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  • Ice chisel handle

    Hi. I purchased an ice chisel head, and now I have to make a handle. I want a one-piece handle about 2 m long. The ferrule interior diameter is about 3 cm (1 5/8").

    Options I have considered are:
    1. Buying a suitably sized dowel and reducing the end size to fit in the ferrule.
    2. Cutting down a suitably sized tree. Would probably have to dry it so it might take some time.
    3. Laminating up a stick and carving it down to size, as one might for making a paddle.

    Just wondering if anyone has experience or suggestions for making a chisel handle. Thanks.

    Kinguq.

  • #2
    I used a closet pole to make the handle for mine. You need to sort through them to check for grain direction and knots.

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    • #3
      I don't know if they are still available, but years ago you could still find doug fir closet pole material.
      Most closet poles are kind of wimpy now though, softwood with huge growth rings.

      I gotta say a laminated handle of contrasting materials would be pretty cool, probably overkill, but way cool none the less.
      I always thought an octagon handle would be nice on a chisel, but I never tried it. But it could be cut on the tablesaw instead of by hand.

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      • #4
        Check your local home depot, closet pole work perfectly. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...5429/300722709

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        • chimpac
          chimpac commented
          Editing a comment
          The way I understand your chisel, the opening for the handle is female so you can’t do what I did. I screwed a big harrow tooth into the metal end of a bought, made up hoe handle. You can tell me what I am missing by not having a chisel shape to cut ice holes.

      • #5
        best I've found is a handle off of a very old spade shovel- nice, tight-grained ash already shaped perfectly for your use. Add a hole for a lanyard, bolt it into the chisel ferrule and go. The big issue is finding a 50-60 year old handle that's not dry rotted.

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        • #6
          Although wood has many merits, I prefer steel, more specifically seamless chromoly tubing.

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          • #7
            Thanks for the helpful advice.

            I ended up cutting a small fir tree and debarking it. Here's a tip: It is easy to debark a tree if you do it right away. Just pound it with a mallet or the blunt side of an axe, then the bark strips right off.

            I then dried it in the living room for a couple of weeks, monitoring it's weight to determine when it was dry enough. Sanded it a bit, just rounding off the knots a bit, because I found they provided good purchase for holding the chisel. Carved the end down a bit, slipped the head on, and screwed in the lags. Drilled a hole for the retainer rope, and done! Haven't tried it out yet.

            Might be a bit long, but it can always be shortened. Back in the day when I lived in Nunavut, we used chisels with 3 m handles, because the ice was up to 2 m thick. We used aluminum handles for these.

            Can't wait to chop some holes!


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            • #8
              Nice! I can't relate to 6ft / 2m thick ice. Gracious! I hope your new tool works well for ya.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Heavy Duty View Post
                Although wood has many merits, I prefer steel, more specifically seamless chromoly tubing.
                not for an ice chisel IMO! using steel, if you lose your grip it could go right to the bottom, plus wet gloves or bare skin can freeze to it

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                • Phasmata
                  Phasmata
                  Junior Member
                  Phasmata commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'm also not a fan of a metal handle on an ice chisel, but a lanyard prevents losing it. Wood-handled ones can be lost into the water just as easily.

              • #10
                Originally posted by Scoutergriz View Post

                not for an ice chisel IMO! using steel, if you lose your grip it could go right to the bottom, plus wet gloves or bare skin can freeze to it
                You're correct. it can go straight to the bottom in a hurry. I use motorcycle grips with shaft collars on my chisel. Its tethered to my wrist. Sticking has not been an issue with the rubber grips.

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