Glue-On Chisel Holders



Introduction: Glue-On Chisel Holders

About: I'm an Engineer. I like hiking, flea markets, and electronics.

If you go through the effort of sharpening your woodworking chisels, it's probably a terrible idea to just store them in a drawer, where they'll end up getting dull. In this instructable, I describe how to make glue on chisel holders that can be attached to legs of a work-bench, a wall, etc.

You will need:

  • Chisel(s)
  • Forstner Bit(s)
  • Scrap Wood
  • Wood Glue
  • Coping Saw

If you are trying to mount a conical taper chisel, you will also need:

  • Stepless Drill Bit
  • Sandpaper

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Step 1: Outlining

For either style of chisel:

  1. Use 2 inch x 2 inch x 3/4 inch pieces of wood.
  2. Center-mark an indentation in the wood. For example, you can draw an X from corner to corner of the wood, the intersection of which would be the center.
  3. Draw 1/4 inch lines going down from the center on either side of the center-indentation. This makes a 1/2 inch strip to the center.

For normal chisels:

  1. Measure the width of the ferrule (the round piece of metal that is between the chisel steel and the wood) and select a forstner drill bit slightly wider. Write this diameter on the piece of wood.
  2. Measure the tool width below the ferrule. Write this diameter on the piece of wood.

For tapered chisels:

  1. Measure the width of the taper 1/2 way to 3/4 up the taper, this will be the width below which the chisel is held.
  2. Draw a line of this measured diameter across the center of the piece of wood.

Step 2: Drill

For normal chisels:

  1. Drill the piece of wood to half its depth with the wider diameter (ferrule) drill bit.
  2. Drill the remaining depth through with the narrower diameter (tool width) drill bit.

For tapered chisels:

  1. Drill with a tapered drill bit up to the marked center-width.

Step 3: Adjustment

This step is only needed for tapered chisels. In this step, the taper is fine-tuned. To do this:

  1. Cut a strip of sandpaper.
  2. Wrap the strip around the taper.
  3. Rotate taper-drilled wood around the strip.
  4. Stop when wood and chisel are well mated.

You will know that they are well mated when the gap at the top and bottom of the wood and sandpaper appears to be the same width. When the sandpaper is removed, the chisel should fit perfectly.

Step 4: Saw

A slot is added to the older for easy tool insertion and removal using a lift-slightly and pull motion:

  1. Use a coping saw to remove the 1/2 inch strip in the middle.

Step 5: Test

Before gluing, make sure to place the chisels into the holders:

  1. Place chisels into holders.
  2. Check for excess slop.
  3. The chisels should not lean over.
  4. The chisels should be snug.

If the chisels lean over, meaning that the hole is too wide:

  1. Pain the ferrule-diameter hole with wood-glue, nail polish, etc. so that the diameter decreases slightly.

If the chisel takes too much effort to insert, meaning that the hole is too narrow:

  1. Glue a strip of sandpaper to a dowel slightly narrower than the ferrule-diameter hole.
  2. Turn the down in the hole slightly enlarging the hole.

Step 6: Glue

Wood glue offers the strongest wood to wood bond. It also gives you the flexibility of moving the piece around for the first few minutes of contact. To secure a chisel holder with wood glue:

  1. Apply a thin coat of glue to the side or back of the holder.
  2. Stick the holder to your bench, etc.
  3. Use masking take to secure until dry.

Contact cement is quick and dirty. It dries fast easy and is convenient. It doesn't have quite the bonding strength that wood glue has, but it might just work better for you. To secure a chisel holder with contact cement.

  1. Apply contact cement to both surfaces.
  2. Wait 5-10 minutes for the glue to dry.
  3. Stick the surfaces together.


If you happen to place the chisel holders on the legs of a work bench, be prepared to experience sharp shin pain when your legs make contact with the sharp corners of the chisel holders. The painful feedback offered by this experience will quickly teach you to avoid being close to the work bench legs. Alternatively, make sure that you round off the corners with sandpaper so that this isn't an issue.

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