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I can't figure out a reliable way to re-mount this pick handle.  This is a small pick (USA quarter on left, Australia 1943 penny on right, for scale).  You can see what I tried -- wooden wedge in the long direction and steel wedge in the short direction.  This didn't hold worth a nickel.

Given that this design has been in use for well over a century there must be a solution.  I can't be the first person to have this issue.  (I looked online without success.)  Any advice is appreciated.

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Hate to say it GB but that handle is beyond remount.  The wood is all split out in the head and no amount of wedging will make it stable becaus each of those splits is now an individual fiber and will shift and split further each time you strike with it.  The wedges will always loosen up again. Your doing it right but its the handle that will never hold.

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1 hour ago, DDancer said:

Hate to say it GB but that handle is beyond remount.

Well, the good news is that I picked up a new (i.e. unused) handle at a gem & minerals show a year or two back.  So you're saying that will hold if I use the same mounting technique?  I'm accustomed to hammer handles that either have a shoulder and/or are tapered the opposite direction.  But what you say makes a lot of sense, and as I was aware, this design has worked for many decades under difficult conditions.

Thanks for the quick response.  I'll see if can avoid messing up with the new handle.

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Is this intended to be used or a wall hanger?  Either way...only thing I can think of is to firmly smack head down on cement to force head on handle as best you can then soak in a light oil like hydraulic oil to expand what little the old shot handle has left?  Doubt it'll be usable but who knows?  Soaking in oil it won't dry out and shrink back as fast as water does and any petroleum product eventually rots out wood but the handle is toast anyways?

My falling axe handle has shrunk and the head has been loose for years now.  Being I'm cheap, no longer fall timber for a living, and only firewood once in awhile, I just soak my axe for a couple hrs. in water before I go out to cut wood....  Been limping along like this for years...lol

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5 minutes ago, oneguy said:

Is this intended to be used or a wall hanger?

Hey!  I'm offended by that question (or more accurately, my antique pick is offended).  :biggrin:  I do collect a lot of old things, including tools, but 99% of the tools I also use or at least have them ready for service.  This is a family heirloom so it's a backup for taking out into the gold fields, but I'm going to try it on some stubborn crushed stone or gravel walkways locally (coin hunting).  It would make a decent display item but I have more strenuous tasks in mind.

You probably wrote this before you saw my followup post that I have a replacement handle already.  Thanks for the tip of soaking the old one in oil if I didn't have a better option.

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For  picks like this we used to grab them by the handle like a post hole digger,

then smack the head of the handle down on a rock or concrete.

Hard! More than once... maybe even till you can see it shaving the wood off the handle as it goes on.


Then put your wedge in.

 Then you hang it on the wall and grab your CC pick and go detecting...🤠

 cheers 

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Clean up all the surfaces, and try using the Gorilla brand epoxy to fill in all the voids. Not the glue, but the 2 part epoxy they sell. It doesn't get as brittle as some epoxys and bonds well. I use it on all the picks I make with good success.

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A tappered pick handle doesn't have a wedge in it, the pick is mean't to stay on by friction once you hit it down on a hard surface a few times. Get a wood rasp and take off all the high spots till you get a snug fit ALL around the handle in contact with the pick head. No oil to make it slippery.     

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Your Family Heirloom is a US Military trenching pick. They are designed to be able to easily remove the handle from the iron pick. The Army made a belt holder for that particular pick. The holder has a place for the handle and another for the pick part. The pick is supposed to be slid over the handle and then the whole thing is smacked on the ground with the handle sticking up to temporarily attach the pick to the handle. Turn the pick so the pick is at the top with the handle poing down to remove the handle. You have some good ideas above if you really want to make the handle permanent. 

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