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Axe restoration thread

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

  1. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you notice, a steel bar is tacked on the handle, that runs through the eye, and has a tab bent over helping to hold the head on. I thought this was an owner addition. Then I found several on the internet, and they had the bar and tab on them also. Maybe factory?
     
  2. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Enthusiast

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    Like I mentioned on the phone yesterday, the pattern looks like a German 'Rhineland' pattern hatchet, but wouldn't mind taking a look at the eye and handle tenon. Looks to be a traditional German D-shaped eye and tenon. The steel bracket is interesting, not sure of factory or user-made, but the idea isn't unusual — very common for traditional Japanese axes, lookie here:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ray benson

    ray benson Tree Freak

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  4. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Update.


    Early this year I picked this hatchet up with plans to get to it eventually.


    View attachment 712816

    The head would easily pull off, I don't like yellow, and it had no edge on it. It's going to be a carving hatchet.

    I'm not a tool maker or a tool expert by any stretch of the imagination and I've got less than thirty minutes total in it at this point. All freehand and no measurements.

    I was actually in the middle of cleaning up some 3/8 scrap steel when I decided I would work on it.

    It has widened cheeks near the edge. Won't be needed for my purposes.

    IMG_20191029_1041380521.jpg

    IMG_20191029_104129670.jpg

    Removed those, gave it a rough eyeball bevel. Left the nail puller, doesn't serve a purpose for my needs but it's not hurting anything. Then moved on to getting rid of the ugly yellow finish.

    IMG_20191029_1132319721.jpg

    Cleaned up five steel tines, worked on the axe head, and stripped the handle all on the same disc. :)

    IMG_20191029_113058141.jpg

    Looking better.

    IMG_20191029_1133354931.jpg

    Now. Dislodge crusty old wedge that ain't serving a purpose. Pick up wood chip off the shop floor, taper it, and tap it into the head, temporarily.

    IMG_20191029_1152089591.jpg

    That's where it's at. Took my Nicholson file to it, then stripped some pine bark and roughed out a blank with it.

    That's the beginning down and dirty stage. I'm gonna put a finish on the handle, fit the head better, and then put a true edge on it. Assuming it'll take a good edge it's gonna get put to work.
     
  5. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Enthusiast

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    Great work, looks good!
     
  6. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    What's everybody like for finishes? Anything darker than boiled linseed without going to a chemical stain?

    I haven't had to really bring an edge along in awhile. Should be able to get it where I need it. Doesn't have to be shaving sharp, I've got knives for that. On the other hand, I've never complained about a tool being too sharp.
     
  7. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    You have any guesses on the make of it?

    Handle said 1 1/2 Malleable Scout Axe. Don't know if it's even the right handle but 1.5 lbs sounds right, it's a light head.

    I could have sworn I saw an old Collins that had a yellow handle and red head.
     
  8. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Enthusiast

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    It's really difficult to say, without any markings anything works be just a guess. For a while many big makers forged without markings putting only paper labels that eventually fall off.
     
  9. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Enthusiast

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    You could burn the handle. I've seen more control done by using a heat gun instead of a torch, then oil as usual.

    As to edge sharpness with an axe, what is more important is your grind. You can sharpen a 45° angle enough to slice paper, but it won't chop wood and sever the fibers very well. I like my axes around 18°-20°, which will require you to file back the cheeks a good bit. A nice thinly ground bit will cut more efficiently. As to sharpeness, well I like to dress mine up to 1000 grit, but for field touch ups, I'll use 240 and some spit or water.
     
  10. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Got home around 7:30 and figured I'd tear into the next stage of my little project.

    I'm not used to working through every little grit but I figured what the hell.

    IMG_20191101_212727763.jpg

    IMG_20191101_212800349.jpg

    I'm pleased with it. It ain't perfect but it's better. It ain't running through paper but it was biting into it.

    IMG_20191101_214006813.jpg



    Funny you say that. After spending a while sharpening, I burnt the handle and covered with oil. I used a torch and boiled linseed because that's what I had. I'm not terribly happy with the outcome. Oh well. I'll see how it wears or if it grows on me.

    IMG_20191101_223209256.jpg


    Now I get to stick it into some wood and see how it does. Looks like there's a bit of micro bevel, unintentional. My Estwing has a really narrow profile so I purposely left this one thicker as I can always take off more later.
     
  11. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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    I’ve tried to burn things and went a bit past where I wanted as well.

    If you sanded that down a bit it should leave a nice patina.
     
  12. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Yeah, I can sand it down partially or completely pretty easily.

    I had the flame moving the entire time and at a distance and it went from nothing to charred in the blink of an eye.

    It'll be excellent kindling if it breaks at some point. :)

    I may start roughing out a slightly thicker handle to try on it. But that's probably a case of the grass is always greener.
     
  13. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Something I didn't mention, that Nicholson file sunk into that steel head.

    Bit disappointing.

    I'm gonna re-profile the head. There's definitely more in there.

    I may be on the lookout for a branded hatchet and just upgraded my kindling splitter. :)
     
  14. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    The next chapter in the never ending unknown hatchet saga.

    I thinned the profile and re-honed the edge. I went ahead and sharpened my Estwing as I've got a couple projects and didn't wanna waste my time if this one didn't turn out. The Estwing isn't ideal but it gets the job done.

    I got through three spoon blanks before I set the hatchet down and tried the Estwing. Then went back to the hatchet. It's definitely a workable tool at this point and that's a long way from where it came. It's not a $300 carving axe, don't get me wrong. It's a cheap hatchet that's much improved. I still need to get a proper wedge in there.

    Picture won't do it justice.

    IMG_20191106_1321003121.jpg
    Estwing.

    IMG_20191106_1405546801.jpg

    Estwing is a great hatchet. Just lacks in carving because you can't choke up on it very easily and the profile is so thin it becomes counterproductive at points.

    I'm satisfied with where it is. I think I'll eventually take more off but I don't wanna get too thin and then have two of the same thing. For right now I'm leaving it. If I come across a Plumb I'll probably modify that one more aggressively.


    IMG_20191106_152633529.jpg
     
  15. Gypo Logger

    Gypo Logger Timber Baron

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  16. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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  17. Backyard Lumberjack

    Backyard Lumberjack Tree Freak

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    am not too often out of split cedar kindling but...

    ran out of already split cedar kindling other nite. had to make some on the run for yesterday's fire.... grabbed one of my handy camp axes. purchased new by poster some 45 years ago. a Sears item... nice lil camp axe. but bit weather worn from time. so couple yrs back did an overhaul to it...

    sanded it down, reset head, stained it with watco light walnut and finished it off couple coats Varathane. sometimes I mite use watco dark walnut. I usually finish wood projects with one of those. for anything outdoors I use Varathane spar... I have a dozen or so axes. camp, hip, as well as, long handled, too.

    axe has a utility or bit above finish to edge. good enuff for splitting cedar, and leather gloves highly suggested! ~ P4240021.JPG P4240022.JPG P4240023.JPG P4240024.JPG P4240025.JPG
     
    bigbadbob, dancan, 95custmz and 4 others like this.
  18. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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    “WODKA” as Buckin Billy Ray would say!!
     
  19. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Last bit of lipstick I'm gonna put on this ole girl.

    Originally:

    IMG_20190204_133617289.jpg

    Now:

    IMG_20191116_162706487.jpg

    IMG_20191116_162935724.jpg

    The fit is not worthy of a picture. Edge isn't perfect either. But it can go about it's life of making wood chips and splitting small pieces of wood into smaller pieces. :)
     
    lead farmer, 95custmz and bigbadbob like this.
  20. bigbadbob

    bigbadbob Addicted to ArboristSite

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    These were given to me. Brush axe needed the vinegar treat and handle.
    newaxes.jpg
    Might have posted B4
     

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