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Thread: Japanese Chisel Handle Replacement

  1. #1
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    Japanese Chisel Handle Replacement

    I got this chisel with some others from Yahoo Auctions (like E-bay) a while back, I very much like this chisel, but the handle has two cracks in it, that were getting worse, the more I used it, so I decided that I'd try to replace the handle........ I've fixed a few hoops on handles before, but I've not completely replaced a handle........... until today.

    I started with these parts........
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    I used some of the Sakura that looks a lot like Oak, to me, (this is still wood from the Tokyo Logging episode!) I rounded one piece and then took it to the drill press..........
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    I drilled a hole in the blank that was the same size as the square part of the chisel, that goes into the handle, this part is tapered, so I I took the measurement about half way up the shaft.

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    I then returned to the lathe and made the taper that the ferrel goes on, checking the size frequently.

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    Here is the ferrel in place, with the handle turned to final dimensions, sanded and even a little wire burning done.

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    The tang of the chisel is square, and the hole in the handle is round, so I did a bit of cutting with a small narrow chisel to get the hole somewhat square, but I was very concerned that if I pounded the handle on, I would have trouble getting it off, so I heated up the tang, just a bit, nothing near red hot etc, (I put a wet towel around the chisel to limit the heat transfer).

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    I then pounded the handle onto the tang.

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    I filed and then sanded the transition between the ferrel and the chisel body so they are smooth.

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    Here it is with the hoop installed. Now all I need to do is blacken it again, I understand that this involves just painting the shiny parts with salty water for a few days, and I'll get he nice back coating
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Oh yeah, one more picture...........

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    First characters "Best Quality"
    Second Characters "Registered" This mean the blacksmith is a registered member of the black smith guild, and is licensed by the government.
    Third is the name of the blacksmith.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Interesting job and nicely done. I'm not sure why you want to make it black except, maybe, just to restore to original (old?) condition. Salt water is cheap and easy. I have never heard of that technique. Phosphoric acid works well to blue/blacken. Urine is effective but takes time. A little late for that with the wood handle in place.

  4. #4
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    Frank, thanks.

    I understand that the blackening stops regular rust somewhat

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Frank, thanks.

    I understand that the blackening stops regular rust somewhat

    Cheers!
    True. I could reccomend some products, but believe they probably are not available in Japan. How did the old timers do it for tools there?

  6. #6
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    Nov 2006
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    Thanks for the inspiration, Stu. I've always hated the standard handles on Japanese chisels but never tried to replace them. I think I will now.

    I want a longer handle with a slightly different shape, and a rounded top that better fits into my palm. I hit my chisels with a wooden mallet so I don't need the hoop. And if I were to mash them up, I could make a new handle.

    Was it hard to get the ferrule off the old handle?

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #7
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    Frank, I'm trying to find out, but I think they used a salt water, now I have to be careful, because they might actually mean "Brine" which is much different than just table salt and tap water

    Mike, the Ferrel came right off, the hardest part was the handle itself, off the tang, but if the handle will be replaced, then you could remove the hoop and split it, I guess

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    ".....they might actually mean "Brine" which is much different than just table salt and tap water ."
    Uh.......I don't tink so.
    From Dictionary.com: "water saturated or strongly impregnated with salt."
    In other words, salt water. We used to cure hams using fine salt dissolved in water. It was called "brine". Methinks, no difference.

  9. #9
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    May be so Frank, but I know that Table Salt and Sea Salt are sold here as different things, table salt, I think, has a lot more iodine in it.......
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
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    405
    Stu,

    Great job and nicely done. None of my Japanese chisels need new handles, yet, but it's cool seeing your process. I'll log it away for the future. Any idea when your chisel was made? I enjoy finding older chisels and putting them back into shape for duty, too.

    Also, looks good as is, even if you don't get the parts back to black.
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

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