Reseating a Socket Chisel Handle
Humidity changes are causing my socket chisel handles to pop out. Rapping them back in is aggravating. Can I glue in the handles? If so, what type of glue should I use?
Guy Forthofer, Columbus, OH
It is okay to glue them, and epoxy is the way to go. Marine epoxies such as West and System III, and gunsmith epoxies like Acraglass, work best. You’ll need a container each of resin, hardener, and powdered high-adhesive thickener, along with a small amount of walnut or mahogany aniline dye.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, thoroughly mix a bit of the resin and hardener, and add a small amount of dye to reach the color you desire. Don’t add thickener yet. Let the epoxy sit for 15 minutes, and in the meantime clean the chisel’s socket and the handle’s wood tenon thoroughly with coarse sandpaper.
Spread the unthickened epoxy on the tenon and let it soak in for a few minutes. Then add high-adhesive thickener to the remaining epoxy until it’s the consistency of peanut butter. Spread the thickened epoxy over the unthickened coat, and set the handle into the socket using a light rap with a small hammer.
Keep the chisel upright to cure overnight, and you can use it the next day.
Photo: Charlie Reina