Knock the old handle out, then epoxy the new handle in place
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Photo 1: Drill out the handle
Cut off the old handle just above the tool head. Open the jaws
of a vise wider than the remaining wooden handle plug and rest
the ends of the tool head on the vise jaws. Drill 1/4-in. holes in the
wooden handle plug until it looks like Swiss cheese (drill around the
metal wedge in the center of the plug).
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Photo 2: Persuade the wooden plug
from the top of the
tool head with a
hammer and the
biggest bolt you can
find in your shop or
garage. It takes a
couple of good
whacks with a hammer
to get the plug
started (so take a big
swing), but once you
get it going it'll push
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Fiberglass replacement handle
The handle core of the fiberglass replacement handle fits into the head after the head is cleaned and sanded.
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Photo 3: Insert the handle
Clean the inside of the eyehole with sandpaper
or a copper fitting brush. The scuffed surface helps the epoxy bond. Insert the handle
core into the tool eyehole until the top is flush (Photo
4). Seal the gap between the handle and head with the
supplied caulking cord sealer to keep the epoxy from
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Mix the contents of the epoxy packet thoroughly before pouring.
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Photo 4: Pour the epoxy
Mix up the epoxy packet for at least two minutes
until the color is completely uniform. Cut a
corner off the bag and pour the epoxy around
the top of the new handle. If
epoxy leaks out around the
caulking cord sealer,
press the sealer into
the seam until
When you're swinging a big-impact
tool like an ax, maul or
sledgehammer, every miss takes its toll
on the handle. Eventually the handle
will break or the tool head will loosen.
Replacement wooden handles secured
with wedges are OK, but for a few
dollars more you can buy a replacement
fiberglass handle that could still be
swinging in 100 years. The kit contains a
fiberglass handle and an epoxy packet.
The epoxy and hardener are in one
packet with a divider rod in the middle.
When you remove the divider rod, you
can mix the contents without mess
Photos 1 and 2 show how to remove
the most stubborn old handle. Next,
clean the inside of the eyehole (Photo 3).
Epoxy won't bond to rusty or greasy
surfaces. Insert the new handle and
bounce the bottom of the handle on
concrete if you have trouble getting the
top of the handle core flush with the top
of the tool head. If they're still not flush,
file or carve the new handle to fit.
The epoxy mix (Photo 4) will seal all
the gaps between the handle core and
the sledgehammer head, but it must be
thoroughly blended or it won't set up.
The temperature needs to be between
75 and 115 degrees F for proper
curing. Pour the epoxy
between the handle core
and the hammerhead as
shown in Photo 4.
Wipe off any excess
and let it cure for
a week before