Tip for fitting a handle to a socket chisel
In a recent audio slideshow showing how to make custom socket chisel handles out of curly maple firewood, I came up with a little trick to make a pefectly tapered tenon for any socket.
If you have an old socket chisel that’s missing the handle, just simply push a piece of modeling clay (or plumbers putty) into the socket. Slightly twist the clay as it’s removed, and then you have an exact replica of the tenon you need to make. Use calipers to take measurements from the clay and then turn the tenon on a lathe. After using a small gouge and parting tool to make the taper, you can use a small flat piece of wood with sandpaper to clean up the tool marks and make a nice even taper.
I did a quick sketch to show how to make the tapered tenon sit in the socket just right.
Missing the handle for that nice old socket chisel? A small piece of clay makes an exact model of the tenon you need to make.
Sketch showing how to seat the tapered tenon in the socket.