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Axe handle making, modifications, repair and more

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

  1. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    209
    Jun 15, 2019
    I'd just be happy of I could find someone that sold a replacement (Hickory) axe handle not
    split/sawcut for the wedge at the head end.
    Because I don't want the handle for an axe but for a large Brush hook that is designed for a Wooden Axe Handle... The hook is a 12" long fish-hook shaped blade that clamps to the handle with 1"x3/16" steel straps that are tensioned by 5/16" bolts
     
  2. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    If it bothers you just cut a shim and glue or maybe fill it in with an appropriate wedge. Be easier then trying to find one with out a saw kerf.
     
    A17 and Yankee Josh like this.
  3. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    209
    Jun 15, 2019
    I've been considering doing exactly that as my normal procedure for mounting an axe head involves the lavish use of epoxy and sometimes some strips of fiberglass or carbon fiber cloth.
     
    garry3 likes this.
  4. Fmont

    Fmont Gold Member Gold Member

    856
    Apr 20, 2017
    All hatchets so far. Got the shape, now thinning it until i switch to draw knives then rasp and shaves. I don't like to stop to take pictures so this is all you get
    20190621_204747-901x1853.jpg
     
  5. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    209
    Jun 15, 2019
    Oh to have that much patients!
     
  6. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Patience?! It's fun! Making helves is a rewarding and fun way to spend your time!
     
    Old Axeman, rjdankert, Fmont and 2 others like this.
  7. Fmont

    Fmont Gold Member Gold Member

    856
    Apr 20, 2017
    It's a gnarly piece of hickory. Tension, twisted grain, harder than a lot of tropical hardwoods I've worked. Obviously the tongue area is ambiguous, I'm not sure what is going on it and how far down. It's quarter sawn, so it's not the ideal orientation. But I'm not worried about this particular piece of wood. I forgot to mention this is came out of a 48" 8/4 board, I think it's the 5th haft from it (last long piece, hence quarter sawn - no room to rive). Lots of chips, shavings, and swarf. Had a real close shave with a intergrown knot, too. More to come, but it'll be in the 'what did you hang today' thread.
    20190622_031209-805x1981.jpg

    That's tear out at the top, but plenty thickness left to shave it out, still.

    And yes, as usual I'm on the same page as YJ. It's a good release. It's like shaping a chair leg except you can freestyle it and go with the flow, rather than having to worry about matching the other three (or more for a set!) lol.

    Some people just need to craft. I'm one of that lot. I think most here are.
     
  8. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Gold Member Gold Member

    784
    Jan 10, 2015
    I very much enjoy shaping wood on my 1950 Craftsman wood lathe that I bought at a garage sale when I was 15. But, I REALLY enjoy freestyle work with a hatchet, draw knife, spoke shave, rasp, and carving knife.
     
  9. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I've come a long way since I joined a couple years ago. Being a builder I had all the power tools but I was always in such a hellfire rush all the time that I looked askance at using hand tools. Little did i know it's sometimes faster. And ALWAYS more enjoyable! I always enjoyed whittling as a boy and cut down countless trees with a little hatchet and built forts and small cabins etc. I've either played with or worked with wood my whole life, save 5 years lobster fishing, but I'm really learning to enjoy it of late. It's calming and I never tire of looking at or using one of my hafts.
     
  10. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Similar situation for me. 35 years as a builder. Got all kinds of power tools. But I enjoy working with hand tools.
     
  11. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    209
    Jun 15, 2019
    I am sure it is but I have always found metal more cooperative to form to my will.

    To me wood almost seems "fickle" and uncooperative...
     
    ithinkverydeeply, Fmont, A17 and 2 others like this.
  12. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I hear you there! It sure can be. I enjoy working with steel too(provided I've got good files).
    Do you mean working hot steel with hammers or shaping it with files?
    I have yet to do much with hot steel myself. But it's only a matter of time. :)
    I wasn't being derisive btw. It was an attempt at encouragement!
     
  13. Allan DeGroot

    Allan DeGroot

    209
    Jun 15, 2019
    I have not done much with HOT steel, and I've more with die grinders and stones, than with files,
    but in general if you go slow and take time to plan each move you make, you cannot get into "trouble" as quickly.

    Working on knives with files is something I don't do much, making a knife FROM a File is another matter...

    Files are very hard and make good blades for jobs that are never subjected to impact or shock, say for example for a gutting or skinning knife or kitchen knives that will never be used to split a rutabaga, but files are already hard and working them requires you work unhurried lest you overheat them and soften the material.

    The most tedious job I've ever done is made handle-scale pin holes in a file to make a knife from it.
    I'd love to find someone teach me how to "spot anneal" a file so it could be drilled and tapped.
    I'd really like to use Allen head flathead screws to mount handle scales (ala' ESEE)

    BTW, I in no way took your remarks as "derisive", so it's all good.

    But on another note I hate splinters, I seem to be a magnet for them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  14. Luckovich

    Luckovich

    9
    Jun 27, 2019
    I make Modern War Clubs without the spike, (a modern take on the Plains Indian classics) and don't think making an axe handle would be a whole lot different. However; I use grinders and a palm sander to remove most of the wood, so my method isn't quite as... authentic.
     
  15. ithinkverydeeply

    ithinkverydeeply Gold Member Gold Member

    980
    Dec 17, 2018
    Before I rehung an axe on this handle I thought I would try a melt-in repair for overstrike damage and misc gouges. This was really just to get in some practice with the Mohawk touch up kit before an important and technical repair to a piece of built in furniture at work.
    But I was fairly pleased with the results considering that I was just kinda messing around with it to see what I could do...
    [​IMG]
    Super hard waxy sticks.
    [​IMG]
    Melted in, preferable without a flame but you know. Then I put burn balm on the surrounding wood and use the curved tip iron here to smooth it in. (The steel wool is for cleaning the iron.)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Then sanded of course, and used a variety of graining liquid and graining pens to fake-in some grain.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    That’s about it. For a furniture repair I would clear coat it with finish and maybe use graining liquid to blend in the light areas. But for this I will use black antiquing wax to help obscure the repair and return some of the color of the pitch I sanded off of the handles shoulder. After wiping off the excess I rubbed the whole thing with vintage axe wax.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This whole process took less than an hour.(more like 30 minutes actually)

    “If your only tool is a hammer...” right?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  16. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    IRestoreVeryDeeply, that is quite impressive! Great job on the texture and blending. I probably wouldn’t notice it casually unless you mentioned it (maybe not even then...)
     
    cityofthesouth, Fmont, A17 and 3 others like this.
  17. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    That is awesome ITVD! I didn't know that stuff existed... Once it's set up how tough is it? I mean is it hard after set? And does it take stain like the surrounding wood? I have a very nice 30" haft that's all but useless for a full size axe due to over strikes. 15643512351665473935006862176130.jpg I may need to get me a(some) mohawk... I just hate to lose this haft... 15643513661441390789585996395623.jpg
    15643515100542997544512066841891.jpg
    Beautifully done repair by the way. Inspiring in fact!
     
    garry3, cityofthesouth, Fmont and 2 others like this.
  18. ithinkverydeeply

    ithinkverydeeply Gold Member Gold Member

    980
    Dec 17, 2018
    I’d consider it an aesthetic repair and would not count on it to return any strength to the handle. It’s like a plastic, hard to put your fingernail into but you could snap one of those sticks in half.
    This also doesn’t allow it to soak up any stain. It’s all faux finish.
    Once you draw in the grain if you need to blend it with the surrounding stain you would use this graining liquid and mix it in this glass dish with a toothpick full of the appropriate Blendal power.

    You can hold the glass dish over your piece to see if the color and opacity are where you want them before getting in there with an artist brush and stroking it out.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Fmont, A17 and Yankee Josh like this.
  19. Yankee Josh

    Yankee Josh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I see. Thanks for that. I'll probably end up cutting out a rectangular chunk just large enough to remove the damage and replace it with hickory in that case. Still though down near the swell or as in your case that makes a damn fine repair. Looks great! It's nice to know there's options!
     
  20. ithinkverydeeply

    ithinkverydeeply Gold Member Gold Member

    980
    Dec 17, 2018
    There is some stuff that I use regularly as part of a repair for large voids in rotten wood called SculpWood. It’s and A&B epoxy putty that is formable, sandable, drillable, etc. I have thought about trying it on an axe handle before... It would provide added strength!
     
    garry3, Fmont, A17 and 1 other person like this.

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