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Mortice Chisel Renovation

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mudman

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Had what I thought was a bargain on holiday. Visited a huge car boot sale and picked up a very large mortice chisel for only £3.00. Don't know the make, I couldn't see a name on it. The bevel needs re-grinding but that's easy to do, there's no rust or pitting and it has a good large boxwood handle on it. Only thing wrong is a bit of splitting on the handle and the loss of the leather washer between the blade and the handle (it should be leather shouldn't it?).

Does anyone know if it is possible to re-insert a washer without removing the handle? Perhaps squeeze two halves in and glue in place?
Alternatively is it possible to remove a handle and replace it? If so, what is the best way of doing this?
Also, is it possible to repair/stabilize the split? I was thinking of injecting some glue into it. Something like Gorrilla glue that will expand and fill the gaps.
I could always remove the handle and make a new one but I sort of like to keep an old tool complete if you know what I mean?

Thanks in advance,
Barry
 

Noel

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Barry,

Two part epoxy might be better than Gorilla.

Rgds

Noel
 

Alf

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Barry,

Big mortise chisel for £3? Pretty good. Not sure how effective at doing its job the leather washer would be if it was in two pieces. You could give it a shot though, and if it doesn't work you're no worse off. If the handle's firmly on the chisel at the moment, taking it off is likely to result in damaging it, 'cos the only way I know of is to hammer the thing to kingdom come. As it's already cracked you could end up with a splintered mess instead of a functional handle. :( As for the split itself, well if it doesn't look fresh it's probably already stable, and boxwood's usually pretty good at staying put once it's got to where it wants to be. But I'd probably go with 2 part epoxy as Noel suggests if you want to do it. To be honest all this is hypothetical because I'd have sorted out a bit of box to replace the handle with by now. I know what you mean about keeping a tool together, but with the missing washer and the split, it is rather saying "replace me". No harm in trying the split washer and glue first though. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Polyurethane glue has no strength in the "expanded mode". It also does not look very good. If you are dead set on using glue, then epoxy would be the best bet as Noel suggests.
 

mudman

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Thanks for the replies.
Hadn't thought of epoxy although I think I'll leave the split as it does look like it's not fresh.
I had suspected that the only viable way to remove the handle was to hammer the hell out of it so again I think I'll leave it alone and see how it handles and replace it if it needs it.
Thinking about the washer, I'm not too sure how effective it would be either. So long as the two pieces can remain in place without movement, then the forces on it should be perpendicular to the join and so should be okay. However, I think now that to get a washer into the small gap might not be possible.
Had another idea though, not exactly authentic, but how about packing the gap with a very thin leather thong? This would be cut very thin and could be wound around the shaft inside the gap until it filled it. Fixing the final end may be a problem but it could work.

Cheers,
Barry
 

Alf

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mudman":5e9uatfu said:
Had another idea though, not exactly authentic, but how about packing the gap with a very thin leather thong? This would be cut very thin and could be wound around the shaft inside the gap until it filled it. Fixing the final end may be a problem but it could work.
Funnily enough I have done that once. It was purely for cosmetic reasons though; there was a small, ah, gap between the ferrule and the bolster... :oops: Heck, it was my first handle in box and I underestimated how much leeway to give the tang okay? :oops: :roll: Anyway, you could give it a go I s'pose. I'm with Chris tho', sometimes that bullet just has to get bit. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

mudman

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waterhead37":tz7n87m1 said:
Bite the bullet! Saw or chop the existing handle off and make a new'un!
Guess so, just wondering if there are any alternatives.

Alf":tz7n87m1 said:
Funnily enough I have done that once. It was purely for cosmetic reasons though; there was a small, ah, gap between the ferrule and the bolster...
Shoulda known you'd have done it already Alf.. :)

A friend of mine does quite a bit of work in leather and I may have word with him to see if he can sort me out some suitable leather. Failing that it'll be out with the hammer and finding a piece of box. :evil:

Mind you, I have to finish sorting out that #5 1/2 first, then there's the #3 that needs some attention, various woodcarving chisels I keep picking up in the Tuesday market (can't help myself :oops: ), not to mention the #79 that has a stuck screw and then LOML keeps asking where her picture frame is... :oops:

Cheers,
Barry
 

Alf

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Barry,

You don't moonlight as the voice of my conscience do you? All that sounds awfully familiar... :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

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If it were my chisel, I'd use it as is. On my side of the pond, boxwood is fairly precious. I use ash or hickory on my mortice chisels with no leather washer.
 

DaveL

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Hi Roger,

Welcome to the forum. :D

Roger Nixon":2yv9csjc said:
On my side of the pond,
Do I take it from that your not in the UK? Please tell us a little more about where you are and the woodworking stuff locally, if you don't mind. :) Its nice to know what people have around them.
 
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Anonymous

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DaveL":1ybi6vjo said:
Hi Roger,

Welcome to the forum. :D

Roger Nixon":1ybi6vjo said:
On my side of the pond,
Do I take it from that your not in the UK? Please tell us a little more about where you are and the woodworking stuff locally, if you don't mind. :) Its nice to know what people have around them.
Thanks for the welcome, Dave. I don't want to hijack this mortise chisel thread, so I'll start a different one to answer your question.
 
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