Making Wooden Tool Handles from Trees

One of my goals is to be able to make handles from wood that I cut down.  I have a couple of small black walnuts that need to be cut down and a shag bark hickory that was damage in a storm.  The tool I don’t have yet is a froe, which is used to split out blanks from a round log and a shaving horse will make the process easier, but not required.  I have a draw knife that might be older than me so I do have to figure out how to sharpen it.

My plan is to cut lengths at about 6′, 4′ and 2′ and split out some handle blanks.  This will cover the lengths of everything from a rake or hoe to a hammer.  They will need to be seasoned of course and that means coating the ends so they don’t dry to quickly and cause the wood to split.  There is something called Anchorseal that the lumber industry uses to for this purpose, but hobbyist also just use exterior grade latex paint.

Having a stock of handle material air-drying is an investment that every homesteader should do it they can.  From what amounts to a chunk of firewood you can get a valuable resource for next to no money.  Consider it an investment in future tool needs.