Friday, February 8, 2019

Another Chisel Re-handling

One of the chisels I got when I became the new caretaker of Orvil Heft's tools was this 1" chisel by Jaxon.  I haven't been able to find much information about Jaxon.  Perhaps they were a hardware store that had someone else make chisels for them.  I did see somewhere on the 'net a drawknife that the seller said was made by Greenlee for Jaxon in the 1950's.  Maybe this chisel is similar.
Fairly mangled handle
Maker's mark?
Handle in tough shape - you can see a hole where someone put a screw to hold it together
Some serious pounding went on in this chisel's lifetime
Now that I have lathe capability, I've been re-handling some chisels that have needed it for a while.  I thought I'd try to duplicate the original handle.
As before, first up was to fit the socket - black marks show where it's too tight
The rest was pretty easy and I'm happy how it turned out
The part of the handle that fits into the socket is fairly short on the original and I made mine the same way.  The inside of the socket showed the reason why - it was nicely conical for about an inch, but was quite uneven deeper than that.
Glamour shot
I got a comment from Bob (The Valley Woodworker) regarding the space between the handle's shoulder and the back end of the chisel's socket.  I used the original as a model for this, too.
Mind the gap!
On the new handle I left about 1/16" gap
I still have to re-handle the rest of Orvil's chisels and hopefully I'll get to them reasonably soon.
These have seen some rough use - most handles are broken or in tough shape
Orvil did a lot of fine, small carving (birds), so it's hard to imagine he was so tough on these chisels.  Maybe when he got them they were already in this shape from a prior owner who was very rough on them.


  1. Nice handles, it is good to restore older tools. I'm rehabbing some Marple chisels that were owned by a carver and as typical to carver owned chisels they all have a back bevel. You might want to check if Orvil's chisels are back beveled. If so there are several options, other than keeping the back bevel, the options require removal of a bit of metal.


    1. Hi Ken. No back bevels on them. They were all in pretty tough shape. Very dull, a couple of chips in the cutting edges, badly abused handles. One chisels edge was ground to a convex shape. The 1/4" firmer was ground to near 3/16". Most or all have (or had) metal ferrules at the back of the handle. These chisels took a lot of pounding. I've got to pick a good wood to re-handle them with.

  2. Good job Matt.
    Never heard of Jaxon, cant tell you much about it...

    Bob, back home