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How to replace a wooden maul handle

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Repairing your maul with Wonkee Donkee's step-by-step instructions. Maintaining your maul. Replacing a maul handle The following guide aims to provide help with changing a loose, worn or broken paver’s maul handle without causing damage to your new handle, your tools or yourself.

Replacing a handle may take time but it will certainly save you money and gives you the perfect excuse to work on your DIY skills.

Self amalgamating tape. Mammoth SOS pipe repair tape. If your handle is rough to the touch, then repair it with waterproof grip tape or self amalgamating tape, to give you a stronger grip as well as protection against wear and tear.

However, you should replace the paver’s maul handle if it is splintered, broken or loose as a damaged handle is dangerous to use.

Removing a wooden handle secured with a wedge

Secure paver's maul in a vice

Step 1 – Secure in vice

Secure the maul head in a vice, protecting the head. Use a fine-toothed hand saw to cut off the old handle as close to the head as possible without damaging it.

Remove old maul handle using a hammer and punch

Step 2 – Remove remaining handle

Remove the remainder of the handle with a hammer and a punch or a large bolt. This should ease out after a few taps with the hammer.

Drill a series of holes to remove maul handle

Step 3 – Loosen stubborn handle

To loosen a stubborn piece of handle, use a drill with a 6mm (¼ inch) drill bit and drill through the wood several times. Then use a hammer and punch to drive out the remainder. Once this is removed, clean the eye of the paver’s maul head and remove any debris.

Removing a wooden handle fastened with glue

Drill out majority of handle. Remove remainder with hammer and chisel
Repeat steps 1 to 3 above, drilling as much of the heandle out using a 6mm or larger drill bit to ease out the glued in wood. Use a chisel to chip away any remaining material and glue. Clean the eye of the head thoroughly.

Fitting the new wooden paver’s maul handle

Use a rasp of file to adjust maul handle to fit

Step 4 – Adjust handle to fit

Before you begin, check the new maul handle for size. Most replacement handles will not be a perfect fit and should be larger than required.

Use a wood rasp or file to adjust the handle to fit into the eye of the maul head, removing excess wood as necessary. The top of the handle should be tapered gradually ready to drive into the eye later; use the original shape of your new handle as a guide.

Periodically check the handle for fit into the paver's maul head

Step 5 – Check fit

Regularly try the handle for size to avoid taking off too much material. Aim for a tight push fit.

Maul head must be set perpendicular to handle

Step 6 – Insert handle

Insert the handle into the eye. Make sure the striking surface of the maul head is perpendicular or at right angles to the handle.

There should be a length of handle protruding through the head. If, however, it extends more than about 13mm (½ inch), saw off this extra.

Wonkee Donkee says "To drive the handle into the head, hold the maul upright and give it a few gentle raps at the bottom of the handle on a solid work surface.  This will avoid splitting the wood."

Drive wooden wedge into new maul handle

Step 7 – Drive in wooden wedge

Replacement handles are usually accompanied with both a metal and a wooden wedge. If only a metal wedge is supplied, follow the instructions from step 8.

Once the handle is held firmly in the eye of the head, drive the wooden wedge into the slot with a mallet. This should be in the same direction as the head.

Note: You may need to open the wedge slot with a chisel (or create a new slot if you needed to trim the handle in which case use the cutoff as a guide).

Remove excess maul handle with a fine toothed saw

Step 8 – Saw off protruding handle

Saw off any protruding length of handle including wooden wedge, if used, until it is almost flush with the head. Use a fine-toothed saw to avoid damaging the maul head. Finish off with sandpaper for a clean finish.

Drive metal wedge into the end of handle perpendicular to the maul head to secure

Step 9 – Insert metal wedge

It is important that the metal wedge is inserted. This ensures that the wooden handle expands to fit tightly in the eye of the maul head. Drive the metal wedge into the centre of the handle and perpendicular to the maul head.

Check that the handle is secure – if so, your maul is now ready to use.