I bought a used wood lathe about three months ago, it came with a set of really nice Crown chisels also. The Crown chisels are made with great high speed steel, the only problem was the tiny handles on them, the factory handles were about 8.5 inches in length which is way too short for serious turning.
So I was using these chisels on the lathe and one day it hit me! I can use the wood lathe to turn new handles and have a perfect set of incredible chisels! This instructable outlines how I am turning my chisels, it may be wrong or right but it seems to work for me. So how can you too turn really nice handles on the lathe, well let's get started with a list of materials/tools:
1. Wood Lathe (kind of obvious but I list it just in case)
2. 1.5 to 2" square piece of hardwood at least 12" long (I used Cherry because it is what I have a ton of)
3. 3/4" Copper pipe coupler, one of these will make two ferrules
4. Lathe chisels (I used parting tool, gouge, and skew)
6. Drill Chuck for lathe
7. Appropriate sized drill bit 3/8" in this case
Well, do you have everything ready? If so let's get started.
Mark the center of the ends with the straight edge and a pencil. Once you have the centers marked take a punch and make a small hole in the end for the tail stock. One the end that will go on the headstock I like to tap the spur center into the end for a good bite. Now mount the block on the lathe and pull up the tool rest, please at this point I like to point out to always wear face protection and a dust mask when turning.
Step 1: Rouging the blank round
So everything is mounted now so let's make this square into a cylinder. Turn on the lathe and start cutting. As you are roughing out the cylinder you can test for roundness without turning the lathe off, simply sit the gouge on the spindle as you see in the first picture, if the gouge bounces you are not round yet.
So look at the second picture, see the size of the shavings, if you are not getting nice clean shavings and are getting more dust you need to sharpen your chisels. There is a ton of information on the internet about sharpening lathe chisels so try a google search. If I get more time I may post an instructable on how I sharpen mine.
So one you are round you need to start thinking about your ferrule, the ferrule is a metal sleeve to go on the end of the handle where the chisel is to prevent splitting oft he wood. I am using copper because I had it and it is easy to work with and looks really nice buffed up. So at this point use your calipers to measure the inside diameter of your ferrule, you will use this measurement to size the tenon on the end of the blank for the ferrule to go onto. Once you have your tenon sized a little over tap the ferrule onto the blank using a mallet or block of wood. Once the ferrule is on tight mount the block back on the lathe to finish your handle.