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We moved to the desert SW a few years ago and I noticed that the handle on a file has shrunk so that the tang and the ferrule are both loose. I can remove the metal and soak the wood in either water or mineral oil. Which of the two is preferable or is there another better option?
 

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We always kept an old bucket at the wood shed with oil in to set our axe in. Keeps the head tight. If it's already loose it takes awhile to swell tight again. The problem with this is it will dry out if not kept soaked. You really don't want a file handle to be oily all the time. I'd prob. make a new one with wood that's already dried to your areas moisture average.
 

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Here in N. AZ, I used epoxy. Haven't had one come loose in many years.

I recently made oak handles for a bunch of files. I drilled holes a bit smaller than the wide part of the tang. Heated the tangs with a torch and pushed the handles on, burning a path.
 

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Dry here as well, I've been using a wood sweller product called "Chair Loc" for years, It swells the wood's fibers to a tight fit and then drys that way.
File handles, hammer handles, axe handles all stay tight (my humidity meter in my shop is now flashing "L-L" or too low, another in the shop is showing 20%)
 

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Dry here as well, I ve been using a wood sweller product called "Chair Loc" for years, It swells the wood s fibers to a tight fit and then drys that way.
File handles, hammer handles, axe handles all stay tight (my humidity meter in my shop is now flashing "L-L" or too low, another in the shop is showing 20%)

- racerglen
Great product.

+1
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I am going to try the epoxy solution because I have it on hand and I want to use the file today. I will probably pick up some Chair-Loc because LOML's grandfather's Windsor chair needs a little TLC. :)
 

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I think you're going to have to re-handle some of your tools. Soaking in water is only a temporary fix and not a very good one, it actually makes it worse once it shrinks again. I don't think the oil will work either as is doesn't cause the wood fibers to swell. The epoxy will work of course but I bet some of your other tools have this same problem and you may not want to epoxy all of them. Best fix is to make new handles w/ wood that is acclimated to your climate.
 

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Jerry, thank you. You must have some wooden handles that get loose from time to time, what do you do?

- AandCstyle
The only tools with wood handles I have are lathe tools. I have had them for 3 plus years and no problems yet. My sledge hammer is the only tool that concerns me. I keep it outside on a brick floor in the shade, and after 2 years with the new handle, no shrinkage yet.
Where in the SW? ............. Jerry (in Tucson)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the suggestions to turn new handles, but I am a flat wood kind of guy. :) I have been told that turning is a slippery slope and I'm not ready to take that step.

Jerry, I'm in ABQ. I keep the shop between 30-50% humidity, but that is nothing like upstate NY in the summer.
 

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Art,
Being a bit south of you we are a bit dryer then you. I usually get a thin piece of hard wood and glue it in the hole to tighten the piece in. I also sand down the handle and spread some TWP on, it really helps the wood from cracking and splintering. TWP seems to work the best for wood in my area, I use it on anything wood that is in the elements. I live in Las Cruces

BILL
 
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