Anyone feel like making a hatchet handle?

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by Phisikos, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Phisikos

    Phisikos Scout

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    So I've been working on restoring/acid etching this old hatchet head and the metal work part of things is finished up... I have a couple pieces of red oak I harvested a while back from a sick young tree a while back and as much as I want to actually make the handle for this... I simply do not have the tools... if I make it I'll have to rough it out with another hatchet and then use an angle grinder.... maybe I can do something decent but I'm fairly certain it won't be straight.

    I don't have much to spend but I'd certainly be willing to pay for someone's time, it would at least be cool if I could say that I cut the wood myself. I could ship the original handle along with the pieces I have to someone willing to do it. Would just want a plain unfinished handle, 14" total length, and I could work on things from there.

    If anyone is interested post/pm! Thanks
     
  2. feellnfroggy

    feellnfroggy Guide

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    PM brassaxe. I haven't seen him in a while, but he made some of the awesomest handles.
     
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  3. Timtay

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    I'm not sure what your time-frame is, but if nobody steps up and you don't need it for a month or two I'd be happy to make your handle. I have three others that I need to do first and only get less than a day a week, so progress is slow lol.

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  4. Phisikos

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    Tim that's pretty much exactly what I was looking for. That said I happened to be at Ace hardware today and couldn't help but notice that they had exactly what I was looking for for 8$ so I caved!

    Rather than making a separate thread to ask, I find myself wondering about a couple things before securing the head to its new home- shoukd i use just a wooden wedge or a metal one as well? Should i do anything to protecr the inside of the bit like wax it? (Its old and theres a bit of rust that i couldnt get completely off) and is there an ideal epoxy product I can use to fill the small gaps? I've got it fit pretty tightly but the top was tapered slightly so it leaves a bit of open space and I'd like this thing to last a very long time.

    Ill check out the bushclass lesson on this for these answers but fogured Id throw my concerns here as well
     
  5. Timtay

    Timtay Scout

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  6. Phisikos

    Phisikos Scout

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Its pretty snug, has a little bit of movement but of course it has no wedge yet so im feeling good. Just wanna make sure to fill every bit of it. Ill check out that other info!

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  7. Chevrolet4x4s

    Chevrolet4x4s Guide

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    In my opinion there is too much gap to safely fill with anything. Depending on how much it is tapered on down the haft you may be able to seat the head further down the haft and salvage the handle.

    Shane
     
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  8. Gunut

    Gunut Tracker

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    Looks like too much gap front to back.
     
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  9. Phisikos

    Phisikos Scout

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    Not disagreeing with either of you guys as im the novice here, but id say it has about a millimeter of movement along that axis and zero movement side to side. Was also thinking about seating it a little further down

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  10. j_d

    j_d Scout

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    Not criticizing but that is a lot of gap still. I havent made my own but the handles I have had done I expect to be a lot tighter. Keep in mind your millimeter of movement is now, before lots and lots of force is applied. Best of luck either way. Keep us posted.
     
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  11. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Scout

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    ... mabe 1 or 2 cross wedges?

    I came across a more than usual tapered eye... Still less gap.

    Dont worry, after a few, you will get the hang of it. ;)
     
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  12. Phisikos

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    I see what you did there! Im going to see this through and if it works out great, but regardless its a nice learning experience, next time i wont be so aggressive in removong material. If it feels like catastrophic and sudden failure is possible I wont even attempt to use it but otherwise I don't expect any sudden issues so we'll give it a shot. 2 cross wedges seems like a good call

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  13. Chevrolet4x4s

    Chevrolet4x4s Guide

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    Wasn't there a safety wedge way back that was shaped like an upsidedown L that went all the way through the head and attached to the handle with tacks?
    Shane
     
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  14. highlander

    highlander Supporter Supporter

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    Some Russian or European axes have an L-shaped wedge like that. My suggestion is that of some of the others is the it looks like a lot of gap. You could try one of those round wedges that spreads the haft in all four directions after you drive a good thick wedge in the kerf. Council tool uses them, and they sell them at most hardware stores. Those round wedges are less likely to split the wood. In regards to protecting the inside of the eye, soak the haft in boiled linseed oil and the wooden wedge as well. A good liberal coating will protect the haft.
     
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  15. highlander

    highlander Supporter Supporter

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    IMG_0959.JPG This is the type of wedge I'm talking about.
    Also seating it down a little further would help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  16. Phisikos

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    Excellent, i will definitely look for a wedge like that- if i cant find it do you think 2 flat wedges would have the same effect? I've seen a few that have used 2 of those. I worked it down a bit further as well


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  17. j_d

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    I saw what you did there.
     
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  18. highlander

    highlander Supporter Supporter

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    I would try one cross wedge first if you can't find the round safety wedges. If you use the flat wedge don't drive it straight in drive it in a diagonal like this > /
     
  19. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Scout

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    Ooooh, this can become a back and forth game! that is soo "rakers attitude"

    Edit:
    i like phisikos attitude of keeping his "eye" open for good info. Dont lose your head!

    I bet at the end, its gona be a very nice axe. Its gona BLO my mind!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  20. j_d

    j_d Scout

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    This is a great project you are gonna haft to post some pics of the finished work.
     
  21. Phisikos

    Phisikos Scout

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    Ohh what has become of my thread??? Any thoughts on Danish oil? I want to add a little stain to it and the Danish oil is readily available in color at depo. Im all for cutting out steps but if that stuff is no good ill do what i haft to

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  22. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Scout

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    Sorry....

    Hehem. Danish oil is 2 parts oil, one part varnish, or 1/3 oil,1/3thinner,1/3 varnish.

    The point is that its gona have a thickness to it. The gurus around here seems to agree that varnish increases the potential for blisters.

    The good news is that i never had any reaction with blo on any staining. Just let the stain dry completely before oiling. You can buy any stain or make your own...coffee grounds, tea, vinegroon, nutshell...
     
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  23. Phisikos

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    Got stain and linseed as well as another steel wedge, can't seem to find the round ones anywhere but i actually have 3 now.. only intend to use 2 though. Ill follow Tim's direction from the other thread on staining and oiling so as not to BLO it

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  24. Timtay

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    Nice to see you've got a handle on the project so far, keep us in the loop!

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  25. Phisikos

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    Glad to see you are keeping an eye on this! Any advice for getting BLO to dry in a cold house? I burned some patterns into the handle and gave the stain a few days and its looking good... but I understand cold and BLO arent a great mix. Should i haft before i oil it? Will the BLO cause any damage to the axe bit?

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  26. Phisikos

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    [​IMG]

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  27. Timtay

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    Hang the head first. Once that is all squared away, follow whatever directions you like for applying the oil, then put it in the warmest part of the house you can find to let it cure. I have a giant heat register I set mine on for a few days. Luckily, my wife allows it! Make sure to do a heavy application on the top of the haft and the wedge. When you do the final wipe down to remove the excess oil, wipe that rag all over your axe head, it'll help prevent rust.

    Tim

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  28. Phisikos

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    Thanks again Tim, looking forward to getting it hung. I'll be sure to set the wedges diagonally as others have mentioned. I hope this isnt neccessary but find myself wondering.. is it ever acceptable to use 3 wedges? Don't think i have ever seen this, just curious

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  29. Phisikos

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    [​IMG]

    Id have liked the front to fill in a bit better but it feels really tight and solid. I planned to use 2 steel wedges but the ones i was going to use were a bit larger than i realized so i just used my other one

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  30. Timtay

    Timtay Scout

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    That filled in an awful lot nicer than it appeared from your first pictures, nice work!

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  31. Phisikos

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    Thanks! I was thinking.. if i were to notch a nail so it can't slide out, would it be a bad idea to hammer it in towards the front as an additional pin? Its still a bit open up there and I'd like to do the best job possible

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  32. Timtay

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    Please don't drive nails into the top of the handle. If it's tight now, try it for a while. If it loosens up, you can drive the head further down the handle and try to tighten it again. If that fails, just do another handle. :)

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  33. Phisikos

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    Alrighty glad i asked! If you look closely i actually split a small piece of another wedge off to fill in the front a bit. I did it more to fill the space than anything else, i do not think itll have any movement regardless but didnt want dirt/water getting in there. Do you think 1 coat of BLO is enough? I figure itll take at least a week to set in my cold ass house, once im satisfied that its all set im going to chop down a small tree that the wife and i agree needs to go. Its about the largest thing I'd take down while backpacking and even then id use my saw but should be a good test

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  34. highlander

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    One coat is ok for now. I'd add a second coat when it's warmer outside or in your house. If you have some turpentine you could thin the BLO down and apply it.
     
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  35. Guillaume Longval

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    Nice job!

    I usually go for one coat of blo. I add some when it shows early sign of wear. But i take care of my tools. If you intend to let it sit out in the rain or in the mud, or in a half protected shed, it will need more coats.
    Even around 60f. It shoud be dry to touch and ok to use after a few days. It will continue do dry deeper and harden over time.
     
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