How to Make Chisel Handles

Written by patti perry
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How to Make Chisel Handles
Form chisel handles from hard woods. (Ciseau image by rolero54 from

Make a chisel handle from oak, ash, beech or hickory wood. A paring chisel has a metal socket portion on the blade which houses the handle. This shape is different in many chisels and needs to be replicated to ensure a tight fit for the new handle. Measuring with a calipers and ruler can be enhanced by pushing modelling clay into this chamber and using this form as a guide to shape the handle.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Table saw
  • Vice
  • Hand plane
  • Draw knife
  • Moulding clay
  • Calipers
  • Ruler
  • Drill
  • Drill bit to fit diameter of chisel tang
  • Lathe
  • Calipers

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  1. 1

    Cut a wooden stock piece of oak, ash, beech or hickory wood. Make this 10 inches long by 2 inches wide.

  2. 2

    Set the table saw blade at a 45-degree angle and cut off the four corners of the stock so that you are left with an eight-sided piece of wood.

  3. 3

    Place the wood stock in a vice and clamp it firmly.

  4. 4

    Plane these eight corners off to produce a 16-sided stock piece. Use a hand plane for this cutting.

  5. 5

    Shave off the 16 edges with a draw knife to produce a more round form.

  6. 6

    Press modelling clay into the chisel socket to get an exact representation of its depth and shape.

  7. 7

    Measure the diameter and length of the chisel socket with calipers and a ruler.

  8. 8

    Pare one end of your rounded stock wood to the diameter and shape of your clay mould with the draw knife. Secure wood in the vice to facilitate this shaping.

  9. 9

    Measure the tang dimensions and drill a centred hole of a slightly smaller diameter into the vertical end of the stock wood. Fit and refit handle into this hole until it is a tight fit able to be pounded into place.

Tips and warnings

  • If your chisel will be used for heavy banging, you may want to attach a ferrule to prevent the handle from splitting.
  • A lathe may also be used to form a chisel handle.

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