Ash for tool handle.

When you make a handle for a tool such as a garden hoe and choose ash... is the strength of a sapling close the diameter required similar to the strength of a blank cut from a mature tree?
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sbnjhfty wrote:

I guess no, because the innermost core (pith and heartwood)is weaker, than the outermost layers. Furthermore, I don't think you could find saplings straight enough so that having a similar diameter to a handle that would suffice.
Think of turning the trunk of your tree into dimensional lumber with your bandsaw or adze. Then cutting it into "long french fries" which you could smoothe with your spokeshave. You had better season the wood before you get that far though... Disclaimer: I've never done any of this sort of work.
Bill
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That is absolutely the way that garden and agricultural tools were always made, out of round wood just cut at the right thickness and length. Strength is probably better than wood which has been sawn to size because the grain will go straight down the piece.
Tim W
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No, but it's probably usable.
The traditional method is not to simply use such a sapling, though I'm sure the same folks that repair their cars with duct-tape now did that then. It's a quick expedient if you don't have the right thing on hand, but it's more likely to break in use.
However, the good handles are not _sawn_ from the tree - they are split (riven) from the tree. A froe is the tool of choice, but you can use wedges. Spit into equal halves or the split will tend to run out the side of the blank on the light side. Thus, split in half, split the halves into quarters, and if those are too big split them into eighths (which you will normally then want to split the point off of if looking for handle stock.) A straight log is obviously helpful. Logs that quarter into handle-stock are easy to find in trees that need to be thinned if lumber is desired from the stand, or a patch of handle-sized trees can be maintained, if you have enough need for them.
After that, attack with drawknife and spokeshave, and then install on rake/hoe/etc. with proper grain orientation. A handy clamp for handles and other long round work can be made form a pair of pegs set into a post - pressure on the work holds it in place.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

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On Jan 2, 1:40 pm, Ecnerwal

Some infroemation. http://stonehead.wordpress.com/2006/06/29/great-tool-for-splitting-wood /
R
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Just a point: All ash trees are not created equal. You want white ash for handles and for stair rails, not black ash. Black ash is much a much weaker wood. About the only thing I know of to use it for is splits for baskets. Never tried to use green ash for anything. We have a lot of black ash around here. Only the occasional white ash. Wish it was the other way around.
Pete Stanaitis -------------------
sbnjhfty wrote:

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William Morris, Victorian designer craftsman and visionary socialist wrote a utopian fantasy of a man who falls asleep in the late 19th Century and wakes up in the early 21st. The people he meets tell him about the terrible de-skilling which took place as a result of over industrialisation [quote]
...by that time it was as much as-or rather, more than-a man could do to fix an ash pole to a rake by handiwork; so that it would take a machine worth a thousand pounds, a group of workmen, and half a day's travelling, to do five shillings' worth of work. [end quote]
It's happened.
Tim W
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I hate it when I have trouble with my ash pole but I would dred the day a a group of workmen would be involved with it.
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On Tue, 4 Jan 2011 15:32:51 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"

It's an ash pole, you're doing something wrong.
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