Saturday, November 30, 2013

Axe Restoration Project

I guess really it isn't restoration - just rehanging an old axe. I heat my home with wood and use an axe as a daily tool so I don't see a point in spending more time shining that hunk of iron than it will take for it to get that brown patina back. Although ... I do kinda feel like doing that for the sake of doing it. Anyway, good axes are fewer and further between anymore and they aren't cheap either. My research tells me that this Wards Master Quality head is possibly 70 years old. I had to have this particular handle shipped and I paid a little extra for them to pick me a nice one, but these House Handle sticks are available locally for a whopping $8.00. They seem like pretty good handles for the coin and my hardware store didn't have the length I wanted so all in all I've got $35.00 in an axe that I suspect would cost significantly more today. The head came from a local antique mall and I admit that the temptation to go back and get another one is getting to me. They had a Tru-Temper with a bit in like-new geometry but someone had beat the pole to death. They had beaten it to the point where you could see that steel had actually chipped off in chunks in several places, as well as massive deformation. It was a sad sight and I felt it was probably unsafe to use. So here are some pics of the process and the final product. I am in the process of making a sheath just for the fun of it, not because it'll ever actually wear it, and we'll call it done.

axe restoration project
Started cleaning up the head before I took any pictures, but I figure if it is as old as I've heard then it was in pretty good shape really. It's got a few pits along the edge that are kinda bad, but I'm not a lumber jack, I just split wood.
Wards Master Quality. Supposed to be pretty good, but either way I think it'll do nicely.
The old handle and the new. The new handle came from House Handle just next door in MO.
The Cryo got to help with a bit of hanging.
Good looking grain. I have heard criticism for the metal wedge from people who know what they are talking about but at the same time I don't think that they would be so widely used if they were the spawn of Satan. I expect there is greater chance of creating a split as you drive it but now I've got one with, and one without. 

A quick shot of the grain. House Handle will take a couple extra dollars and pick you out the handle you want. Whether it is spectacular or not may be a matter of opinion but they aren't expensive in my mind so why not? I may have mentioned that they are available in one of my local hardware stores so I got to inspect a raft of their products. Some were better than others so I feel like it was an extra couple dollars well spent.

The finished product. I think I'm going to let work produce the finial finish.
firewood processing tools
A final finish more like my old axe seen at the far right. Kind of a smooth brown patina.
The whole wood splitting family. Aranyik K-1 e-nep, Snow and Nealley and the Wards.

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