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Author Topic: Chisel Handle length Recommendations?  (Read 571 times)

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Online Lennyzx11

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Chisel Handle length Recommendations?
« on: August 31, 2022, 07:33:37 AM »
I got my first chisel yesterday. It is a socketed Witherby 2" framing chisel.
I read through some posts on making handles but am unsure of one thing.

What length of handle (not counting the socket) and diameter would you guys recommend? I have never had a framing chisel so have nothing to compare. I read where some people thought Barr chisel handles were a little short and Sorbys were good but wanted to get the groups ideas.

So length and recommended diameter for a first timer?

Then I have to decide if I need a lathe to make it (could use for pegs) or where to purchase just the handle. 
Lenny
Southwest corner of Vermont

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Chisel Handle length Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2022, 08:57:17 AM »
Or, have someone like me turn you a handle?  :D after you decide how long... As a guy who owns two lathes I still save broken wood tool handles for certain uses. 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Chisel Handle length Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2022, 10:27:09 AM »
We see handles all different lengths. It is best to turn the cone of the handle to fit perfectly to the cone of the chisel.
I recommend no shoulder on the chisel handle. 
My partner in the tool business prefers to turn a shoulder. I don't like it.
When you pound on a chisel after the wood has dried out the handle can slip down into the cone more and if there is a shoulder it can hit the shoulder of the cone.
To fit the strike ring, you can turn the handle end to the inside diameter of the ring, but make it a fraction larger. Then heat the ring in an oven or such and slide it onto the handle. When it cools off and shrinks up it will fit the handle tightly.

Overall length can be a personal preference thing.

You can look at all the chisels, and their handles in my gallery of tools for sale, to get ideas.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Online Lennyzx11

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Re: Chisel Handle length Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2022, 01:08:05 PM »
We see handles all different lengths. It is best to turn the cone of the handle to fit perfectly to the cone of the chisel.
I recommend no shoulder on the chisel handle.
My partner in the tool business prefers to turn a shoulder. I don't like it.
When you pound on a chisel after the wood has dried out the handle can slip down into the cone more and if there is a shoulder it can hit the shoulder of the cone.
To fit the strike ring, you can turn the handle end to the inside diameter of the ring, but make it a fraction larger. Then heat the ring in an oven or such and slide it onto the handle. When it cools off and shrinks up it will fit the handle tightly.

Overall length can be a personal preference thing.

You can look at all the chisels, and their handles in my gallery of tools for sale, to get ideas.

Jim Rogers
Thank you Jim, I have been looking at your gallery. I was hoping you'd have one for sale actually! 
I think I'm going to try 8" stickout to begin with.
Southwest corner of Vermont

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Chisel Handle length Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2022, 02:13:59 PM »
A long time ago, I bought some handles as factory seconds from Northcott woodturning company. The company that makes all the pegs at pegs.us 
They were handles rejected by them for minor defects.
I believe they were handles made for Barr chisels. I don't remember if they came with rings or not. I think not.
My corner chisel handle I got from woodcraft woodworking tool supply store.

I was happy with that handle, in regards to the length.


 

You can see my chisels standing in my toolbox. The corner chisel is the one on the right end in this view.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Chisel Handle length Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2022, 04:14:36 PM »
Just to be clear, this is a framing chisel, NOT a slick at 2"?  I have two 2" slicks (very long, heavy blade) and various chisels up to 2" and a 1" corner chisel.  Except for the corner chisel, I rarely use my chisels.  I can do pretty much everything with my slick and corner chisel.  They are both kept razor sharp and I don't strike them.  I did put a strike ring on my corner chisel when I made it and I did initially strike it.  But now I keep it super sharp and I can pair down the corners faster than striking it down.  My slicks and corner chisel all have a good 24" of handle.  That gives tremendous control over cut depth (shaving thickness) and the ability to get my weight behind it when doing end grain cuts in mortise and brace pockets.  

My handles are 2" in diameter on these three.  One is made from an old ash table leg and the other two from some maple dowel stock I picked up cheap.  I used a lathe to shape them but you can use a draw knife or even a chisel to shave it down.  On a couple of rescued chisels, I made handles from broken garden tools (Corona loping shears, hoe handle).  I agree with Jim, don't put a shoulder on the handle.  When my slick heads start falling off, I'll use a chisel and slightly pair down the taper leaving it with ridges (not perfectly round and smooth) and that helps it grip better in the socket.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Ford 545D FEL, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Tom King

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Re: Chisel Handle length Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2022, 05:58:45 PM »
I can measure if you like.  One is a Barr chisel with a Walnut handle, and I don't know what the other one is.  The hoop didn't stay on the Walnut handle, but I use a Wood is Good 30 oz. mallet on them, and neither the handles nor my elbow suffer an effects at all.

The old one started out life getting hit with a wooden mallet, so the end is flattened a little bit, but I spent 15 hours in a row, over two days hitting it with the Wood is Good mallet, and it still looks like it did.





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