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Woodworm.............. and how to remove chisel handles

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okeydokey

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I have been given a gaggle of turning tools and yes good thanks - but 3 have woodworm exit holes, 1 almost crumbled so blade removed and handle gone. The other two, 1 by Sorby and 1 anonymous both have a few holes but who knows whats going on inside. Cant risk keeping them
Getting to the point - I've unsuccessfully tried to knock the last 2 handles off which I would like to do to use the handle holes as a template for handles to be turned, whats the best not destructive way and Ive tried the blades in a vice and knocking the handles downwards.
 

Argus

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Getting to the point - I've unsuccessfully tried to knock the last 2 handles off which I would like to do to use the handle holes as a template for handles to be turned, whats the best not destructive way and Ive tried the blades in a vice and knocking the handles downwards.
First, you are wise to get rid of the handles...... no point in importing a potential infection for every other wooden object. Burn them immediately they are off.

Secondly, knocking them out the way you have described is the only way, other than cutting the lot down the middle. If the ferrules are OK, then once you have the handles off, cut them away close-up, excavate the innards. If you are using a lathe, the ferrules can be re-used - alternatively get some new ones..... but the old ones were better, thicker metal.
Anyway, up-side-down, (chisel pointing up), in a vice is the only way, but please, align your hammer blows with a metal rod onto the section on the ferrule and beside the bolster and in a line with the axis of the chisel..... NEVER at an angle to the blade. If the tang is tapered, you simply need to break the rust bond of decades and it will drop off.

Remaking handles for (presumably) square-section tapered chisel tangs if you have a lathe is straight-forward, so the old handles are of no use to you. You use the tang itself for the final cuts.
Please come back to me and I'll explain how its done. Alternatively, it can be done by hand..... but it's a bit more labour-intensive.

If the tangs are a rectangular section, then it is, unfortunately a hand-carving job to get the hole right.. But you simply cut around a tapered hole along the axis of the handle.



Good luck
 

Cabinetman

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Yes that will kill any of the little bu.ggers that are still alive- if there are any. Shame to waste handles that might be ok anyway.
 

baldkev

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If they only have a few holes and structurally feel fine then bag them up and put them in your freezer for a week. Once out fill the holes with wax. No more holes should appear but if you are feeling cautious then re-bag and leave them for a few months.

Colin
Thats interesting, and a good idea. How about stuffing the whole chisel in the freezer? Then he wont need to remove the handles ( or that might havebeen what you meant? )
 

okeydokey

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About the freezer idea I heard of something along those lines but understood that the cold will live worms but the eggs will survive and hatch at the appropriate time of year. So to get rid of handles must be 100% sorted.

Argus
1. So the metal rod to hit between the tang and the brass ferrule. 2. Assume square tang -then drill a hole in the new handle of less diameter and twist the blade into the handle?
Yes please a bit more info would be appreciated thanks
 

MARK.B.

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If you want to keep the handles and don't want to try the freeze method,then just treat them with a woodworm solution( loads on ebay etc).Might smell a bit for a few days but the little beggers will be dead.
 

Phil Pascoe

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If you have tapered tangs (many HSS tools don't) drill a 5mm hole deeper than the length of the tang . Then drill about two thirds of the depth about 8mm - 9mm depending on the thickness of the tang, then the final third larger, again according to the size of the tang. If you can fit the tang in to within maybe 12mm - 15mm you can whack the handle on with a mallet. All measurements approximate, judge by the tang size, just ensure the first hole is deeper than the length of the tang otherwise you'll likely split the handle, and you want it tighter at the ferrule than at its depth. They don't need complicated woodwork.

Incidentally, drill your holes before you turn the handle.
 

eribaMotters

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Good idea the stepped hole. When fitting file handles I used to do this, but heated the tang of the file up over a blue flame and then pushed it into the hole. The smoke bellows out and when in deep enough you quench the tang and then push put the handle back on with a gentle tap from a mallet, no heavier or you could split the handle.

Colin
 

okeydokey

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Just been into garage to check - the Sorby is round shaft, the unknown is rectangular, so I guess the round one drill a round hole marginally smaller and araldite the shaft into the handle. The rectangular ?
 

Inspector

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Lifted from an answer I got while Googling What oven temperature to kill woodworm eggs".

Temperatures above 52oC will kill all stages – eggs, larvae, pupae and adults in a few hours. This is the basis of the Thermolignum system. Temperatures of -30oC will kill all stages in 2-3 days, however at -18oC, the temperature of a domestic deep freezer, up to 2 weeks is necessary.

So a quick bake while SWMBO is out shopping at 52ºC and they are done. Worst that could happen is a handle crack or two.

Pete
 

Phil Pascoe

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Just been into garage to check - the Sorby is round shaft, the unknown is rectangular, so I guess the round one drill a round hole marginally smaller and araldite the shaft into the handle. The rectangular ?
Drill your hole for the round one slightly undersized, grind a little taper on the first few mm of the steel and whack it on. You need adhesive only if it's a loose fit. The tapered one as ^^^^^^.
 

Alpha-Dave

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Lifted from an answer I got while Googling What oven temperature to kill woodworm eggs".

Temperatures above 52oC will kill all stages – eggs, larvae, pupae and adults in a few hours. This is the basis of the Thermolignum system. Temperatures of -30oC will kill all stages in 2-3 days, however at -18oC, the temperature of a domestic deep freezer, up to 2 weeks is necessary.

So a quick bake while SWMBO is out shopping at 52ºC and they are done. Worst that could happen is a handle crack or two.

Pete
My reference point for these things would be school Biology lessons from 20 years ago; IIRC 60 degC is the point at which proteins ‘denature’ (fall apart/stop holding their shape), which is the lowest ‘cooking’ temperature, although lower for longer will denature less well bonded proteins.

So maybe 60 degC for 10 min.

To be honest though, I would just make some new handles, but I enjoy small 1-evening projects like that.
 

Simon89

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I think if you are getting rid of 3 handles, doesn’t logic dictate you should get rid of all the handles?

the worm holes tell you have had wood worm and they have dug their way out. It tells you the past not the future.

What’s to say the beetles didn’t come out of one chisel and lay their eggs on the handle next to it.

If it were me I would stick the lot in the freezer or oven and enjoy them for what they are.
 

KimG

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As long as the metal ferule is removed popping them into the microwave for a couple of minutes can be effective too, done that for a few spalted bowls that had a resident or two present. Been fine since.
 

profchris

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The bottom oven of my Aga is around 100C, so I popped a stick of firewood in for 90 mins. No flames or charring, but it did come out a shade or so darker.

If I need to deworm a chisel I'll try again, wrapping the wood in foil in case the darkening is oxidation. That aside, a low oven seems safe enough.
 

clogs

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I bought some really nice wooden handled tools at a car boot in France...
no idea on what the wood is but so nice to use and look at.....

Under my big metal lathe is a biggish suds /coolant tank.....
they got to stay in there for a month or two.....
once dried out no more probs with worm and still nice to handle.....
feels like a well used handle finish wise....
 

pidgeonpost

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Personally I'd go for treatment rather than replacement unless the handle's strength is obviously compromised. The handle is part of what gives vintage/vintage tools their character - IMO.
 

okeydokey

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Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions, don't forget they were given to me tools so I have no idea whether they had been stored in a Worm infested box or whatever.
So far have removed one handle - the round one (it was Ashley Isles not Sorby) and wow that was on tight it ended up with a destruction of the handle. Interestingly the worm holes were only in the outer 1/4" , deeper into the wood looked fine. Its a nice tool so have decided to buy a new predrilled handle from the maker.
The other one is sitting in a plastic bag awaiting its fate which will probably be a new home made handle.
 
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