 i applied four coats of General Finishes clear woodturners finish. I let each coat dry for 30 minutes before applying the second one.
Then carefully cut the stock off of the lathe.
This is the tang of the Irwin chisel. Notice the slight flare on the tang? The sides of this tang need to be sanded down just a hair to make sure that the tang is 3/8” and not beyond. Remember that 3/8” hole you drilled? If you don’t sand the sides of the tang it will split the thin wood at the top of the new handle.
This is bad…sand.
This is much better.
Once the tang is sanded use some sort of epoxy to cover the tang. Use your hands to push the tang in a ways. The epoxy will squeeze out. Clean the epoxy off so it doesn’t get on the wood. Then put the chisel blade into soft wood and, covering the base of the handle with a cloth, give it a swing or two with a mallet to seat the tang. It helps if you wipe off the excess epoxy away from the wood and toward the metal. You can clean the metal later easily.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to message me.