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Axe restoration thread

LondonNeil

LondonNeil

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Nice work u&a, head looks smart cleaned up like that and the handle fit looks a super job. The photo showing the top of the haft and head, are they cracks at the poll? Hope not!
 
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U&A

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Nice work u&a, head looks smart cleaned up like that and the handle fit looks a super job. The photo showing the top of the haft and head, are they cracks at the poll? Hope not!
Thanks and yes.

They are cracks. The grain direction on this handle is not the best. But this axe is actually going to be a wall hanger with a few others (some not done yet) behind my wood stove.

Still sucks but ....


Sent while firmly grasping my redline lubed RAM
 
LondonNeil

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Btw, handle looks great. It's it an old one reused? If not, you've done a great job giving it patina how did you do it? I've considered taking dirt, maybe stove ash and garden dirt, and rubbing it in the handle to try and work it into the grain.
 

U&A

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Btw, handle looks great. It's it an old one reused? If not, you've done a great job giving it patina how did you do it? I've considered taking dirt, maybe stove ash and garden dirt, and rubbing it in the handle to try and work it into the grain.
Brand new handle

I sprinkled blue calk from a calk line string on the handle as i was rubbing BLO on it. Did that a few times.. worked great.

Then hit it with brown 3m scotch pad to clean it up.


Sent while firmly grasping my redline lubed RAM
 
LondonNeil

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photos to come, not finished yet and was rushed but.... i've got the 'made in sweden' 4.5 lber hung. seated well down, haft ended up at 28", I went with a cheap ash haft i had, grain is ...mleh...ok but. i did something different to normal. usually when i get the head seating well i smack the wedge in and move on. this time i got the head sitting down, but knocked it off one more time, sanded it smooth, scorched the bit that goes through the eye, oiled it and then reseated the head. my thinking, sand smooth to help the head slide on a bit more, scorch to dry it/reduce later shrinkage, oil it for both. well it definitely seemed to help the head slide on! it went on another 3/4". ended up with a small gap around the back somehow, but snug everywhere else.
 
LondonNeil

LondonNeil

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Next up
IMG_20200911_135543.jpg
Eye looks slightly distorted
IMG_20200911_151617.jpg
Actually I'm fairly sure it's not. It's just someone has filed/ground off mushrooming on one side of the bottom of the eye and not the other so it looks odd. Also the distorted poll adds to the effect. I'll tidy it properly on the bench grinder I think.
Sandvik. No country mark so I think Swedish, pre bahco and the move to Germany and Helko Werk. Which means..... It's a wetterlings.
 
LondonNeil

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So I was complaining about emay prices during and shortly after our covid lockdown....they seem to have slumped the other way a bit now. Wife an I have won a few things at some pretty low prices and today I picked up a nice looking HB 4lb head at under half the going rate, paying just £20 after postage! Its been tidied up and polished, I bet the seller was hoping for a lot more. only worry is the listing showed no photos of the eye so i i've taken a bit of a chance. I bid on a second one at the same time as i didn't really expect to win with my bid....hope i get outbid on the other now!
 
rarefish383

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Have any of o used gunblue/cold blue on an axe head? and can you suggest which brand/product to use? I am thinking of making the GBA hatchet I have into a decorative wall hanger and bluing the head, or at least a part....might 'fade' it to steel toward the bit. Birchwood casey seems to get excellent reviews, but super blue or permablue? are they for different steels? any advice most welcome. ta.
Neil, I used Birchwood Casey blue 30-40 years ago on a black powder derringer. It was a replica of the one used to shoot President Lincoln. It worked well. When I did my throwing hatchet a couple years ago I wanted something a little different, so I browned it. Browning was used before bluing. It's easy, but you do need to heat the head till the solution sizzles when it touches the steel.

 
cat10ken

cat10ken

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I went to an auction yesterday in SW Wisconsin; lots of antiques and tools. I watched three Black Raven axes sell, two double bits, one for $380, the other for $150. A single bit went for $270. I got a Kelly Hand Made double for $75 and a pair of Wards Master Quality Vanadium doubles. Brings my axe collection to over 70 pieces. I'm running out of wall space.
 
LondonNeil

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Phew! With 10 hours to go I've been outbid ok the other HB. Only by 7p, but I'm not the highest bidder! So long as the one I won has a straight eye, it really was a bargain, this second one is at 75% higher price already
 
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rarefish383

rarefish383

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Looks smart Joe. Was it the colour or another reason that you chose to brown?
Just something different. When I found the head it was so rust pitted I ground 8 once’s of steel off of it to get it almost smooth. Then it was polished to a mirror finish. I don’t like the polished look on vintage axes, so I browned it. I might have used Birchwood Casey Browning on it.
 
LondonNeil

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The 4lb Hb has arrived and ...oh...no photo of it, soz I thought i had one for you. next time. It is lovely, its been polished and is in really really good nick. I can't believe i got it for £16+£4 postage, very very pleased!

I also got a Gilpin (good British make) 2 3/4lber on its way. that weight, the boys axe range 2 1/4 up to 3 or so lb, seem so rare here, particularly the 2.5 to 3.5 ish range. Yet on a 28" handle they can do so much.

to hang them.....
I found only the second place so far that sells Smedbergs handles and although postage is ever so slightly more than the other shop, the price of each haft is quite a bit less. They don't do the full range, no straight ones but hey-ho I bought 4 delivered (2x 32", and 2x30") for £90, that was about the price of 3 handles from the shop I used before.
They arrived and as you expect from Smeds, 3 are perfect, zero grain run out and not far off straight front/back orientation. However I think I may have to send this last one back. what you guys say? large chunk of heart wood, and shocking run out. it is at least side run out not front back, but it still seems bad to me....or am I just being picky? I'd never have chosen that myself though.


i now have a lot of projects!
 
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