My first axe project

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Capsicum, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Capsicum

    Capsicum Tracker Bushclass I

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    I finally got my hands on a couple of old neglected axes from an antique store. Thanks to everyone who gave input into where I might be able to find old axes in a previous post of mine.

    I started with a slightly rusted head (of unknown origin, if you can ID that would be great) very poorly hung on a newer appearing handle. The top of the handle made it past halfway into the eye of the axe, and you can see the displaced wood from someone trying to force it on. There was still about a half inch between the top of the handle and the top of the eye, leaving it recessed. It was also not wedged, and there was significant space between the edges of the handle and the sides of the eye. I wished I had captured better pictures of the original state of the hang, as it was dismal, but I was excited to get to work.

    Everything I know about hafting and restoring axes comes from reading these forums and watching YouTube videos, and this is my first time doing either, so go easy on me if I did a terrible job, but the critiques are always welcome

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    I liked the length and feel of the handle, and since it wasn't wedge, I decided to save it. I used a steel rod and hammer to pound it out. The insides of the eye had protruding grooves, you can see the marks they left in the wood. It looks like the previous owner was only able to get the handle 2-3/4 - 3" into the 3-1/4 deep head

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    I got to work on the handle with the only tools I had... a 4-in-hand and a Mora Garberg


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    The original attempt at hanging the axe had also collapsed the kerf as well, so I opened it up with a Bahco laplander. It was still tight, but before opening it back up it was completely closed. At this point I was wishing I had a proper workshop and a few power tools, but I was excited the project was going well.

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    I had to remove a significant amount of wood. Really wishing for some power tools at this point...

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    At last, I am able to properly seat the axe head onto the handle, the teeth/grooves in the eye of the eye kept pressing the kerf closed, but I have finally removed enough material that I can fit a wedge

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    The wedge fits nicely after some trimming. I imagine that this wedge will do wonders to push the sides of the handle into those teeth.

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    The wedge went in readily and deeply. The sides of the handles did press fantastically into the teeth in the eye.

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    I left a little on the top, I like the look

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    Step wedge in, the fit is great

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    Some filing exposed quite a few dings, some have already started to come out.

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    More filing has us close to a usable edge. One ding remains, but future sharpening will bring that in line with the rest of the edge.

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    Some time on the stone has it starting to roughly cut printer paper. Perhaps when my wrists recover from the hours of filing that the handle and edge took I will put a razor edge on it, but for now, this will work for campfire duty.

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    One swing on a limb overhanging the porch takes it off

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    It was able it handily split an old round I had laying around as well

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    A few swings into some half hard/half punk wood give me confidence that the head is seated firmly

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    It has eaten up everything I have thrown at it so far, but I don't have much to swing it at around the house. I hope to get it out on a camping trip soon! A little love with some BLO has it looking nice. I plan to use this axe to improve my lacking axe skills. I own a couple of Gransfors Bruk, but I will feel better about beating on this one as I know I can fix it easily since I put it together in the first place.

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  2. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    With those ridges in the eye, you've got yourself a very nice old True Temper head. Excellent axe.
     
    Bax 40, carpenter, Capsicum and 2 others like this.
  3. Zunga

    Zunga Supporter Supporter

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    carpenter and Capsicum like this.
  4. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Nice TrueTemper they are a personal favorite of mine! Well done getting it into usable shape.
     
    carpenter and Capsicum like this.
  5. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

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    Very nice resto. Nice example to use as well. I might suggest the head be pushed down closer to the hafts shoulder. Still looks like a nice tight set regardless. On to the next one! :)
     
    Mr. Tettnanger, Bax 40 and carpenter like this.
  6. carpenter

    carpenter Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Nice job on the axe. You don't need power tools to hang an axe. Might look into getting a farriers rasp. They remove material quickly. Found mine at a yard sale.
     
  7. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    What @kellyw said, good head in good shape!


    Larry
     
  8. Northwest Axe

    Northwest Axe Supporter Supporter

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