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181958 Thomas Conroy <booktoolcutter@y. Aug-07-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix

Jim Thompson asked, on impeccable functional grounds, what I have
against epoxy.

Part of my bias against epoxy is, I admit, professional prejudice. I
know that it can be reversed with heat, but for paper and leather it is
effectively irreversible. This means I don' likeit. I've used it (not, I
hasten to add, on paper or leather). No doubt I will again. But, even at
best, its a nasty feeling, nasty looking, hard-to-reverse synthetic.

Even for wood or metal I don't like it. This is a bit more objective. It
responds differently to expansion and contraction than wood or metal,
especially than wood. This means it will constrain the wood to expand
and contract unnaturally, and that means trouble. Probably means the
wood will break prematurely. Its not likely to be a problem on a chisel
socket, but I think a lot of the time people choose it as "stronger"
when the joined object will in fact be weaker due to differential

In the case of chisels, my basic objection is really a matter of
elegance. There has to be a better, cleaner, more easily reversible way
than resorting to glopped on gunk. Its like any joint: you can fill it
up with wood putty, but thats not elegant. Cut it right to start with. I
figure that with a well-made chisel the handle ought to lock in place
firmly without gunking things up; and if its not a well-made chisel, why
am I messing with it? (Well, I do, all the time, but you get the
principle). Before jumping to the conclusion that the manufacturer
botched the taper of the socket, I first want to make sure that the
problem isn't my workmanship or knowledge. Socket chisels were prime
goods, well-made or else the maker folded. I've bought bad, soft
chisels, but they were always tang chisels, not socket chisels.

I figured: I must be doing something wrong. Bingo: I used the wrong
wood. I figured: there has to be a simpler, less messy, more reversable
fix. A more elegant fix. Well, there was. Epoxy? I sneer. Take that, running-
dog petrochemical capitalist multinational megalithic chemical companies
strangling the freedom and initiative of the small independant

I do beg your pardon, really. Got carried away. Any moment there I might
have started on about "croft-boiled hide glue" and "proud yeomen..."

Tom Conroy

Under sedation in San Francisco. End of the week, nearly. Just as well.

--- On Thu, 8/7/08, James Thompson <jdthompsonca@s...> wrote:

> From: James Thompson <jdthompsonca@s...> Subject: Re: [OldTools] Loose
> chisel fix To: booktoolcutter@y... Date: Thursday, August 7, 2008,
> 2:41 PM At the risk of seeming contrary, I fail to see why it is a
> problem to use epoxy to hold a handle in an intractable socket. I do
> understand the issue of "purity," but I personally find that
> practicality trumps purity.
> I often use epoxy to hold handles in buggered sockets. If ever I need
> to replace the handle, I simply heat the socket with a propane torch,
> and after a short while the handle simply simply falls out. Then I
> replace it. But this is a very rare occurrence.
> I never have the problem of handles falling out on their own. If I
> can't make it fit properly, I just mix up a little epoxy.
> On Aug 7, 2008, at 1:40 PM, Thomas Conroy wrote:
> > The brutal fact is: the handle kept falling out.
> >
> > I toyed with the idea that I was being punished for
> insensitivity in
> > my thoughts. See, a couple of months ago someone wrote
> to the Fine
> > Woodworking questions column about how his socket
> chisel blades kept
> > falling off the handles, and would it be all right to
> epoxy them in?
> > Got an answer back that it would be all right.
> "Yes." I sneered to
> > myself, "if you want to crap up a lot of nice
> tools instead of
> > learning to fit the handles properly. I've never
> had any problem."
> > Teachers, for instance people who answer in question
> columns, should
> > teach better methods of doing things, not encourage
> quick-fix
> > shortcuts that will make proper repair harder. So I
> thought in my
> > orgeuil. And then my new handle started falling out.
> Ye who would
> > sneer at loose chisels, I now thought, will be
> punished with loose
> > chisels. I thought of maybe gluing shavings of a
> softer wood onto
> > the handle and fitting those to the socket, to provide
> the bit of
> > "give" that was lacking. Thought again: it seemed way too
> > complicated.


Related Messages
ID From Date Subject
181955 Thomas Conroy <booktoolcutter@y. Aug-07-2008 Loose chisel fix
181956 "Bill Taggart" <wtaggart@c...> Aug-07-2008 RE: Loose chisel fix
181957 James Thompson <jdthompsonca@s.. Aug-07-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
181958 Thomas Conroy <booktoolcutter@y. Aug-07-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
181959 Thomas Conroy <booktoolcutter@y. Aug-07-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
181960 Spike Cornelius <spikethebike@c. Aug-07-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
181961 James Thompson <jdthompsonca@s.. Aug-07-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
181966 "Jeff Gorman" <amgron@c...> Aug-08-2008 RE: Loose chisel fix
181974 Thomas Conroy <booktoolcutter@y. Aug-08-2008 RE: Loose chisel fix
181976 Spike Cornelius <spikethebike@c. Aug-08-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
181978 scott grandstaff <scottg@s...> Aug-08-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
182010 paul womack <pwomack@p...> Aug-11-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
182084 Tom Price <tomprice03@g...> Aug-15-2008 Re: Loose chisel fix
182085 "Bill Taggart" <wtaggart@c...> Aug-15-2008 RE: Loose chisel fix