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Thread: Now what? Socketed chisel handle removal

  1. #1
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    Now what? Socketed chisel handle removal

    The next thing I know to try is burn the wood out. I don't want to burn the wood out. For one thing I want to use the existing tight fitting handle as a pattern for making a new handle. For the other it is an hour one way to my blacksmith to have the thing re tempered.

    It is a 2 inch Witherby with a little bit of belly to it. My first picture was after I had it somewhat cleaned up with 100 grit. I ended up at the grinder squaring the edge back up, then some belt sander time. I have the edge as far as I want to take it - 300 grit stone on the back side, 220 grit belt on the bevel - until after I know the temper is staying.

    I tried drilling the handle, twisted in a 5/16 bolt, hung that from a couple pegs in my workbench leg, got the trusty hammer - and bent the bolt.

    So I am stuck. Any suggestions for getting that handle out without changing the temper?

    100grit.jpgbolt.jpgbent.jpg

  2. #2
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    Scott, I would remove the handle any way you can - split it out with a chisel if heating the socket does not work. Making a pattern for a good fit is just so easy, and you do not need the original handle to do this.

    Simply insert a drill bit sized with the desired diameter of the further most tip of tenon. Measure the depth this way. Then measure the diameter at the bottom of the tenon. Now you can draw up the tenon on paper. Turn to these dimensions. You’ll need to fine tune anyway.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  3. #3
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    cut it off as short as you can then drill out starting with smaller bits and working your way up. maybe it is glued in there?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Making a pattern for a good fit is just so easy, and you do not need the original handle to do this. Simply insert a drill bit sized with the desired diameter of the further most tip of tenon. Measure the depth this way. Then measure the diameter at the bottom of the tenon. Now you can draw up the tenon on paper. Turn to these dimensions. You’ll need to fine tune anyway.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    One obstacle down. Thank you Derek.

    Also, I figured out the "belly" on it is not from the forge but from being beat on - unevenly- with hammers.

    I talked to my smith. I am going to burn it out and do a bit more shaping on it while it is annealed by me the amateur with my charcoal grill. Then I will run it out to my smith who is pretty sure he can even out the existing uneven belly, forge in a respectable curve for a narrow slick, anneal professionally, harden professionally, and temper professionally.

    When I pick it back up I'll just use Derek's advice to make a slick handle, sharpen and have a new tool. Woot!!

    Justin, I have done it the way you describe on through sockets like an axe or hatchet head. Do you have a way to keep your drill bits from bottoming out in the socket?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Winners View Post

    Justin, I have done it the way you describe on through sockets like an axe or hatchet head. Do you have a way to keep your drill bits from bottoming out in the socket?
    you could stop drilling when you hit steel it should not be hard to tell. or put some tape on the drill bit to mark how far you want to drill stop sort then work your way deeper as you remove more wood.

  6. #6
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    Got a pipe wrench? Clamp the blade in a vise....pipe wrench to turn the handle around in the socket. A bit of upward pressure to bring the handle up....watch out you don't smack yourself in the head when the handle "pops" free.

  7. #7
    Make or borrow a slide hammer? Also great for getting coins out of a parking meter to finance purchase of hardwood stock

  8. #8
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    It seems you have a good solution via a smith. My method is intended for others who may find this thread in the future with no smith upon whom to call.

    The socket looks to be slightly mushroomed. There may also be metal on the inside of the socket from when someone used a mallet or hammer directly on the socket. This would make it very difficult to remove the handle.

    You may also have a handle that has been glued in place.

    Does the handle wiggle at all? This would indicate a mushroom ring on the inside of a socket. If this is the case the ring should be filed smooth before installing a new handle. Otherwise the same problem will occur next time there is a desire to change the handle.

    If the handle is still firmly solid it is more indicative of it being glued in.

    A useful method of removing a piece stuck in what is essentially a Morse taper for wood is to use a long lag bolt. Size it to suit the work. It may be advantageous to blunt the end a bit. Cut the handle close to the top of the socket. Drill a pilot hole to match the bolt. Driving the bolt to bottom out in the socket will start to jack the handle out of the socket.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
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    That's a wonderful technique Jim!

    I have a big framing chisel with a stuck handle. I was gonna try a 160 degree oven to see if I could loosen the bond between the metal and wood.

  10. #10
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    Many old timber framing chisels and slicks have been glued our cemented into the socket to prevent the chisel from slipping off the handle. A falling chisel could be deadly from a high work place.

    Sometimes the handle has to be drilled and dug out of the socket.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
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    I am a retired timber framer and was a consistant user of socket chisels and never resorted to glueing handles. I made and fitted handles to have a matching taper that did not bottom out and no shoulders, well matched handles, in my experience, do not separate on their own. I also made different handle to fit the same chisel body so I could configure to task. I could separate the handle from the chisel by grasping the blade of the chisel in one hand and deliver sharp raps on the socket with a wooden mallet, the handle will loosen and start to back out.
    Last edited by Roger Nair; 10-18-2019 at 1:34 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Nair View Post
    I am a retired timber framer and was a consistant user of socket chisels and never resorted to glueing handles. I made and fitted handles to have a matching taper that did not bottom out and no shoulders, well matched handles, in my experience, do not separate on their own. I also made different handle to fit the same chisel body so I could configure to task. I could separate the handle from the chisel by grasping the blade of the chisel in one hand and deliver sharp raps on the socket with a wooden mallet, the handle will loosen and start to back out.
    Roger, you are correct in what you have said. Unfortunately not all users of socket chisels have exercised your degree of tool care and maintenance. Fitting a handle to a socket takes a bit of time but is worth it to many of us. As so many mushroomed chisel sockets attest, some owners/users couldn't be concerned.

    Another practice some previous owners of framing chisels and slicks have done is drill the socket and drive a screw in to the handle.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
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    Jim, I own many old framing chisels and slicks, from my sampling, cross pinning has not shown itself and I believe for good reason. It is in the nature of metal sockets and wood handles to advance deeper into the socket through use by progressive cell collapse by compression in the wood fiber. The two mechanical means of compression are moisture cycling and the pounding. It is best to let the progressive micro-reseating take place unabated and not have the rivet or screw as a point of failure.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Nair View Post
    Jim, I own many old framing chisels and slicks, from my sampling, cross pinning has not shown itself and I believe for good reason. It is in the nature of metal sockets and wood handles to advance deeper into the socket through use by progressive cell collapse by compression in the wood fiber. The two mechanical means of compression are moisture cycling and the pounding. It is best to let the progressive micro-reseating take place unabated and not have the rivet or screw as a point of failure.
    Yes, please note, my statement didn't say it was a good practice, merely that some owners may have done it.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  15. #15
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    Jeff has a good suggestion but I would try a hotter oven, maybe 300 F. That should release any glue and dry the wood. It will also cause the metal to expand a little. When you take it out try to pull it apart. If you want to maintain domestic tranquility you could use a torch instead of the oven. the edge should stay cool enough to hold it's temper (as should your wife).

    A second approach would be to drill a hole in a 2 x 4 the diameter of the handle. Glue the handle into it and pad the sharp end of the chisel. Find a friend to help. The more burly of you should stand on the 2 x 4 and pull up on the chisel while the other whacks it with a hammer.

    Third approach, saw the wood off short then use a die grinder to remove the inside burr that is holding it, you will have to grind a little wood to get at the burr.

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