Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Handling a chisel

Saw and plane the handle to shape
Yesterday, I put a new handle on a chisel from the Sloyd School at Nääs, using an illustration from Otto Salomon's Teacher's Hand-book of Slöjd as my guide.

You can see the steps above and below. First was to select a piece of beech and cut it to an approximate size and shape and then plane and sand the sides flat and edges round. It is designed to have a taper from the butt to the steel on four sides, and "to be greater in breadth than in thickness."

Next, I drilled a series of stepped holes for the tang to fit. I started with a 3/16 in. drill bit and drilled a hole deep enough for the the full length of the tang. Then I drilled a shallower hole of 5/16 in. diameter, and finally one 3/8 in. diameter going only about 3/4 in. deep.

Drill for the tang to fit. Two larger stepped holes to follow

Two more larger holes will follow
These stepped holes allow the tang to fit tightly but without splitting the handle, and without making it subject to splitting during use.

I finished the handle with a coat of paste wax.

The handle feels great in my hand, and unlike some turned handles, will not roll off the workbench.

It is now an exact representation of the firmer chisel illustrated in the book and is exactly as was described in the text. Thanks, again, Jonas Jensen for a wonderful gift. It is ready for another 100 year's use.

Make, fix, create, and lure others to learn likewise.
Even with the stepped holes, some force is required to drive tang to full depth

With a coat of wax, the Nääs chisel is ready for another century of use.


  1. It looks great! Just like some other Swedish chisels I've seen.

  2. It looks so much better now than with the heavy file handle.
    Great job!
    That chisel couldn't have found a better home than your shop.