Handles take a real beating. With constant usage, exposure to the elements, and the tough jobs being performed, track tool handles become loose or can break.  Keep your tools safe, comfortable, and performing their best by replacing the handles regularly. Follow these 12 easy steps to have your tools back up and working as quickly as possible.

Note: The instructions apply to drive on handles. For slip on handles used with tools such as picks and adzes, drive out the old handle, slip head onto new handle, and tap firmly on a solid base until a tight fit is achieved. These instructions are in compliance to AREMA 6.6.5. ALWAYS wear personal protective equipment.

Reminder: ALWAYS wear personal protective equipment.

PPE

 

1. Remove ‘old’ handle by sawing close to the tool head

handle      handle removal

 

2. Place the tool on a proper support and drive out the part of handle remaining in the eye from the side opposite the wedges. We recommend the HRT01 handle removal tool.

Drive the 2 steel wedges in center of eye. The steel wedge may be either circular or flat. If flat, it is to be driven at right angle to wooden wedge. Drive wedge flush with the tool. Be careful of glancing blow that may cause the steel wedge to chip or mushroom.       handle removal

 

3. Clean the Eye. Check inside for pieces of the old handle and for any damage to the tool

handle removal

 

4. Select the CORRECT replacement handle. Do not use a handle if it is not the right size or shape

replacement handle

 

5. Partially insert the handle into the eye to check for proper fit. Check to see if the handle and tool come into contact on the entire circumference of the eye.

handle replacement

 

6. Lubricate the eye portion of the handle. Waterless hand cleaner or another lubricant (or a crayon) may be used.

handle removal

 

7. Install the handle. Place the tool on a proper support so eye portion of handle can be driven through the tool to ensure a tight fit. Drive the handle on tight.  Be careful not to drive the handle to a point where the back side of the tool cuts deeply into the handle. This will damage the handle and could lead to the handle failing.

 

8. The collar of the handle should be approximately 3/4- 1 inch from the tool.

handle removal      handle removal

 

9. After the handle has been seated properly, cut off the excess of the handle sticking out from the eye flush with the tool.

handle removal      handle removal

 

10. Open the slot in the tool handle in the eye of the tool with a chisel or similar tool.

handle removal

 

11. Drive a wood wedge into the slot as deeply as is possible. Saw off wedge flush with head

handle removal      handle removal

 

12. Drive the 2 steel wedges in center of eye. The steel wedge may be either circular or flat. If flat, it is to be driven at right angle to wooden wedge. Drive wedge flush with the tool. Be careful of glancing blow that may cause the steel wedge to chip or mushroom.

handle removal      handle removal

 

This is what the finished installation should look like:

finished result pic edit