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Axe handle making, modifications, repair and more

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Maine20, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Maine20

    Maine20

    277
    Aug 8, 2017
    I thought this thread could be a good resource for those interested in learning more about handle making (I know I am) and pretty much anything else handle related. There is a ton of great info on the forum all ready but it may be helpful to start to group it in one place.

    Will it catch on? We’ll see. Also if anyone has a better idea for a thread title I am all ears, mine is kind of boring.

    I’ll start it off with this handle build. It will be a 28” straight handle carved from Ash staves I split about 7 months ago


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Getting some flat faces so I can run it through the table saw

    [​IMG]
    After table saw

    [​IMG]
    Roughing out

    [​IMG]
    It will be draw knife, rasp and scraper from here. I will update as progress continues.
     
  2. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Awesome man. Just awesome! This is going to be a good one!
     
    Agent_H, ithinkverydeeply and A17 like this.
  3. A17

    A17

    959
    Jan 9, 2018
  4. Maine20

    Maine20

    277
    Aug 8, 2017
    Some good info on splitting staves with minimal tools.

     
    deepobs and BitingSarcasm like this.
  5. Downwindtracker2

    Downwindtracker2

    132
    Mar 20, 2019
    Purists can now run from the room covering their ears because a heretic is going to speak. I've used epoxy a fair bit, it has spilled over from woodworking to boatbuilding to gunstocks, now axes. First rule, epoxy requires good fits, it doesn't gap fill by itself. You need filler. In fact just using it as glue you should use filler. I just finished rescuing an overly thinned haft with thickly cut, very off centered kerf . No wonder the head fell off. I couldn't see any good and easy woodworking way around this. So it was G-2 with mini fibers . Saw dust works well too.I wedged of course. Chopped fiberglass fibers are hard on tools if you want to work it, as is Carb-o-Sil (sp). When Industrial Formulators , System Three mixes it now, was making G-2, it had an aircraft certificate and was used in making the wood cores for snow skis. This batch was much thicker, when I added filler at a ratio of 1 to 1 1/2 I ended up with a mix that was like the old 1 epoxy to 3 filler. One to one would work. I wouldn't bother with epoxy for a new haft but for a rescue . BTW if you screw up, it's drill out and use a heat gun to soften.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  6. Maine20

    Maine20

    277
    Aug 8, 2017
    Starting to take shape. Really liking the draw knife for this work.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Miller '72

    Miller '72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2017
    This is great to follow along on your journey.
    Cant wait to see more...

    I love that Wilton Bullet.
     
  8. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    From now on I'll post the process here. There's some more I've made but they're experiments and look weird so I didn't include them. 20190410_204942.jpg
    Some of these were very early attempts. It's interesting that the Puget sound haft and the one to the left of it look so different. They are both red oak. As is the plumb victory boys axe to the right. There's two rock maple, two black walnut, three white ash, two green ash, one hickory and three red oak. It's great to have a place to post em!
     
  9. Rick Holt

    Rick Holt

    46
    Feb 19, 2019
    Nice job , great variety too !
     
    ithinkverydeeply, A17 and Yankee Josh like this.
  10. Maine20

    Maine20

    277
    Aug 8, 2017
    Nice work! Have you swung the puget sound much yet? I’ve never used a handle that long (42”?) I bet it takes some getting used to.
     
  11. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I did use it but only very little. It's 41". Man can you get some energy behind that swing! I was chopping on an already fallen popple that was frozen solid however so I didn't use it a lot. I can see now why it might be beneficial when felling a giant sequoia. I can imagine those deeply penetrated chops would burst or at least loosen a good size chip. I was a tad confused why you'd want the axe with the shortest bit for falling the worlds biggest tree!
    I need to finish the palm swell on that particular haft. I'm expecting the red oak to shrink some on that one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  12. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
  13. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I bought this NWTCO axe from jblyttle about a year ago. I had it hung on a 34" ash haft and felt it was a tad too long for that axe. Also the eye wasn't 100% full on the bottom and THAT bugs me to no end! So a giant misshapen eye needs a custom haft. Using red oak because i have it and i think it'll look nice. [​IMG]
    Using that nice sequatchie haft (also bought from jb lol) as a pattern. [​IMG]
    I wanted it a tad longer and you can see both traces here. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I needed a coffee break and here's where I'm at now. I'll post more when I get more done![​IMG]
     
  14. Maine20

    Maine20

    277
    Aug 8, 2017
    Nice!! That’s going to be a beautiful handle. I am hoping to find some time soon to finish the one I stated a while back.
     
    A17 and Yankee Josh like this.
  15. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I got the axe hung and the helve mostly finished; [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This line is 2" from the bottom of the kerf. It's driven home like miss daisy! [​IMG]
    Unfortunately I had a little mishap. Damnit. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It broke off nice and clean though and I've got it glued up and clamped. All's well that ends well right?![​IMG]
    My jaw dropped a little in disbelief as the bigger part of my swell, that I've spent so much time getting just right, just sheared right off and bounced off the concrete! I said a few choice words and then put it back together. Haha. It may be tomorrow now before I can finish it. Have a good one!
     
  16. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    @Yankee Josh, that is a bad feeling when that happens after a lot of work and prep. I've had that happen with dimensional lumber before and I've had many last minute/strike failures on my part. That looks like it was all wood on that one but I bet your repair at that stage will work out terrific.
     
    Yankee Josh, ithinkverydeeply and A17 like this.
  17. Rick Holt

    Rick Holt

    46
    Feb 19, 2019
    In making knives I pin handles , so drill a hole through bottom up into handle and use a solid brass rod 3/16 or 1/4 , rough up brass ; mix up epoxy and use force epoxy down into hole using small 1/8 weld rod then push brass rod in and tap it tight then when dried for day buff down smooth but don’t get to hot when buffing so to have epoxy loosen ; should look nice .
     
  18. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I'll have to put this one here instead of "what did you rehang today". I left it clamped for 3 hours and then finished it. You can't even tell where it was broken! Measures 32" and it can be seated farther down someday if it needs it. That's one reason I like leaving a shoulder.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The blo still hasn't soaked in and I haven't oiled the tongue yet. [​IMG]
    Thanks for checking it out! I had a lot of fun making it and I couldn't be happier with it. Can't wait till it's dry and I can take it out for a test to see how it does. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Have a great evening everyone! I'm off to visit with inlaws for dinner.
     
  19. rjdankert

    rjdankert Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Right:thumbsup:

    That's a shame:(, but stuff happens. What sheared it off?:confused:

    Bob
     
  20. Rick Holt

    Rick Holt

    46
    Feb 19, 2019
    Very nice job , I like the shape !
     
    Yankee Josh and ithinkverydeeply like this.

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