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Axe restoration thread

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by svk, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. NCPT

    NCPT Love my saws

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    Nice work and nice fit, especially with the double metal wedges....I'm trying to figure out how to drive one round wedge cleanly.

    Should have spent about 5 minutes with a wire wheel on that head though.....make em shine lol.
     
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  2. dancan

    dancan Spruce , The preferred wood of the Purgatory !

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    Thanks !
    While shiny things get my attention I just don't like my axes shiny , I find that the black finish and what factory paint that remains keeps them from rusting .

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Del_

    Del_ Get outside.

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    It's been 6 or 7 years...maybe as many a 9 years ago that I slipped this axe head over a small hickory tree. I came across it a couple of months ago and made the cut.

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  4. lead farmer

    lead farmer ArboristSite Operative

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  5. Del_

    Del_ Get outside.

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    I hope not. I did in on a whim and have a few more I may set up this winter.

    I sure hope it works out well. Takes a long time.
     
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  6. lead farmer

    lead farmer ArboristSite Operative

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    Yes it does...

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
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  7. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Del, that is down right cool!
     
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  8. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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  9. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    Found this back in September while on vacation deep in the mountains of West Virginia. Was at an antique/consignment shop we got lucky in last year. Pretty sure it is the original haft, but appeared to be used very little, which is a crying shame... but I'm about to change that! Cruiser axes are just a joy to use. Good balance, capable weight but not too heavy.

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    In front of the woodstove at our cabin in a holler in Appalachia.

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    Originally I was only going to re-work the grind, but after closer inspection I noticed that there was the tiniest amount of separation between the wood and where the steel was seated. I got a hardwood drift and lightly tried to drive the haft from the top (which someone had driven a steel stepped wedge center and perpendicular to the bits. Sure as shite, it come out. No bueno. Looking closer there was a fair amount of real estate left on the shoulders, so I decided to remove the haft and re-hang it. The haft had a slash grain, but consistent runout. The main thing was that it felt great, nice and slim, good ergos - I had to keep it, and the years of wear on it just looks great.

    [​IMG]

    I spent maybe an hour driving the haft out after cutting the stepped wedge out with a Dremel and cut-off wheel. The wooden wedges would not budge, so in fear of damaging the wood trying to pry it out with screw fasteners, I just pounded it out with a broad-faced chisel (not the cutting type) and a hardwood drift that I made from a rootball. When the S.O.B. finally came off, I noticed that it had been cross-wedged... which is why later someone drove in a steel wedge the same way when it started coming loose. The wood was pretty dried out, but seemed serviceable. I decided to cross wedge it again. For additional security, I decided to also add a circular safety wedge... in hindsight I should have just left it because it was bulging out at the top pretty well. When I drove the circular wedge in it just made a mess of the original haft eye quadrants... they just came apart. Again, the eye wood was pretty darned dry, and if left proud a glancing blow to the eye might have knocked a big chip out that would travel deep into the eye creating a void that will cause it to come loose... So rather than scrap the haft and hang it on a new handle, I counter sunk the wedge with a sacrificial socket, then ground it down flush with an angle grinder and 40 grit flap disc. Touched up the metal with some gun blue so it blended with the overall years-worn look.

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    Here is the top of the eye. After I took this pic I put the head in a bath of 50/50 mix of Turpentine and Boiled Linseed Oil.

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    Here it is work-ready in front of a holzhausen of black cherry that is succumbing to the effects of gravity (it's sitting slightly slanted on a hill) - but we'll like be buring this stack early next month, so not worried if it collapses (it probably won't).

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    Both bits were hand filed.

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    Nice and tight seat on the shoulders.

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    22.5° on the swamping/utility bit (right of stamp).

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    ~18° on the keen side (left of stamp) - my bevel gauge only goes from 20° to 17.5°, but it's not quite 17.5°, nor is it 20°, so I'm guestimating it to be 18°.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. LondonNeil

    LondonNeil Addicted to ArboristSite

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    great work as always! and great pics.

    can someone suggest somewhere i can read about the various double bit axes? they just dont exist over here so i see terms like cruiser and have no idea on meaning.
     
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  11. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    If I knew of a comprehensive collection of info on double bitted axes I'd surely share it with you, but like many things of yore, they are lost in time and sequestered away to various oral tradition, publications, history books, and or other tomes. From what I have gathered, they have appeared throughout history in Europe and Asia Minor, but gained a prominence when they were introduced during the rise of the lumber industry in the early United States. First introduced by local smiths, eventually larger foundries began to produce them on a large scale in Maine and Pennsylvania , and thusly distributed them in those regions where they began to grow in popularity, then quickly began to spread. The idea was to have "two axes in one", either two similarly ground keen edges, or each edge with a different grind for specific tasks (e.g. one for felling or chopping clean, knot-free wood, the other for utility or swamping)

    The sizes, weight, and shapes began to change as they reached the far edges of the continent, developed and suited for the timber being harvested.

    The "Cruiser" axe is one that I define as between 2.25-2.5 lb (1.0-1.125 kg), has two bits and is between 26-30" (66-76 cm) in length. In the height of the lumber industry in the late 19th century United States and Canada, particularly in the Pacific Northwest - timber cruising was an integral part of early sustainable logging. Timber cruisers, who surveyed the land estimating the amount of harvest-able lumber from a stand, often on horseback would carry there small, lightweight double-bit axes for various chores and survival. Sometimes called a "saddle axe", they were as common as a flask or rifle when cruising the pristine evergreen forests of the Pacific Northwest.

    Here is some good reading material on Timber Cruising (PDF warning): https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev2_025021.pdf
     
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  12. Jethro 2t sniffer

    Jethro 2t sniffer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Hey guys been reading the thread and wow some of you really know your axes any way I'm very green when it comes to axes so I bought this little hults bruk 2-1/4 head and going to have a go at hanging my 1st axe. Would any of you have an idea on its age? It has epoxy in the top.

    Have watched a huge amount of buckin Billy's videos and think I should be ok for a crack at it. Is 28inch too long? Its very hard to find a 24 or 26inch here can shop online but can't check the grain or anything though. 20190108_075525.jpg 20190108_075538.jpg
     
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  13. dancan

    dancan Spruce , The preferred wood of the Purgatory !

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    I think you'll be fine at 26"
    Here's the 2 1/4 Wetterlings that I rehung on a 26"

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Jethro 2t sniffer

    Jethro 2t sniffer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Ok cool thanks I'll have a look and see what the hardware stores have 28 seems to be the shortest around here. Nice axe by the way. I feel this little axe will lead to many many more
     
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  15. dancan

    dancan Spruce , The preferred wood of the Purgatory !

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    This needed to be brought back up to the top !
     
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  16. dancan

    dancan Spruce , The preferred wood of the Purgatory !

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    My best guess for age would be starting from the early 70's and the epoxy was called Agdofix .
     
  17. Jethro 2t sniffer

    Jethro 2t sniffer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Hey that's close enough for me cheers.
     
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  18. lead farmer

    lead farmer ArboristSite Operative

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    Specifically if you hang out in here. These guys will corrupt a fella.

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  19. Jethro 2t sniffer

    Jethro 2t sniffer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Haha I think its already to late I can't stop looking for old axes now something about them the feel the smell the history. Some kind of magnetic energy going on
     
  20. Trapper_Pete

    Trapper_Pete ArboristSite Operative

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    I remembered I had an ax in the garage I picked up at a rummage sale for the grand sum of $2 I knew it needed a handle the old one dry grey and cracked.

    looks like a 1960s or 1970s Collins Michigan pattern it had the sticker but was not the blue painted. bare head wight 3 pounds 7.2 oz so probably started life as a 3.5# head

    the plan was make a falling length ax since it is going to be 90% wedge driving and cut it off at about 28 inches it is currently 35 1/2 from the top top the head to the end of the handle. I have a plumb 36inch that I have been using.
    I figured I would leave it and try it a few times and see where it felt good to cut the handle off at.

    collins_ax1.JPG collinsax2.JPG collinsax3.JPG collinsax4.JPG collinsax5.JPG
     

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