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Saving a tool by replacing the handle.

Break the handle on a $5 garden tool and you'll probably throw the whole thing away. But if you break the handle on a high-quality tool, you'll want to replace it. The job may seem daunting, but with most tools it really isn't difficult-even for a first-timer. The pictures on these pages show how to do it.

Start by ordering a replacement handle from the supplier that sold you the tool. Price is between $5 and $15, including the rivet that holds the new handle in place.

To get the broken handle off the tool, first secure the tool in a vise (we put leather between tool and vise to prevent scratching). Make a dimple in the center of the old rivet head with a steel punch. Then drill the head off the rivet, using a bit that cuts steel and has a diameter equal to that of the replacement rivet. Tap out the rivet and pull out the old handle.

If the old handle won't twist out, clamp it into the vise and rap sharply with a hammer. In rare cases it may be necessary to drill out the wood.

Now fit the new handle. You may have to file down the end to make it sink as deeply into the steel sleeve as it can go. If you have a handle with a D or Y end, make sure the D or Y is parallel with the blade

of the tool and not angled to the right or the left. On straight handles, when you hold the tool as if to use it, you should see tight vertical graining; broad, more oval graining should be on the sides' of the handle.

When the handle fits tightly in the sleeve, drill a hole for the new rivet. Instead of drilling straight through (and maybe missing the rivet hole on the sleeve's other

side), drill halfway through one side of the handle, flip the tool over, and drill halfway through from the other side.

Then put in your new rivet and use a ballpeen hammer to pound the headless end into a mushroom-shaped head. You can smooth out the newly pounded rivet head with a file, then clean up scarring done by the hammer with a wire brush. Finally, treat the handle with wood preservative. o

1. Drill head off old rivet. The drill

hole will be about 118 inch deep,

just enough to remove head

2. Tap out old rivet, using a steel

punch. Remove broken handle by

twisting while pulling

3. Push new handle into steel sleeve,-

drill rivet hole through wood. Use

sleeve's old rivet holes as guides

4. Insert rivet; smash headless

end into mushroom shape with

ball-peen hammer

5. Wipe down new handle with linseed

or other furniture oil to preserve it.

Repeat at least once a year
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1989
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