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. Thanks!