In the article from September/October 2015 issue, “Chisel Handle Fit & Design,” I covered some of the problems that improperly-sized chisel handles can cause, and looked at a few of the species that I consider to be good woods for replacements. And there was a brief mention of using a dowel to help determine the diameter that’s just right for your chisels.
In this issue we get busy at the lathe to turn a few replacement handles for both socket and tang chisels. The process begins with a dowel. Not only does it help with the diameter, a dowel is the perfect story stick for your turning project. (Chuck Bender’s “Fundamentals of Woodworking: Layout Sticks,” takes a more in-depth look at layout sticks, story sticks or story poles.) After two simple marks we have a pattern with which to work. Plus, I’ll share why I think you should think twice before you smooth the knob on your handles.