I am not relishing the idea of doing this, as I have learned the hard way as a kid NOT to wreck the handles on my axes and mauls, but the firewood I get is pretty gnarly and I have been losing little chips of my handles now and then. Good axe handles are impossible to find and what ones I have, I need to protect.
The wwod that I get is pretty bottom of the barrel, from fence and ditch rows and would be burned in a pile if I didn't get it. I will not cut large, straight oals and hickories like I was privileged to as a kid, so gone are the days of easy-splitting wood.
What I get into is wood that doesn't split straight across, rather the slit is often jagged and the "jag" ends up under the handle. It is not always possible to split at the front edge to avoid this and the problem is unpredictable. So, with the cast-off wood that I am using, I need to protect the portion of the handle just below the head.
Again, I hate to do this, as to me, from my notions developed as a kid, this is the sign of a careless axe-man. The "hacks" would wrap their handles in wire and electrical tape and wail away. Didn't keep them from breaking handles, but they tried.
So, if I am going to make this walk of shame, what suggestions does anyone have that wouldn't look quite so shameful.
Now, if anyone here wraps their handles with wire and electrical tape, I apologize. Again, this was a method I came to associate with the less than careful crowd who also did other things, like tear up farmers' lanes and not pile their brush, cut trees they weren't supposed to, etc. It has no real reflection on anyone outside a small culture in a different time and a different pocket of the sticks that seems today no more than a paragraph in a Stephen King short story.
Good post Jeff,
I feel your pain
If you ever have a reason to travel over Erie Co. way I can fix you up with some Ash or Hickory staves to make your own handle.
Busted the haft on my first real axe within a week exactly that way. The second axe has a metal sleeve for this reason.
Try this company for high quality, low cost tool handles:
I've been happy with their service.
I worked in Sandusky for eight years and a very good friend lives in Huron. I have reaosn to get over that way. Would be nice to neet a fellow forum-member. That friend from Huron and I pick cold, wet , sloppy days to head over to the Milan Area just to pitch a tarp, make coffee and enjkoy being miserable.
Originally Posted by sotramk
Thanks for the info, guys. I will check these resources out.
I'm a hack heavy-guage copper wire wrap man myself.
If you are looking for something a bit less noticeable, why not fiberglass it.
You can get fiberglass mat and resin from most auto parts stores or boating supply stores. Very easy to apply and shape.
Originally Posted by wolfy
I certainly mean no offense to anyone who has the good sense to take care of their tools. Copper wire would look much more dignified than what I saw as a kid though.
You might be surprised at the protective qualities of a paracord whip around the base of the head. This one has a hard life but the wrap has kept it going through thick and thin.
Easy, cheap, and effective. Maybe not too pretty but...
If I remember correctly I took some strands out of this but has been on for a year.
You can make a pretty durable guard out of rawhide, and it doesn't look too bad.