Wood Handles

No, we do not sell wood handles. It’s just a hobby, that’s all.

July 2009 update: some Clever Collegians have worked out what to do about worn out handles… MAYBE. (link here)

Finding Replacement Wooden Handles is a real problem. I have two sizes of handles in my own collection–one size about 6 inches for small pots and one size about 8 inches for fry pans. The size of the threads (the screw tip) on the handle is the same for either size in my collection. I have two styles of handle, both with metal hanging rings. There was a third style during the Japanese manufacturing period.

When the threads wear out, it’s possible to re-attach the handle using a high temp epoxy product like J-B Weld– but unless you work really hard on your repair technique, the piece will have the handle permanently attached. That means no more dishwasher!! No more Oven!!

Le Creuset has modern Black Phenolic replacement handles, but they are at best a VERY imperfect fit. I haven’t tried one as I don’t like the look.

Perhaps the best alternative is to look for a cheaper piece on ebay, but DO make sure that you see a photo of the wooden threads on the handle’s end. You really should see that detail before you buy. I see pieces with wood handles costing less than $25 including shipping with some regularity. The best case would be a piece where the enamel is damaged, but the handle is still good.

19 Responses to Wood Handles

  1. Michaela says:

    Thank you for this handle repair information! To have my pan back, I can easily live with hand washing it! Appreciatively, to be sure, MC

  2. Neil says:

    Great site, thanks. I am helping my parents clear out old pots and pans and came across a large flame frying pan that my mother told me she bought new. Checking here about it was very helpful and it will stay a permanent fixture in the kitchen. Handle is in perfect condition by the way.

  3. Cliff says:

    Wood handle question, if you don;t mind …

    What kind of wood do you recommend for repeated washing snd heating?
    I’ve a 11″ oak handle that lasted 10 years on a well used aluminum skillet, it has a brass pin,but has cracked,internal pressure, even tho’ it had an ebony minwax stain and coats of waterproof urethane. I need to fabricate this because it is a Danish cast 2 sided grid/flat skillet, and requires a flat , symmetrical almost Shaker styled, modern handle. I can get, use exotic or domestic specie, just wondered what is most durable for repeated heating, cooling, and water spray..

  4. Kevin says:

    Hey Cliff

    Probably the best hint for choosing material would be to follow the trail of boat builders. While it’s best to remove the handle and wipe–not wash, that might not be practical with your piece. I do know an old sailor’s trick that will get you a better finish: dilute any surface coatings with thinner for better absorption.

  5. Candy Eve says:

    Care of the wooden handles:

    I coat the wooden parts with food grade MINERAL OIL, sold as a laxative at CVS and other drug stores, and it is the best for wooden spatulas and spoons and cutting boards and the like. (Non-food grade is actually baby OIL but has fragrance in it. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t season with it!)

    Cover the wood parts with aluminum foil after coating. Put the shiny side of the foil out, so it reflects more of the heat. Put the pan in the oven at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes. The foil keeps it from overheating or burning.

    WORKS GREAT! Makes the handles look almost new!

    I use mineral oil with all my cutting boards and wooden spoons and the like, but if it is all wood I only heat to 200 degrees, and don’t use the foil.

    Candy Eve

  6. LELAND says:


  7. LELAND says:


  8. Nic Perrotta says:

    If the threads are not shot completely try soaking (threads only) in water for a while. This expands the wood & it just might do the trick like it did for my large saucepan.

    It the handle seems loose, it might be due to the handle coming into contact with the pan before getting tight. I cut off a wee amount from the end of my handle & it was a done deal. Worked like magic.

  9. Tim says:

    I tried the broom handle trick a few years ago with disappointing results. I’ve just limped along without a handle since (and developed excellent left hand grip strength. In a moment of inspiration I tried again last night with my toddlers play mop handle from Schylling. It’s a perfect fit! The inspiration came when I noticed the threads on my son’s mop handle where finer than standard “American” or “Acme” handle threads. Near as I can tell my son’s mop uses the tapered “Italy” or “Italian” broom thread. The 3/4″ dia. mop handle leaves a gap at the opening of the handle stub of my large skillet/saute pan so I have been searching the internet for a die that will cut Italian broom thread, so I can make my own thicker handles, with no luck. Taps and dies for wooden threads are everywhere but nothing that will cut tapered thread. Any leads to lay hands on a cottage version of an apparently strictly industrial die would be greatly appreciated by many! (c:

  10. Barbara says:

    The handle is loose from my mom’s large saute pan. Otherwise the handle and pan are in terrific condition. How would you suggest I glue the handle back in? I would never use this pan in the oven or wash it in a dishwasher, so that’s not a problem. (Owing to its size and weight, it would need two handles to be a usable oven pan).

  11. Adrian says:

    Last week at a swap meet in L.A. I came across a large box of orange flame descoware/13pcs in all including two extra wood handles,one shorter than the other.I paid $25.00,what luck,needless to say they are absolutley gourgeus.If I don’t use the handles maybe I can work something out with somebody with acouple of 6 1/2 & 8 1/2pot lids I need.I’m also a sailor who has extensive knowledge of working w/ wood as well as molding epoxie.The metal handles can have removeablewood pcs. again.

  12. Adrian says:

    As a wooden boat restorer I use alot of epoxy for glueing wood/metal/plastic/building up and molding surfases for instalation of just about everything that goes onaboat.Epoxy is great for taking up slack in loose conections as well as making them much stronger.It will penatrate into wood remold itself to the shape its applied to,like theinside of a metal pot handle.Clean all surfaces,coat inside of metal pot handle LIBERALLY with mold release wax,coat threads of wood handle with 30min. epoxy from .99 store mixed with finley ground sawdust to make awet paste don’tovercoat its better to rebuild the threads in2/3 tries even if there are no thread the inside metal threads will mold new ones inseveral tries.Insert wooden handle ,screw it in all the way but not tootightly.Clean up all excess epoxy from handle/pot.Wait the prescribed curing time.Handle may be hard to unscrew,if so cover with atowel and use channel lock or pipe wrench. Don’t scrrath it. Good luck! It works for me.

  13. shizzknits says:

    I just recently found some Descoware at an Estate sale and have fallen in love with this cookware! I also found a seller on Etsy who makes wooden handles! http://www.etsy.com/listing/68947145/black-walnut-hardwood-replacement-handle?ref=sr_gallery_1&ga_search_submit=&ga_search_query=descoware&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade
    Perfect for the skillet I found that was missing its handle!

  14. lambretta says:

    Thanks for all the tips, I used the end of a clean wooden toilet plunger and it fits nicely. I lightly sand it and stain it in dark walnut color… it look great.

  15. Toby says:

    Thank you to Shizzknits for recommending my handles on Etsy. I do make Descoware replacements handles in every shape & size. We have found one universal handle that seems to fit most pots & pans. Every handle is hand-lathed out of hardwood and finished in a warm oil rub. These are made to last (just as long as they’re not put in the dishwasher). You are welcome to purchase from my Etsy store or contact me directly at artisansofumpqua@live.com for a discounted price. Thanks! Toby

  16. Candy says:

    I found a damaged Descoware pan, pitted in the pan itself, but it had a beautiful, perfect handle! So, for a few bucks, I have a great handle. First one I have actually seen that fits those pots that have missing handles…. I am not sure if the pan is safe to cook on. It is not just the enamel that is bad. It looks like they gauged chunks out of the inside of the cast iron, under the grey enamel. Wonder if the MRS, hit the MR over the head with this pan???

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  18. Toby says:

    We have opened a shop on Etsy dedicated specifically to Descoware replacement handles (previously sold through Artisans of Umpqua). Check us out at http://www.descowarelove.etsy.com and share your Descoware story with us. The history & heritage of our customer’s Descoware pieces never cease to warm our hearts.

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