Cleaning up an old axe head

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by ChignectoBushman, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. ChignectoBushman

    ChignectoBushman Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    7
    Recently purchased an old Blenkhorn's axe head. I noticed some rust around the eye so I thought I would take off the handle and clean it up as much as possible. There were also some scuffs from grinding that I want to clean off.

    I decided to use vinegar to clean it, and this is after a day:
    [​IMG]

    It needs another day in the vinegar, I think, as there is still rust in the eye. And I wasn't really expecting this sort of colour. Any thoughts on what else I should do to clean it up?
     
  2. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    2,730
    Likes Received:
    3,310
    Location:
    Missouri
    Not an expert by any means, but I've used some four ought steel wool and regular old 30 wt oil. For a user, that should do the trick.
     
  3. PoPo

    PoPo Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Missouri
    Sandpaper cleans them up pretty good.
     
  4. jonathan creason

    jonathan creason Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    610
    I just cleaned one up yesterday with a wire cup on an angle grinder. Made short work of the rust while preserving that nice, rich patina.
     
  5. Brown85

    Brown85 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Location:
    Bucks Co, PA
    I typically use an angle grinder as well, though I've had better luck with a brass wire wheel on it. I used to use a cup brush attachment on my cordless drill before I invested in a grinder. One thing I've noticed is the vinegar makes the steel rust super quick after the bath. Do get some oil on her quick!
     
  6. SC T100

    SC T100 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    436
    Location:
    Lowcountry, SC
    This is definitely true. In fact, I've had them rust in my hand after getting down to cleaner metal *while* I'm holding the head and sharpening it using a stone and water. Definitely get something (wax, oil, etc) on there quickly once the surface has been redone.
     
  7. ChignectoBushman

    ChignectoBushman Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    7
    At this point it seems the worst of the rust is beginning to fall off. I guess that's a day and a half or so. Anyone think it's a good idea to paint inside the eye? Or just oil it?

    I'll have to look into a wire cup brush, mainly I have used fine/extra-fine steel wool and oil to keep my axes clean, but my first axes were from Gransfors so they are pretty easy maintenance wise.

    I figure tonight or tomorrow morning as much as the rust as possible will be off. I'll dry it and clean off the rest off the rust and oil it right away. And then I need to find a tree to make my own handle.
     

Share This Page