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Thread: best type of timber for making chisel handles

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    best type of timber for making chisel handles

    I have four chisels which need new handles & I can't By replacements for them,
    I am going to turn them Up But need advise on what is the best type of wood to use?

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    It don't matter to me

    I don't think what kind of wood you use matters a whole lot. Just use some kind of a hard wood. But if you plan on using hammers with your chisels then I'd band the ends. I whittled handles for some chisels recently out of some wood I picked up in my yard. I think it is maple? It all seems fine to me. I banded the one handle with a bit of copper pipe. Now it can take a good beating.

    best type of timber  for making chisel handles-pict0096.jpg

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    X2 on banding if you think you will ever use a mallet.Two wood choices come to mind for me,Osage and or hickory,both have very tight ,and stringy grain.Im a bower,and use both these woods because of the grain,they can take a beating without splitting,providing you use dry wood.

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    My choice would be hickory, but most hardwoods would work.

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    What Type of Chisels?

    Quote Originally Posted by cindersfella View Post
    I have four chisels which need new handles & I can't By replacements for them,
    I am going to turn them Up But need advise on what is the best type of wood to use?
    You don't specify what type of chisel handle you're looking for as replacements! Are the chisels socket end or do the tangs go into the handle?

    There are several sources of good to excellent quality replacement handles. A quick search on-line should take you to Lee-Valley, Woodcraft and several other sources. However, they can be pricey.

    Since you indicated that you have the ability to turn your own, that would be the cheapest solution. You can even add ferrules if you want. Copper or brass pipe cut to size and fitted to the ends work very well. As for the type of wood, look for a very dense hardwood the does not have a straight grain. In Europe they use Horn Beam, which is a very hard and dense wood in the box wood family. Basically, any hard dense wood will suffice.

    Again, you don't specify what type(s) of chisels you are trying to restore. If they are bench chisels, then you have a vast choice of woods on the Janka scale that will suffice. Here is a good resource of woods and their properties and general uses Wood Properties by Species – WoodBin.

    If you are looking for handles for a striking type, like a mortising chisel or a larger slick chisel, then look to the traditional type woods.

    Hope this helps.

    Bill
    Hi, sorry I missed you. I have gone to find myself, but if I return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

    Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.

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    pfredX1,
    Unless you live in Virginia or Missouri, take a look at dogwood. Dense, hard, and best of all, requires little or no finish. This type of wood is commonly used in making loom shuttles in textile industry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cindersfella View Post
    I have four chisels which need new handles & I can't By replacements for them,
    I am going to turn them Up But need advise on what is the best type of wood to use?
    As stated by others any good hardwood will do. use what is at hand.

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    cindersfella: So many responses and suggestions that I cannot add anything further. It would only make your project more confusing. Good Luck......................GeneH

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    Suggest a dense, close-grained hardwood

    Quote Originally Posted by cindersfella View Post
    I have four chisels which need new handles & I can't By replacements for them,
    I am going to turn them Up But need advise on what is the best type of wood to use?
    If the chisels are for paring & light use (almost always hand pressure only) you can use something with beautiful grain. For more robust use I have had good results with hard maple, beech, and sapele. I have seen oak on the antiques I have refurbished. Dogwood is great, as is boxwood.

    If you will do any prying with the chisels, watch for straight grain end-end.

    Since you said you were going to turn the handles you might keep in mind which woods turn well - maple or beech are likely easier than ring-porous woods like oak or hickory.

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    I tend to use maple, mostly because there are a lot of maple trees in my area, people are willing to give me branches when they prune, and it works well and wears well....
    I would agree with the others who have responded - I would imagine about any hardwood would work fine...

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