Instructables
Picture of Turning new handles for your lathe tools
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)
5.  Calipers
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.
 
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masterjarhead6 months ago
Did you use epoxy to glue it in
vincent75202 years ago
beautiful…
walshlg2 years ago
Very nicely done I enjoyed reading it, never tried a lathe, looks quite useful.

Can you use other materials in a wood lathe, like plastic or metal?
jskingry (author)  walshlg2 years ago
You can turn very soft metals and definitely palstics. They do make metal lathes that are way more accurate for engineering type turnings in harder metals like steel.
if you get the right lathe and you know how to use it you can turn anything. On a wood lathe though I would only recommend brass, aluminum, and copper, some plastics will turn like a boss, but other ones will melt easily or may be impregnated with things that will ruin your day like glass. Other things that can be turned on a wood lathe are some nuts and seed pods, bone, and antler or horn (be ready for a smell though). also you can do metal spinning on a wood lathe, I won't go into that too much, but check it out on youtube, really cool.
Blainer2 years ago
Nice one. I particularly enjoyed the coat hanger trick for burning. One alternative for tool handles I would suggest would be a Tung oil finish rather than poly. No particular practical reason, I just love the look and feel of Tung oil on lathe turned projects.
jskingry (author)  Blainer2 years ago
Yeah, I use a tung oil finish for a lot of my decorative turnings but I wanted something tough for the handles since I have been known to use the as mallets too. I have never tried pure tung oil so I might have to give it a try someday. Thanks for the comment.
I usually just coat my tool handles with paste wax. It wears off eventually, but you get a patina on the tool from use anyway.

I also use my tools as mallets sometimes, so I find no need to sand to ultra-high gloss and use a special finish. To me, putting a nice finish on a tool like that is akin to getting a monster truck detailed. You can do it, but why waste the effort?
criggie2 years ago
I'm missing a step - how do you mount the tang (?) inside the handle?
neffk criggie2 years ago
The traditional method is to pre-drill an under-sized hole, heat up the tang with a fire (or propane torch), and melt it in.

I've also cut the business end of the handle into a slight conical shape and cross-cut it so that when I add the metal band (final step), it's making a really firm grip on the tool.
jskingry (author)  neffk2 years ago
Wow, that will certainly hold things in place. I do drill the hole under-sized and use my 3lb rawhide faced sledge to motivate it together. I have done the cross cut method on some tools also but I put the tang on before putting the tool in and then the expansion of the slit tenon really tightens things together good. Also I have heard of some people just drilling the hole to full size and using epoxy to hold it all together, which would work great too. I think I am going to avoid the fire, I am usually so covered in sawdust at the point of putting the tool together I would probably burst into flames!
neffk jskingry2 years ago

The fire is a little excessive, probably, but it's something they did back in the day when there wasn't as many options. Anyway, most of these tools are loaded in compression, so less is probably fine. Oh---and I read about the fire method mainly in the context of making handles for files. For that, it's a great trick because the tang is relatively short and the life of the tool is not very great.

I am philosophically opposed to adhesives, in general. In certain situations, an adhesive can be the best choice, but I see a lot of DIY-willy-nilly use of glue and tape. Often, adhesives lead to a very short-term solution followed by failure and a sticky residue. In this case, I think a mechanical connection will be best. You may eventually wear out the chisel or damage the handle. If it's glued on, it may be an enormous amount of effort to fix it.

Anyway, nice documentation. Nice to see a project that stands on its own. Lately I've been seeing more stupid-trick type projects and projects half documented with a single video, or with just a few pictures. Thanks for putting in the work and making a complete instructable.
jskingry (author)  neffk2 years ago
Thanks for the kind words. Regarding adhesives, I am 39 years old and am simply amazed at how they have developed in my lifetime, the epoxies and poly's are simply amazing these days but you really have to know what adhesive to use for which situation and they can be very expensive.
jskingry (author)  criggie2 years ago
Criggie,

I added the lost step, thanks for the heads up on that, I just glossed right over it.
jskingry (author)  criggie2 years ago
Criggle,

It does seem that I missed a step there. When I get home this evening I will take a picture and write up some narrative on it. Basically I clamp the tool into my bench vice tang up and then use a soft faced mallet to "tap" the tool onto the tang.
luky luke2 years ago
Hello,
Really very nice instructable, I also use this method to the rings at the ends the sleeves of my turning tools, the advantage is that it be copper or in brass and that this does not rust. Question: Sometimes I machine of old files, to make my wood turning tools, (and sometimes for my metal lathe with old limes quality), not the stuff Chinese, dozen sold to on Ebay !
What have you to make your big ream "Gouge" because it is very thicker, anyway a Congratulations, and good continuation!
greetings.
Luky.
jskingry (author)  luky luke2 years ago
Luky,

I am not making the tool itself, for those large gouges though they are forged from a piece of steel into that shape. Other gouges are milled from a round bar. Not a metal worker myself so I will leave that up to the experts.
Hi,
Ha, Ok, I thought it was you who made it is anyway a good job, it makes you a beautiful set, I made ​​them myself, I May Machinist's my work, I am Artisan, and I turn the wood for my pleasure, I also made a special system for sharpening gouges in the grinder, you must know, and it makes you a nice clean round in the end tool because it is very hard to sharpen Gouge a regular basis;
Regards,
Luky.
the norm2 years ago
I have been told that the Angels gave man the first tongs for using a forge, after that we had to make our own.
I make a skew chisel from an old file, For the handle I used the leg from a fancy table. I turned off some of the larger parts, it is a bit bumpy to hold, but I like it. I call it Excalibur.
zilcho2 years ago
Great Instructible. It wasn't until I started wood turning that I realized how important it is to have big handles on your tools.
foxwoodfarm2 years ago
Do you have magnets on your tools, they seem to be sticking to the front of a file cabinet?
jskingry (author)  foxwoodfarm2 years ago
Nice catch Fox, I keep a bunch of rare earth magnets on the front of my metal cabinet and use them for drying things. In the picture the finish is still a little wet on the tool but I wanted the picture to finish the intructable.
Great idea! I don't have any spare magnets so I have a piece of conduit on rope and pulleys that I can lower to tie things on while they dry. I pull it back up during the drying process so they are out of the way.
punkhead582 years ago
Sir, you have inspired me: my next Instructable is going to be called "Building a Welder So You Can Weld Your Own Welding Accessories That Will Assist You in Welding".
jskingry (author)  punkhead582 years ago
Yeah, the whole chicken and egg paradox, make sure and require a welder to build the welder :)