Working ash for tool handles

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slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,125
179
Devon
After finding one of those rare 'round tuits' I've finally managed to make a shave horse (christened Wilkinson for obvious reasons).

So, I can now start making some tool handles for the various hammers, axes etc that need new handles.

I find green ash wood much easier to work so can I rough out the handles in freshly cut ash and leave them to season or is it best to either leave the logs cut to length to season or to cleave blanks from the logs and leave those?
 

Dave Budd

Gold Trader
Staff member
Jan 8, 2006
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Dartmoor (Devon)
www.davebudd.com
yep. rough them out, but make sure they are oversized on the eye ends ;) Also leave them a bit long so that you can cut off any checked areas. Sometimes they will warp a bit, but you can either work with it or just resign the bent handle to the wirefood pile.

I've managed to be organised enough to make handles green maybe twice in 15 years of doing this full time. Mostly I do everything with the ash fully seasoned though. Yes it is harder to carve, but then I have very sharp tools
 
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slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,125
179
Devon
Thanks Dave, I was planning on leaving them oversized to cater for warping and splits.

It's not really a matter of being organised but rather I'm felling some ash and I don't have room to store loads of logs for handles. I'd rather split and roughly shape stuff now so I have some ready to go when needed.

I also want to have a good store of ash handles before the ash all disappears - loads of dieback around here.