Making a chisel handle

The first project for my to try on my lathe was a handle for an old socket chisel I had.

This was one of the main reasons I got the lathe. Along with making great art, the tool would have to earn its keep by making something handy.

I started off with a big lump of ash that I had been given.


This I chopped down further with an axe at the workbench….


…to give me this rough shape.


I mounted the blank in the lathe and let it spin.


I started getting the piece fairly round with a spindle gouge.


I then started marking off divisions. Really, this was so I could learn to use the parting gouge.


After a while, I got a rough handle shape but I cut it too thin and it snapped.


So, I started again with a smaller blank with the same process.

I didn’t have a short tool-rest, so I cobbled together one from plumbing pipe.

Yes, I know this is not safe. It was more a proof-of-concept. It did work though.


I turned the blank and got it to a rough shape with the spindle gouge.


I cleaned up the surface with skew chisels and then sanding it at a slow speed.


Here is the result.


A bit short, I thought.


So I started over and made one longer.


Now I have a nice long chisel that I think I’ll use as a paring chisel to clean up tenons etc.


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