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Years ago, Hardeeville, S.C., farrier Steve Prescott didn’t set out to craft his own wood tool handles — it just happened out of necessity. Newly relocated to the Palmetto State, he moved away from his local supply shop. This forced him to be creative with the tools he uses.
While at Home Depot looking for hammer handles, he happened to go down the trim aisle and came across 1-by-2-inch pieces of oak, which sell for less than a dollar per linear foot. He bypassed the hand-tool aisle and instead bought a section of the oak trim.
“I thought that the longest I’ll even need for my handle is 18 inches, so I’d be out a dollar and a half,” he recalls. “That’s considerably cheaper than what a handle costs. Of course, it helps that I already have all the tools, like a grinder, at home to shape and clean these up. I started playing around with that and it has worked out great.”
A look at a hammer after Steve Precott made its handle.
Prescott measures the length he needs for the handle on the existing tool (Figure 1). After he cuts an appropriate length (Figure 2), he will begin shaping the handle. To save time, Prescott advises using a band saw to remove excess wood.
“You can run down the edge quickly and preshape before you put it in the hammer head. You will save much more time than if you simply try to sand it…