Hand Tools Archive

Octagonal handle *PIC*

Warren in Lancaster, PA
Here is a picture of a chisel that was made in Sheffield around 1830. The handle is hickory, which suggests that the chisel was imported without a handle. Hickories are not native to Europe. The handle is 5 inches long; there is no evidence of burn in.

In both the Seaton chest (1796) and Nicholson (1812) there are tools called rimers. They are delicate reamers that taper to a sharp point. They can be 3 sided, 4 sided, six sided, or kind of half round. I believe that these tools were used on the octagonal handles to enlarge a hole to accommodate a tapered tang. One great advantage of this method is that the rimer can be used to adjust the hole if the tang is a bit crooked. As you are enlarging the hole you can periodically sight the chisel to see if it is straight in line with the handle. You can use the tang itself to ream at the end if the rimer is a slightly different taper.

This method is much more accurate than what the Swedish fellow used. No glue or epoxy is needed.

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